As I have said before, I have yet to attend an editing conference (although I am planning on attending EFACON in August, by hook or by crook). There have been times, however, when I heard about a conference I could not attend and fantasized about attending—and even researched the host city and hotel to find out what they were like.
There was one thing I always looked for in my research, though—how easily I could get around. How would I get from the airport to the hotel? How would I get from the hotel to various points in the city during free time?
The most ideal mode of transportation in a large city is a subway or similar train (such as Baltimore’s Light Rail or Chicago’s El). The conference venue should be within a reasonable walking distance from a stop or station, and ideally, the airport should also have a stop or station right next to it. This certainly is less expensive than renting a car—and less stressful, too. Cars have to be parked at or near the venue, usually at a pricey daily rate.
Buses going from the airport to reasonably near the venue are also good, although the trip will tend to take quite a bit longer. Again, however, it’s less expensive than renting a car.
As for taxis and rideshare services such as Uber or Lyft, I have only taken a taxi a few times in my life, and I have never used Uber or Lyft, so I don’t know much about the cost. I suppose that accuracy is a huge plus in that one goes directly from Point A to Point B without having to walk part of the way.
Conference attendees spend a lot of money in the form of attendance fees, hotel accommodations, and meals, so organizations would do well to select host cities that make travel at least a bit easier.
By the way…the Westin Old Town Alexandria, where EFACON is slated to be, is near a Metro station. Woohoo!
If you have been to a conference in a large city, what has the transportation been like there?