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Subject: Convention Hotl lobby etiquette rss

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Mike Vande Ven Jr.
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Verona
Wisconsin
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An interesting thing happened to us Saturday night of Gen Con. I want share this with others, so maybe some etiquette could be established.


Story
After dinner we returned to our hotel a little after 6pm. We got there, and noticed there were a lot of tables available in the lobby. My wife was tired from all of the walking, so she sat down at a table with comfy chairs. Immediately someone not affiliated with the hotel told us they had this, and about half of the tables in the hotel lobby, reserved for a meetup.

My wife is a very assertive person, and she wasn’t going to be moved from her newly acquired spot unless by an official person. So we ended up sitting at the table, and all was fine. But it left a bad feeling for us and them.


Suggestions
After this, I came up with 5 loose suggestions for hotel lobby etiquette at a gaming con.

d10-1 Do not try to reserve half of the tables at a hotel lobby for a meetup. If you are going to have a meetup, find a conference room or other space that you actually can reserve.

d10-2 If nobody is sitting at a table in a hotel lobby, you cannot reserve it. It’s first come, first serve.

d10-3 Hotel lobby tables are for hotel patrons. These patrons paid a lot of money to stay at this hotel and use the hotel services. Unless your meetup consists 100% of other hotel patrons, a hotel lobby is not the place for your meetup.

d10-4 If you are going to try to reserve tables at a hotel lobby for gamers, and then have 4 tables taken up by food, that is not ok at all. Not even a little. This is exponentially true if there is a nearby counter where all your food could have been placed.

d10-5 If you try to kick people out of using a table in a hotel lobby, and it turns out there are multiple tables open in the the lobby throughout your entire meetup, your should feel bad about yourself and what you did.
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Paul Imboden
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Evanston
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Which hotel was this?
 
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Mike Vande Ven Jr.
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This was at the the Springhill Suites.
 
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James Campbell
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Rather than hotel lobby etiquette rules like this, if you're doing a meetup it's up to the hotel itself to determine if any space is 'reserved'. If official hotel personnel cannot confirm it's reserved space, quite frankly it's not.

However, even if it's a reserved meetup space, I would not find it kosher to try to kick people out of an otherwise 'public' (hotel patron) space, again unless it's an official hotel personnel asking politely, and even then only if it's space that has been paid for.

Hotel lobbies at cons are typically full of people using them to play games outside of the normal con space and that's fine. Telling anyone that they cannot use that space in an unofficial capacity is not.

TL/DR; Just don't be a dick (not the OP .. anyone/everyone, everywhere, at all times).
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James Campbell
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giantmike wrote:
Immediately someone not affiliated with the hotel told us they had this, and about half of the tables in the hotel lobby, reserved for a meetup.

Did you confirm this with hotel staff? That would have been my first action.
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mike
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columbus
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I would have asked if they were staying at the hotel or worked at the hotel...if not then they can piss off and mind their own business......

you can just claim space in a hotel lobby that's absurd
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Ian S
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It is definitely up to the hotel to manage this visibly, yet with utmost consideration to their own guests.

'Reserved' table markers would be a minimum, but also keeping a very close eye on the other tables filling up, so they could proactively offer other seating elsewhere to their guests.

Some friends experienced something along these lines at a fancy hotel in Europe, with large sections of the hotel barred from entry due to a company hiring the hotel for the event. This company flew in a famous singer and the wine flowed so freely that behaviour was rowdy, such that it was a significant annoyance for the normal guests.

The very best run hotels will entertain whatever side events they plan, such that they are barely noticed by the other guests.



 
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suPUR DUEper
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Villa Hills
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Hotel owns the space; hotel makes the rules. If they want to let people (patrons or not) reserve/use the space that is up to them. It is not up to the OP to establish guidelines or etiquette. If the OP doesn’t like it, complain to the management and/or stay somewhere else next time.

Also, the person said they reserved half the tables for a meetup and the other half were free, why not just move to an open table? How ‘bout including that in the list of etiquette? “Hey, no problem. We’ll just move over there. Have a good con and a great meetup!”
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Mike Vande Ven Jr.
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Lots of good thoughts on this thread. I like it.

To answer a few questions:

- The person that asked us to move was part of the meetup, and did not have any affiliation with the hotel.

- They definitely tried to reserve the entire back half of the lobby.

- The area they tried to reserve included the 3 available tables with good seating. If the other tables available had comfortable seating, we likely would have moved. But instead they tried to hog all of the comfortable places.
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Michael
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I suggest reporting this incident to Marriott customer service so that they have opportunity to comment and take appropriate actions in future.
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James Campbell
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giantmike wrote:


- They definitely tried to reserve the entire back half of the lobby.

'Tried to reserve'? Again, did you ask the hotel if it was reserved?

You either reserve something or you don't. Reserved is not "Hey we are taking over this space, ok?", it's something that is done on an official capacity by hotel officials.

It is entirely possible that it was, in fact, reserved. It's also entirely possible that it was not. If nobody bothered to ask, then everyone involved seems to have potentially been in the wrong in some way.
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Marty Sample
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If the hotel isn't aware of it ( which I suspect they don't ) , then tell them to pound sand. You don't even have to be polite about it. Because trying to "reserve" tables that they didn't pay for is some passive aggressive BS. Hotels have function rooms for that sort of thing. They don't set aside space their paying customers would want to use.
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If you are trying to organize an event in a common area, it's infuriatingly rude to move people out without good advance notice even if you have authority to do so. It's doubly rude to attempt to do this, or to operate an informal cordon on an empty space, if you do not have authority, which seems to have been the case here. A polite warning that the area was about to get crowded, and maybe an invitation to participate, is about as far as the organizers should have gone. By staying, the OP's wife kindly gave them a generous life lesson, should they care to learn it.
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Art Dahm
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At Gen Con this year a large group gathered in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency on Sunday(?) night to socialize and they completely blocked the hallway between the bar and the central area where people were gaming. Admittedly it wasn't that big of a deal to walk around them (once you realized the path was blocked) but it was annoying and very inconsiderate of them to not leave at least a little space for people to get through.
 
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Dragongears wrote:
At Gen Con this year a large group gathered in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency on Sunday(?) night to socialize and they completely blocked the hallway between the bar and the central area where people were gaming. Admittedly it wasn't that big of a deal to walk around them (once you realized the path was blocked) but it was annoying and very inconsiderate of them to not leave at least a little space for people to get through.
This may be a fire hazard


ConG wrote:
If you are trying to organize an event in a common area, it's infuriatingly rude to move people out without good advance notice even if you have authority to do so. It's doubly rude to attempt to do this, or to operate an informal cordon on an empty space, if you do not have authority, which seems to have been the case here. A polite warning that the area was about to get crowded, and maybe an invitation to participate, is about as far as the organizers should have gone. By staying, the OP's wife kindly gave them a generous life lesson, should they care to learn it.
When organizers have hosted bg-ing Meetups in public places, you generally want to talk with the manager ahead of time if you're going to eat up more than 1 table at a time. For some venues where staying too long isn't so great (e.g. restaurants past 1 to 1.5 hours), you'll also want to tell them you'll be hogging those seats for a long duration.
 
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