A Message About Hotel Launch
On October 17, MAGFest, in partnership with Experient, released our new system of hotel reservations to a subset of our pre-registered attendees. Due to overwhelming demand, all of the hotel rooms that we had blocked for MAGFest across 11 hotels were gone within half an hour. Oof.
In an effort to give our attendees other non-MAGFest block options once our inventory had sold out, we automatically redirected attendees with the MAGFest booking link to a third-party site that would show other non-MAGFest block hotel availability in the areas surrounding National Harbor. After 20 minutes, we turned the automatic redirect off since it became clear that MAGFest and Experient did not explain or prepare MAGFest attendees for this switchover properly, and being that the third-party site had similar graphics to the Experient site, attendees didn’t realize they were booking into non-MAGFest rooms. We are very sorry for the confusion that this decision caused, and will ensure such an automatic switchover does not take place in the future without proper communication.
We will offer the third-party site as a service to our attendees, and will update the text to emphasize the importance of reviewing all deposit and cancellation policies very carefully before making a reservation.
What Are The Next Steps?
MAGFest and Experient have been hard at work finalizing plans that address:
- People with "Pending" reservations.
- Allowing early bird attendees a second chance to get a room in the MAGFest discounted rate block
- Providing a tool for the general public, and early-bird attendees unable to get a room through the MAGFest discounted block, to quickly search the area for the closet and cheapest hotels not officially affiliated with MAGFest
Here are the measures that we're taking for each of those items over the next week:
- With the MAGFest discounted room block sold out and non-MAGFest-affiliated hotels at a much higher rate, we've secured discount room blocks at several additional hotels near the area.
- "Pending" reservations will be offered the closest of these rooms.
- Early-bird attendees will be given first access to the remainder of those rooms.
- If those rooms sell out, early-bird attendees will be given an option to book through a third-party search site for non-MAGFest affiliated hotels.
- The third-party site will be released to the general public 48 hours after early-bird attendees are given access.
- If any discount rooms remain after the second early-bird attendee round, they will be released to the general public.
We recognize the distress that this shortage of affordable rooms causes, and we will do everything in our power to secure as much affordable housing as possible for future MAGFest events. Thank you for your patience, and we hope to see you in January.