To begin, we apologize for the difficulties many of you faced when booking rooms recently for #Furnal2023. We wanted to take this time to explain what happened, along with our next steps.
As we prepared to open hotel bookings this year, we were given the option to use a new booking system used by other events both bigger and smaller than FE. We chose to make this change because of additional benefits that would address issues experienced in past years, and help us in the future. These benefits included a streamlined interface, more real-time visibility of reservations and room inventory, and the ability to “waitlist” attendees for rooms.
We anticipated a lot of enthusiasm after what we hope is the worst of the pandemic, but demand was even higher than expected. When bookings opened, the site and email systems processed the traffic as a DDOS attack, which slowed things down and caused further problems — duplicate registrations, issues with credit card authorization, and delayed confirmation emails.
The booking portal has been fixed to prevent issues like this in the future, and duplicate registrations have been removed. However, even after this fix, we still had a very high demand for rooms, and do not currently have more rooms available for booking.
Note: we still have rooms reserved for prospective Dealers, who will have an opportunity to book once we’ve closed applications and sent out acceptances.
Further, when we tried to expand our room block, we learned of renovations in the South Tower of the Westin that may limit how many additional rooms we’ll receive for the 2023 convention. We are in discussions with the hotel and possible overflow venues regarding this, and will share available options with you when these details are finalized in the coming weeks, along with the new batch of confirmation emails that we mentioned in our last update.
For now, no action is required, and we ask for just a little more patience. If you have questions about your booking in the meantime, please use the Contact Us form on our website, as the hotel doesn’t see our bookings until close to convention time.
We’ve learned lessons throughout the process that will help optimize the process in the coming years. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue discussions with our business partners and venues in the area. We hope to expand our room numbers and accommodate as many of you as we can at our event next March.