From the 125th Annual Meeting column of the September 2010 issue of Perspectives on History

To Boston for the 125th Annual Meeting

Sharon K. Tune, September 2010

Charles RiverThe 125th annual meeting of the Association will be held January 6–9, 2011, in Boston at the Boston Marriott Copley Place, the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center, and the Westin Copley Place Boston.

The Program of the Annual Meeting will be mailed to members in mid-October.

With 296 sessions, the program for the 125th annual meeting is the largest ever assembled by the Program Committee. It is the AHA’s seventh annual meeting in Boston, the first having been held in 1887. Many of the profession’s most distinguished members will be present to deliver papers and more than 1,900 scholars will participate. In addition, more than four dozen specialized societies will meet in conjunction with the AHA. Each affiliated society will hold its own sessions, luncheons, and/or meetings, as well as some joint sessions with the AHA. Barbara Metcalf (Univ. of California at Davis emerita) will deliver the presidential address the evening of January 7, in the General Meeting. At the same event, the AHA’s book prizes, the Awards for Scholarly Distinction, the Anderson Prize, the Asher Distinguished Teaching Award, the Beveridge Family Teaching Prize, Cunningham Prize, Equity Awards, the Feis Award, the O’Connor Film Award, the Roelker Mentorship Award, the Rosenzweig Prize, and the 2010 Honorary Foreign Member will be announced.

Accommodations

AHA annual meeting sessions and events are scheduled in the Marriott and the Hynes Convention Center; affiliated society sessions and events are scheduled in the Marriott and the Westin. The AHA has arranged for additional blocks of rooms at the Sheraton Boston and the Park Plaza Boston. All hotels are located in downtown Boston in the Back Bay area.

The Boston Marriott Copley Place, 110 Huntington Avenue, will serve as headquarters and will house AHA and affiliate events and sessions. The Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston Street, will accommodate the AHA exhibit hall, the Job Center, the Messaging and Internet Center, and AHA sessions. The Westin Copley Place, 10 Huntington Avenue, will house affiliate sessions and events. The Sheraton Boston, 39 Dalton Street, and the Boston Park Plaza, 50 Park Plaza, will also have additional rooms available. The Marriott, Sheraton, Westin, and Hynes are encompassed within the Prudential Center and Copley Place malls, with climate-controlled walkways connecting the three hotels and the Hynes. The Park Plaza is a two-block walk from the Westin.

The Sheraton Boston was slated to serve as co-headquarters for the meeting; however, all meeting spaces in that hotel will be under renovation during the AHA’s meeting, so all events originally scheduled at the Sheraton have been moved immediately next door to the Hynes Convention Center. The Sheraton’s 900-room block of guest rooms and suites have all been completely renovated and will not be affected by the meeting space renovation (and by the time of the AHA’s meeting, construction will have been completed and only the decoration stage of the renovation will be underway). The hotel will provide daily in-guestroom Internet access at a 50 percent discount to AHA attendees.

Rates at the Marriott and Hynes are $110 single and $20 for each additional person. Rates at the Westin are $115 single, $140 double, and $20 for each additional person. Rates at the Park Plaza are $105 single and $15 for each additional person. The hotel rates include a $1 per room, per night rebate to assist the AHA in underwriting the costs of usage of the Hynes Convention Center. All rooms are subject to city and state taxes, currently 14.45 percent. The discounted meeting rates are in effect three days before and after the January 6–9 meeting dates (that is, from January 3 through January 12), and are for a limited number of rooms only at each property.

Making a Hotel Reservation

Once preregistered for the annual meeting, attendees can make hotel reservations through the AHA Housing Desk. Peregistrants will receive confirmation of their registrations that will include information on how to make a standard room or suite reservation. Attendees will be able to make standard room reservations via the internet or the Housing Desk’s toll-free number. International attendees can use the internet but will also be able to call a direct-dial number for making reservations. Suite reservations can only be made in writing via e-mail or fax addressed to the Housing Desk, and cannot be made via the internet or with the hotels directly. Reservation office hours for phone transactions are Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Internet and incoming fax services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Throughout the fall members can consult the AHA’s web site (www.historians.org/annual) for complete details of each property’s suite types and rates. The site will be updated frequently with availability information.

