Not one of my favorite convention centers
My wife and I just got back from a convention held in Atlanta.
The convention was at the Atlanta World Congress Center. I really hope I do not have to go to another convention there soon. I do not mean that I do not like Atlanta. I was not there long enough to say if I like Atlanta or not. I just was not thrilled with the way the convention center was made.
First, I have to say the people in Atlanta are great!
Everyone in Atlanta was very friendly. I have to admit, when the temperature is hot like Atlanta in Milwaukee, you can tell just from the way people act. People in Milwaukee are usually very nice, but when it gets really hot, some of us get a bit grouchy (I have caught myself letting the heat get to me once or twice too). Both at the Atlanta airport and MARTA there were very friendly people there that cheerfully answered our questions.
August is probable not the best time to visit Atlanta if you are not used to heat.
I felt a wave of heat hit me as we got off the plane. The walkway from the plane to the airport was not well air-conditioned. I told my wife that we were not going to be outside long since we were taking MARTA (I thought it was a subway) right from the airport to the hotel we were at (the Hilton). It was only a few blocks from the MARTA station to the Hilton. I was really wrong about that.
MARTA is not just underground.
Just like Chicago, MARTA is above ground quite a lot. Also, the stations are not air-conditioned and were very hot and humid when we were there. You would think it would be a bit cooler at the underground stations but it was still hot even there. My wife really has a hard time breathing in hot, humid air so she was really miserable. She is also a bit afraid of heights so the really long escalator rides were a bit scary.
Most of the hotels are not very close to the convention center.
In fact, I had planned to take MARTA to the convention center. This was a three stop trip on MARTA and we also had to switch trains. While the Hilton is one of the furthest hotels from the World Congress Center, it is not the farthest. Most of the hotels are a very good distance from the convention center. This make walking to the convention center in the heat a serious concern.
My other problem with the Atlanta convention center was the center itself.
The space our convention was in was long and narrow. I am not sure if was due to the particular space rented for the convention or the building but it there was a very narrow area to walk for the size of the convention. Some of the smaller meeting rooms were did not seem to be designed for the size of groups held in them. One or two rooms were arranged sideways. While this put everyone closer to the stage were the speakers were, it also meant that a large portion of those attending were too far sideways to see any slides on the screen.
Saved by great customer service!
The convention holder arranged for a free bus service to the convention center from the hotels and back. This was one of the first things we were told when we registered at the convention center. It was unexpected and very welcome. I can only imagine how much it cost. Talk about thinking about the needs of others.
While it may seem like I am complaining it was a great convention for me.
I learned some very good tips on building a business. I met some wonderful people (some that live close to me). It was a great convention even though it was very tiring (I am still trying to catch up on lost sleep). I would go again even without the free bus rides to the hotel. Next time though, I am arranging the hotel sooner no matter where the convention is.