Wanting to go to Dragon Con 2023 but you need a hotel? Then start paying attention to https://twitter.com/DragonCon and/or https://www.facebook.com/DragonConOfficial/ (I'd advise to watch both) for what you need to know and do. The rooms go fast, and I mean in minutes. Knowing the hardship that goes into the fight to get a con rated room at a host hotel for Dragon Con, I'm going to give a few tips that has helped me in the past.
Word of warning though, these tips will NOT guarantee you room in any way, shape, or form. They will NOT mean using will put you in a position that gives you a room. They are only tips that I have used that might be able to help with your chances and nothing more. The odds of not getting a room even with using these tips are still pretty high but any help is help.
Also, and this is very important to keep in mind, the workers of Dragon Con are not in control of when a host hotel decides to do the booking, they are not in control of how it's done, they are not in control of how many rooms will be given, or how much the rooms will be even with a rate for the con. Dragon Con will do their best to let everyone know as soon as possible when a host hotel goes on sale and will give you links on their social media accounts, I linked them up above. I know it's very frustrating trying to get a room for the rates and it can and will make you angry, sad, worried, and go into what will I do now mode, but the people of Dragon Con are not the ones to take out those feelings on. In fact, no one is. This is a very popular convention with 60,000-90,000 people attending it while at the same time there are people on vacation for the holiday, there is usually some football game going on, and I have always seen many workers of the flight industry coming and going during the con (it's really fun to watch the reactions of people from different parts of the world that are with flights staying at host hotels seeing all the cosplay of fun of Dragon Con).
Ok, if you are reading this before 10-10-22 (October 10, 2022), then be aware that Marriott Marquis Atlanta will be going on sale. No, at this time I do not know what time of the day that will happen. The time has not yet be told/announced, so, again, keep watching and/or https://www.facebook.com/DragonConOfficial/ for when anything new is posted. Now with all that said, here are the tips
1) Multiply your chances – By this I mean that you should get as many resources as possible to help you get a room. They really do go super fast and if you are the only one trying to get a room, then your chances are going to be slim to none, unless you are very lucky. Ask some family and friends to help you out. Now be prepared to pay for at least the first night and sometimes last night, or possibly the whole stay when you book the room. This might be a very big favor to ask someone, but if you have the money or you have very trusting friends, then use who you can to help and pay later. Explain the situation to them and how you will need them to be ready for at least first half hour to get a room. If you have 5 people all attempting to get a room then you have better odds. You also need to be in constant talks with everyone at the time. I'd advise to do a group video chat on your phones, not computer, don't tie down that resource, so you can be talking in real time and know if someone is able to get a room so you and the others can break off from trying to get one. If you and one or more of your helpers get a room, well first off, congrats, secondly, if you are all talking live you can most likely break off your order before it's finalized, or you just cancel the room.
2) Use cable not wireless – Don't use the wireless when trying to get the room. Unless you have extremely high speed levels, no other devise is using wireless, and you are the only person with a clear shot of the signal, then maybe use wireless. That wireless signal might be good but when you are trying to get your browser to load something that is going to be busy that will go fast, do you want to take that chance of missing out because that's when your signal is weak? Plug that cable straight into your computer to get that full speed with no worries of some random thing taking away from the signal strength.
3) Use only 1 browser – Don't go opening up 3 different browsers with 5 tabs opened on all of them. All that will do is slow down your computers processing and take away from the signal strength when you are trying to get that room. Use 1 browser on 1 computer, no more, no less. Maybe have 2 tabs open so you can do a bounce between them in the same browser and 2 tabs won't slow it down that much.
4) Don't use multiple devices – First off, use what is best for you that you work the best on, I would still say use a good computer that's hardwired in over a wireless but having too many going at once can cause problems. One, if you are on wireless it will take from the signal strength, slowing thing down. Two, the most important reason not to use multiple devices at the same time is, it slows you down. Divide and conquer works great in battles but when it's just you against the internet, it's not good to divide your attention and ability to work. If you are trying to get multiple things to load, you will not be able to do at once, and that can cause you to miss something on one or just not be fast enough on one. Time is very important here and seconds really can change outcomes, do you want to lose that because you were using it to pick up/put down phones/tablets or switching between desktop to laptop to tablet?
