NAFSA has been alerted that unofficial housing providers have been contacting NAFSA delegates and exhibitors claiming they can secure hotel rooms at designated NAFSA hotels in Washington, D.C., for the NAFSA 2019 Annual Conference & Expo. These companies are not authorized to represent NAFSA, nor do they have access to officially contracted room blocks or rates on behalf of NAFSA.
Orchid Event Solutions, 175 South West Temple, Suite 30, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, is the only official housing provider for the NAFSA 2019 Annual Conference & Expo.
For your own protection, please do not make reservations through any other housing or travel company. If you receive a call or e-mail from any company that is not NAFSA’s official housing provider (Orchid Event Solutions), please contact us immediately at [email protected]
There have been many reports of false or deceptive activities undertaken by some of these unofficial agencies. Here are some things to be aware of:
- Many of these agencies cannot actually guarantee a reservation because they do not have contracts for room blocks with the NAFSA hotels. They will contact a housing wholesaler to see if anything is available that can be resold to you.
- Even legitimate wholesalers cannot knowingly book conference delegates in the conference block. Only the official NAFSA housing provider (Orchid Event Solutions) can book within our block of rooms. If the hotel determines that a conference delegate has been solicited or contacted by a wholesaler, the room rate may be increased to match or exceed the group rate or the room reservation may be canceled. A rate quote from a room broker is not a guaranteed rate.
- Rooms booked through unauthorized housing companies must sometimes be fully prepaid. Rather than a one-night deposit, an unauthorized company may require payment of the full cost for the entire stay for each room booked at the time of booking. NEVER give your credit card information out to someone who calls you and offers you a good deal on guest rooms for the NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo unless you are 100% certain you know who is on the other end.
- Reservation confirmations and numbers are often not available from these companies until less than a week before the arrival date. Even then, this may not guarantee that a room will be available when you arrive.
- Generally, these companies cannot secure a large block of rooms—only one or two at a time. Exhibitors should be particularly wary, since they often need to book a group of rooms for their staff who will be exhibiting during the conference.
- Name changes on room reservations with unofficial wholesalers/room brokers may be difficult to make.
- NAFSA will not be able to assist delegates or exhibitors who have reserved rooms outside the block if problems result from booking through an unauthorized company. NAFSA contracts with hotels in our block and includes clauses to protect our delegates should the hotel oversell the rooms or should any issues arise with reservations.
- Many of these unauthorized housing companies will contact NAFSA delegates and exhibitors to offer lower priced guest rooms than NAFSA's published rates at same brand hotels that are not located in Washington, D.C. and a distance away from the Walter E. Washington Convention Center with no recourse to cancel these reservations.
NAFSA encourages all conference delegates and exhibitors to secure their guest rooms within the group block by making your hotel reservations through the official housing reservation web site starting on March 1, 2019.