Wednesday, November 4, 2009

AASL Conference - Day 1 - The Hilton Experience

My colleague and I arrived in Charlotte around 1:30 p.m. this afternoon and met up with one of my college friends for a late lunch. If you want an incredible Italian meal, then you should check out Dolce in downtown Charlotte. It was dee-licious!

We checked in to the hotel, Hilton Charlotte Center City, right next to the Charlotte Convention Center. Now when I attend a conference, especially a national conference like AASL, I want to be AT the convention center hotel; that's why I chose the Hilton for our stay. Forget that it is $160 per night. I can deal with that. You know why? Because the Hilton has wireless high speed internet, according to their site. No where does it say that that wireless internet is $9.95 per day!!!

This is a media and information technology library conference, people! And we are going GREEN! This means I need total access to the internet from every where in the hotel, especially my guestroom. I want to blog about my day, the networking, the excitement, the authors from the comfy, coziness of my plush hotel bed while plopped up on cushy pillows in my nightgown. You get the picture! I don't want to have to go to the Business Center, the only place where the wireless is free. Maybe they said it was free in the lobby, too.

So we load up our stuff and head over the convention center, where we have been assured that our "go green" conference will have a wireless internet connection. I even found the lovely "Laptop Pit Stop" sign with cute little tables for sitting at while you type on your laptop. Yeah, right! It took me five times to connect to a network although there were four unsecured networks available. The two designated for our conference -- AASL and AASL 2 -- each had about 2 bars. I managed to connect to a network called Worship Facilities, which surprisingly enough had 4 bars, but that heavenly connection lasted for about two minutes.

I was resigned to use the internet cafe, hard wired desktops on tall tables, strategically placed at near the registration area to lure you in, but ergonomically lousy to discourage you from standing there all day. I managed to check my personal and school email, maybe 10 - 15 minutes of good computer time, before my lower back said enough.

Right now, I'm writing this while sitting in the lobby of The Blake Hotel. That's where my NCSLMA board meeting is in a few minutes. There's FREE wireless in the lobby, but they, too, charge $9.95 per day for wireless internet in the room.

What's this connected world coming to?!

Off to my meeting....and searching for another lobby after dinner.

No comments: