RTC Family Vacation – An Attendee’s Letter

Textbook author, Instructor and LHB BIM Administrator, Daniel Stine, has presented at each of the North American (NA) Revit Technology Conferences (RTC). In addition to the great sessions, networking and top-notch exhibit hall, he wants to share another great reason to attend RTC conferences that you may not have considered! For four years running, RTC has influenced his family’s yearly vacation plans, and likely will continue to do so for many years to come.

Dan writes:

You may ask yourself, “Why would I want to take the family with me to RTC”? Well, I think there are several reasons why it’s a fantastic idea!

Stretch your vacation dollars: If you already have plans to attend RTC, you will obviously have to book a hotel reservation for yourself (likely at the conference hotel), and pay for airfare or whatever mode of transportation you are taking to get to the conference location. When making these reservations or arrangements, it is easy to add additional rooms or tickets at the same time for the other members of your family. When you make your hotel reservation as part of your conference registration you may have the option to choose a larger room, or reserve additional rooms to make sure that you have enough space for the whole family. If the hotel has availability, they also allow you to add additional nights to the reservation either before or after the conference at the conference rate. This is a great benefit if you would like to spend additional time exploring the area attractions with the family. An added bonus is that since RTC is business related travel, both your transportation and room (during the conference days and travel days) as well as your meals will either be paid for by your employer, or likely a tax deductible expense. This is a great benefit when you think about the cost of things such as taking a taxi to the hotel or other expenses like that. It costs the same to take a taxi for one as it does for a family of four. You can’t say that about many other vacations.

Visit someplace NEW: When RTC NA began in 2011, it was held at a beautiful resort in Huntington Beach, CA. We decided to use it as an opportunity to visit a place we had never been before and were very pleased with the trip. If we were left to make the decisions about vacation destinations, we would likely choose one of our regular destinations like Disney World. We LOVE Disney World, but there is much more to the world than Mickey Mouse and Tinker Bell. When we started using RTC as our vacation planner it opened up so many other opportunities. Since 2011, we have explored California, took a road trip to Georgia and, and visited British Columbia. These have been wonderful vacations that we would never have had if we hadn’t opted to venture out of our comfort zone. In addition, RTC offers conferences in North America, Australia, and Europe every year. So Transatlantic vacations are a possibility as well, in fact we are planning on attending RTC Europe (Oct. 30 – Nov. 1, 2014 in Dublin, Ireland) this year instead of Chicago to mix it up a bit.

Less research required for planning: Part of the hassle of planning vacations is trying to figure out all of the logistics for getting you to and from your destination safely and around in an area of the world with which you are unfamiliar. If you decide to make an RTC Conference your vacation destination, then RTC planners do most of this research for you. This is a great benefit, because it takes a lot of that boring work off of YOUR to-do-list and lets you focus your efforts on the fun stuff, like what you would like to see and do while visiting the area. For instance, the RTC planners research and provide information about area car rental companies, buses and taxis, and also include estimated costs for many of those forms of transportation on the event website. This information is helpful in planning your travel budget and which form of transportation will work best for you and your family’s needs.

Top notch hotels are much more affordable: When you take a vacation with your family, often you decide to spend less on the hotel, so that you can spend more on sightseeing and other experiences. This makes a great deal of sense because you normally don’t spend your whole vacation in the hotel! However, choosing a hotel that costs less and still offers the safety, amenities and comfort that you expect for you and your family when on vacation can be tricky. And often what you sacrifice in hotel quality or location in order to find a lower price is not worth the sacrifice. Way too many times in the past we have booked a hotel online only to find it a horrible choice upon arrival. On the contrary, this has never happened at any of the RTC conference hotels. We have consistently been more than satisfied with the quality, safety and comfort of the accommodations offered to RTC conference attendees. These featured hotels have been beautiful upscale hotels in locations that are conveniently located near local area attractions. Many of them have also provided free or inexpensive shuttle services to area sights which makes getting around the area much easier for all guests. Since RTC books the hotels for you, you get a negotiated lower price without sacrificing anything!

My son at Coal Harbor less than a block away from the Westin Bayshore hotel RTC NA 2013
My son at Coal Harbor less than a block away from the Westin Bayshore hotel RTC NA 2013
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park – bridges in the trees, paths and ponds on the ground
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park – bridges in the trees, paths and ponds on the ground

Taking the family to a conference may not be for everyone. Presenters, such as myself, may run into an occasional obstacle along the road by doing so, due to the time required for prep and presentation. However, despite the occasional complication, I still think it is well worth the effort. I encourage all of you to make an effort to bring the family along at least once to see if it will work for you. The key is to realize that you will not be able to do everything with your family while you are attending the conference. If you can keep that in mind, and allow the family to tag along and enjoy some things that you are not going to get to see, then all will have a great time. The RTC Events staff also encourages attendees to bring their families and they have been very helpful in that regard. In fact last year at RTC NA 2013 in Vancouver, RTC even coordinated a Family night event at the Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park. They provided buses, food, entertainment, and admission to the aquarium for all attendees and their families that wished to attend. It was a great deal of fun, and a nice evening spent with the family during the conference. I hope this article will inspire a few people. It’s been a great way for me to spend more time with my family in exciting new places!

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