Acknowledgement: Acknowledgements are available via e-mail, fax, or mail. Acknowledgements will be e-mailed when e-mail addresses are provided unless otherwise indicated. All processing deadlines and cancellation policies are noted on acknowledgements. The hotel will not send a separate confirmation. A reservation ID number will be provided on the acknowledgement. This number is for referencing reservations through the AHA Housing Desk only. Attendees can contact hotels directly a week prior to arrival for the hotel’s confirmation number.

Early Departure Fee: Some hotels have an early departure fee. Guests wishing to avoid an early checkout fee should advise the hotel at or before check-in of any change in planned length of stay. Hotels will inform attendees of this potential charge upon check-in.

Credit Card Guarantee: A credit card guarantee or one night room and tax check deposit is required for all the hotels. Credit cards must be valid through January 31, 2011. Major credit cards (MasterCard, Diners Club, Visa, American Express and Discover) are accepted.

Cutoff Date: The cutoff date for the AHA’s official block at all hotels is December 7, 2010. After this date, the remaining inventory in each hotel’s block will be released and rooms will be available at the AHA’s convention rates on a space-available basis at the time of reservation. Frequent updates on availability will be posted on the AHA’s web site at www.historians.org/annual. If hotel blocks sell out, the AHA will secure additional hotel rooms and post details on the AHA web site.

Changes, Cancellations, and New Reservations: Meeting attendees can continue to make and modify (depending on availability) or cancel reservations from September 15 through December 7, 2010. Starting December 15th, attendees will have to call their selected hotel to cancel a reservation. (From December 8 through December 14, the AHA Housing Desk will be transferring reservation information to individual hotels for processing.) Attendees must cancel at least 72 hours prior to the reserved arrival date or one night’s room and taxes will be charged.

If a reservation is not cancelled and the individual is a “no show,” the hotels will charge one night’s room and taxes as a penalty.

Making Travel Arrangements

Association Travel Concepts (ATC) is the official travel agency for the annual meeting. ATC has negotiated discounts with American Airlines, United Airlines, Amtrak, Hertz Rent-a-Car, and Enterprise Rent-a-Car to bring attendees special air, rail, and car rental rates that are lower than those available to the public. To take advantage of these rates and benefits, e-mail reservations@atcmeetings.com. ATC is available for reservations from 8:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday. A link is also available through the AHA annual meeting web page at www.historians.org/annual or directly from ATC’s web site at www.atcmeetings.com/aha.

Airfares: By contacting ATC, attendees traveling on American Airlines will save up to 5 percent. Some restrictions may apply and service fees will vary. Travelers on United Airlines will receive up to 15 percent off tickets purchased more than 30 days prior to the meeting. Discounts will apply for travel several days before and after the AHA’s meeting dates of January 6 through 9 for service into Boston’s Logan International Airport (BOS). Attendees will be able to contact airlines directly, by toll-free number, noting discount codes, but the discount ID cannot be used on either airline’s web site. See the AHA’s web site for further details.

ATC will also search for the lowest available fare on any airline serving Logan International Airport. ATC is a full-service travel agency that provides personalized service, advance seat assignments, special meal requests, frequent flier programs updates, electronic ticketing, e-mail access for convenient booking of your tickets, and more.

Train fares: Amtrak offers a 10 percent discount off the best available fare to Boston between January 3 and January 12, 2011. To book, call Amtrak at 800-872-7245 and refer to Convention Fare Code X71D-909. Please note that this discount cannot be booked via Amtrak’s web site—you must call Amtrak or your travel agent directly and mention the fare code. The offer is not valid on Auto Train and Acela Service but is valid with Sleepers, Business Class, or First Class seats with payment of the full applicable accommodation charges. Fare will be valid on Amtrak Regional for all departures seven days a week, except for holiday blackouts.

Car rental: Attendees can arrange to rent a car at discounted rates through Hertz Rent-a-Car and Enterprise Rent-a-Car. See the AHA’s web site for complete details.

Ground Transportation

Arriving By Air

Logan International Airport (BOS) www.massport.com, serves the Greater Boston area, and is located four miles from downtown Boston. It has four passenger terminals (A, B, C, and E), each with its own ticketing, baggage claim, and ground transportation facilities. Boston taxis are available at all terminals 24 hours a day, with service to downtown Boston charged a metered rate. The trip takes from 25 to 40 minutes, depending on traffic. Approximate fare from Logan to the hotels will be between $12 and $25 for the ride, plus $3 toll, plus airport fee, plus excess baggage charge (if any), plus tip— altogether, between $18 to $35.

