Laymen: The Core
of the Church
by Ryan Lewis
Every April, nearly 6,000 Free Will Baptists search for a hotel room in the city hosting the annual convention. More than 4,000 of them also begin the pre-registration process. Most have it down to an art form, getting the hotel they want and pre-registering their large group with little effort.
For others, however, the thought of making hotel reservations and pre-registering for the convention causes nightmares from the moment they open this magazine! If this is you, let me offer a few simple pointers to help you get the right hotel and register your group early and easily.
Note: Read the Pre-Registration and Housing Forms carefully (especially the fine print).
How can I pre-register?
Download the form at www.nafwb.org.
Registration opens (online and by mail) Monday, April 5.
Designate one or two people in your group to register everyone. This will cut down on confusion if you’re trying to get a large group registered.
Forms must be postmarked by June 15.
Why should I pre-register?
You get a nicer badge!
It saves you $10 on student registration for NYC.
Time spent registering early saves long lines and headaches later.
When you get to the convention, just stop by the “Pre-Registered” booth and pick up your packet of name badges and information.
Making Hotel Reservations
When can I actually book my rooms?
Housing opens Monday, April 5, 9:00 a.m. CST (Central Standard Time). Hotels will not accept reservations before that time.
What can I do until then?
-Take virtual tours of the hotels on their websites.
-Determine their proximity to the Cox Convention Center.
-Find out their amenities (high-speed internet, breakfast options, etc.).
-Check out other (more economical) parking options near the Convention Center.
NOTICE THE NEW RESERVATION POLICY.
-On June 1, your credit card will be charged a NON-REFUNDABLE deposit of the first night’s room and tax for every room that you book.
-If you need to cancel your room after June 1, find someone else who can use it. The charge is non-refundable, but the reservations are transferrable.
It’s April 5…What now?
After investigating the hotels, rank your top three choices, then focus on calling those three for reservations.
Have several people ready to call for reservations that morning.
-Some hotels may limit the number of reservations that can be placed
under one name.
Be prepared when calling for reservations.
-Have the group code and your credit card and information ready.
-Be sure to get all of your confirmation numbers.
-Try booking on the internet; you’re guaranteed not to be put on hold. Hotel booking sites will be available on www.nafwb.org.
These tips will not guarantee you the hotel room you want, nor will they ensure that you don’t encounter obstacles along the way. Hopefully, they will relieve some of the stress that comes with making preparations to attend the convention.
Join the rush to Oklahoma when the National Association of Free Will Baptists meets in Oklahoma City, July 18-21, 2010. The convention theme will be, “Who Will Go?” based on Isaiah 6:1-8. For more information, visit www.nafwb.org.