5) Be prepared – By this I mean, be prepared. Sounds like duh but it's very important to think ahead. Think about getting all your information you need ready to use in seconds. Have credit card numbers ready, have address read, name, the days you want, and have things preloaded long before it begins. Have Dragon Con's social media open and ready to click any link they post, have your browser open to a blank page or the social media page so you don't lose time having to wait for the browser to open and load. If you are someone that deletes the cookies/cache out of your computer or phone, then maybe for this instance load the sites for the hotels, Dragon Con, and social media to give your computer that extra time of not having to download those things before loading (yeah it does go super fact on a normal day, so fast that you typically won't notice, but this won't be a normal day and if you are trying to compete against thousands of people then don't lose time).
6) Autofill --- With this one it is part of #5 and it's one that some people might not like doing or want to do, or do, but it would help a lot. Having that autofill set up so you can just click to fill in everything you need so you get through those booking pages quickly to get to the complete and book the room can be what causes you from getting or not getting a room. If you don't like the autofill, just delete everything after the booking is done but have it ready so you don't have to spend a minute or two typing it all out, because in that one minute the rooms can be sold out as you type out your address.
7) Don't give up – The rooms do go fast but I've seen it where it showed as sold out for me but someone else got in a few minutes later. Give it at least half hour to hour of continuous refreshing and checking with social media. Odd things can happen, someone might cancel or the hotel servers are busy, any number of things can happen that might allow you a chance at a room 20 minutes after it goes live. Just don't give up too soon.
8) Have a back-up plan in place – Don't put all your chances of getting a hotel room in a single host hotel especially if that hotel is the last hotel going live with the con rates. Right now as of writing this, the Westin Peachtree Plaza is the only hotel that has went live with their con rates but don't wait for one particular hotel. Next up is the Marriott Marquis Atlanta on 10/10/22, if this is not the one you want, still try to get a room there. As I've said and if you don't know already, getting a room is near impossible, so, don't risk putting all your chances on just 1 host hotel. If my goal was to be in a host hotel, I would rather get one of the 5 than none of them. Also, look at other hotels in the area that are close. There are a bunch of hotels that give con rates that are similar in price (can be cheaper) than host hotels. No they are not a host hotel and won't have the Dragon Con TV and won't have that ease of just dashing up in the elevator to your room (ha dashing up in the elevator I made a funny), but being close enough to walk to the con is better than no room or having to drive in every day. Be warned though, I don't know when these other hotels put their rates up, they could be sold out already, I don't know, so call them to find out. Here is the link so you can see all the hotels. https://www.dragoncon.org/travel/hotels/
9) Don't wait – If you have the opportunity to get a hotel, any hotel, now, then do so. A lot of people are waiting on those host hotels to go live and that leaves a lot of other surrounding hotels not yet getting booked. If you can, then look into getting one of them booked at your soonest time so that if the host hotels don't work out, then you have this hotel, you know, that #8 idea of having a back-up plan.
10) Do research – Don't go in blind or not knowing every little detail that you can. Find out things like, can you cancel the room for whatever reason you have. When you are asking about if you can cancel the room, find out the exact deadline time of when you can cancel that room. Find out if you transfer your room over to another person. Maybe you did the plan ahead and got a room at the Marriott but you want the Hilton and a friend gets the Hilton and says hey stay with me, now you have a room you don't need. So find out if you can transfer that room because there are others that would take it. Find out when and how much you have to pay up front. Some might require 1 night at time of booking, some all nights, and there's the rare ones that don't require anything until the time of check in. If you are staying outside the city, find out the times of MARTA. Take from my experience, I stayed at a hotel early on in my Dragon Con attending that was 30 miles outside the city. Sure the rates were insanely cheaper and the MARTA ran there and I had a shuttle from the hotel to MARTA so I didn't have to drive my car to MARTA, but I missed one thing, times of running. Yes the MARTA train did run out to where I was staying but it was on a different time schedule so it stopped at 10pm. Even though the inside city one ran into the AM hours, the one I needed to get to my hotel did not. I had to leave the con at 8pm just so I could make it to the loading station by 9:30 so I could get the last train back to my hotel. If you've never been to Dragon Con, at 8pm to 10pm, things are just getting pumped up for the after hours events, you will have been able to have time to switch from day time doing panels and walk of fame to getting ready for that dance party or late night photo shoot. So, know the area, know the times of public transit, know where you park, know when you can get to the hotel and back, basically try to learn as much as you can so you don't get stuck going why didn't this or that happen.