Register Now For NACO's 118th Annual Conference
NACO's 118th Annual Conference will be held in Kearney, December 12-14th, 2012 at the Younes Conference Center. To register for this conference click here.
Lodging Reservation Date
County officials were able to begin contacting hotels for conference lodging on August 30, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. Central Daylight Time. Reservations must be made by using the published phone numbers to receive the contracted rate for the conference. For a list of contracted hotels, their rates and the reservation phone numbers, click here. On August 30 or after, those officials making reservations for the conference must use the phone numbers published by NACO to receive the contracted rate. The contracted rate will not be available with on-line reservations.
NACO has received several inquiries into annual conference lodging procedures. It is hoped that this article will answer some of the questions readers may have regarding these procedures.
In 2004, the NACO conference was held in Omaha and NACO was not involved in the housing process for this conference. As a result, the Holiday Inn in Omaha oversold so many rooms that approximately 80 people ended up with no rooms when they were promised a room and even had confirmation numbers for those rooms. At that time, many county officials asked NACO to step in to make sure that this would never happen again.
NACO did recognize the need for some type of lodging procedure and asked the hotels to assist in setting a procedure for lodging reservations. Several different procedures have been tried, including faxing your rooming list in and e-mailing your rooming list. With each procedure, complaints were registered and each year NACO receives a multitude of complaints from those counties that were unable to obtain rooms on the first day they became available.
NACO researches the amount of rooms used for every conference. NACO establishes an average for those amounts and requests this average amount in their contracts. In every hotel contract, attrition is a possibility. Attrition is when NACO contracts with each hotel for a certain amount of rooms. When the amount of rooms NACO contracts for are not filled, NACO could be responsible for a certain percentage of the revenue that would have been received by filling the rooms requested in the NACO block. The larger the amount of rooms not filled, the higher the percentage attrition is. When counties call and request a number of rooms and then later realize that they don't need this many rooms, then cancel what they don't need, it causes a great many vacancies. This happens a great deal the closer the cut off date for cancellations comes. In the end, the hotels end up with vacancies and they fill those vacancies with entities outside of the NACO Conference. Even though NACO has not requested the entire inventory of rooms each hotel has, each hotel will go beyond that inventory, honoring the rate that NACO has contracted for until their entire inventory is sold. For example, say a hotel has 100 rooms and NACO contracts for 90 of those rooms. When the hotel reaches the 90 rooms NACO contracted for and still receives requests, they will continue to sell rooms at the contracted rate until all 100 rooms are filled. Again, when last minute cancellations occur, each hotel will try to fill those vacancies with whatever source is available to them, including those requests that fall outside of the NACO conference.
NACO has been asked why counties can't reserve their room for the next year when they check out of their rooms the previous year. With the advancement of technology and the ability to make on-line registrations, most hotels are unable to accept reservations any earlier than fifty weeks in advance.
When attrition is not a serious consideration, NACO is considering stepping out of the process and leaving the conference lodging procedures in the hands of each individual hotel. This would mean that county officials would be left to deal with the individual hotels' policies on their own, with no support from NACO.
Any individuals with ideas for lodging procedures or concerns should contact the NACO office. We realize the lodging procedures are not ideal and welcome any new ideas that would make the lodging process better for all concerned.
Guest or Spouse Registration
NACO has established a registration fee for guests or spouses. A guest or spouse of a registered county official may register to attend the annual conference. The advance fee for guest or spouse registration is $65.00. After November 23 the fee increases to $80.00. This registration only applies to a spouse or a guest of a registered county official. This registration cannot be used by a county official or a county employee. A spouse or guest registration will have a distinct color on the registration badge. This badge will be provided at the registration desk once payment has been received. A spouse or guest registration will provide the guest or spouse access to Opening Session, vendor display areas, Delegation Breakfast, Friday's boxed lunch and all conference registration material. This registration will not provide access to any food and beverage functions that require a ticket or invitation from a vendor in order to attend.
If you are a registered county official and would like to register your spouse or a guest, contact the NACO office at (402) 434-5660 or click here to send an e-mail requesting the Guest/Spouse registration form.
County Official of the Year
Do you know of an elected or appointed county official who you feel serves as the embodiment of a true dedicated public official? If so, nominate that individual for the annual County Official of the Year Award. The Nebraska Association of County Officials will present its highest honor to one county official at the conclusion of the December 14th business meeting.
The County Official of the Year Award was created as a means of honoring one individual each year for his or her leadership abilities, high standard of public service and outstanding contributions made to the medium of county government and that person's community.
The official nomination form can be found on NACO's website or by clicking here. To nominate someone you know, print the form, complete it and return it to the NACO office by November 9, along with any supplemental materials you feel would provide additional insight into why this person is deserving of the award. Supporting material may include testimonial letters from peers or other printed matter that highlight his or her record of service. Each of the 2012 nominees will be introduced and recognized during the conference. The announcement will be made as to who has been chosen by a special selection committee following the NACO Business Meeting on Friday, December 14. The 2012 recipient will join an elite list of county officials who have previously received this award and will receive a handsomely engraved plaque befitting of this prestigious honor.