There are a number of shuttle bus services to downtown Boston. Logan Airport’s Ground Transportation Desk can provide further information about the shuttle services, including times and routes.
Public transit is also available at the airport, with free shuttle bus service from all airline terminals to the airport subway station. Passengers take the Blue Line of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) (www.mbta.com)—referred to as the “T”—and transfer to the Green Line, exiting at Copley Station (for Marriott, Westin, and Park Plaza) or Hynes Convention Center/ICA Station (for Sheraton). Trains run every 8 to 12 minutes, with a 20-minute ride to downtown Boston. The train fare is $1.70 for the pre-bought MBTA “CharlieCard,” and $2 if purchased onboard. The “T” starts operating at 5:30 a.m., and the last train leaves downtown Boston after midnight at 12:45 a.m.

Arriving By Train

Amtrak operates two stations in Boston: South Station at Atlantic Avenue and Summer Street and Back Bay at 145 Dartmouth Street. All hotels are a short cab ride from either station, with the Back Bay station the nearest to the convention hotels.

General Information

Group Meetings and Reunions: Societies and groups that have not already made arrangements to hold sessions or other meetings should send their requests for room space as soon as possible to Sharon K. Tune, Convention Director (stune@historians.org; fax 202-544-8307). Please specify preferred date, inclusive hours, attendance forecast, and any special equipment desired.

Business meeting: Resolutions for the business meeting signed by 50 members of the Association will be accepted until November 1 and must be no more than 300 words in length. Resolutions should be sent to the executive director at the AHA office, with a copy to the parliamentarian, Michael Les Benedict, 106 Dulles Hall, Ohio State University, 230 W. 17th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210.

Location of Offices and Events

AHA sessions will be held at the Boston Marriott and Hynes Convention Center. The AHA Headquarters Office/Staff Room will be located in Hynes Main Lobby Show Office and the Local Arrangements Committee office will be in the Hynes Room 107. Meeting registration counters will be located in the Cafeteria Room of the Hynes. The Job Center will be located in the Hynes Ballrooms A/B. The Exhibit Hall will occupy the Hynes Exhibit Hall A. The Messaging and Internet Center will be in Hynes Ballroom A/B. Wireless access will be available in the Convention Center and in the second and third floors of the Mariott.

AHA Registration

Advance Registration: Intending participants are urged to preregister at the reduced rates of $157 members, $178 nonmembers, $76 student members, $87 student nonmembers, $76 retired and unemployed, and $38 precollegiate teachers. The AHA also offers special preregistration rates of $50 for middle and high school teachers and $100 for undergraduate teachers leading groups of up to five students (see here for details). Registration be accessed via this link. Advance registration must be received by midnight of Wednesday, December 22, 2010.

Please note that preregistration for the 2011 meeting will be handled by a processing service and forms should be sent to the address shown on the form and not the AHA.

Registration at the Meeting: The registration desks at the annual meeting, located in the Cafeteria Room of the Hynes Convention Center, will be open from noon to 7 p.m. on January 6; from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on January 7, and from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on January 8. Fees for registering at the meeting will be $184 members, $206 nonmembers, $81 student members, $92 student nonmembers, $81 retired and unemployed, and $43 precollegiate teachers. The special group rate mentioned above will not be available on site.

Admission to all AHA sessions, exhibits, Job Center, and the Messaging and Internet Center requires a 2011 meeting registration badge.

Refund Policy: Advance registrants who are unable to attend the meeting may request a refund of their registration fee. Cancellations and refund requests must be submitted in writing and postmarked (or e-mailed) by December 22, 2010. Refunds will be processed less a $20 administration fee. No refunds will be issued for requests postmarked or e-mailed after December 22, 2010. Refunds will not be given for no-shows. Cancellations and refund requests should be submitted to American Historical Association, Business Office, 400 A St SE, Washington DC 20003 or e-mailed to ssobelman@historians.org. Faxed refund requests will not be accepted. Proof of payment—copies of front and back of canceled check or copy of credit card statement—may be required.

Exhibit Hall

The exhibit hall will be located in the Hynes’ Exhibit Hall A and will be open January 6 from 3 to 7 p.m.; January 7 and 8 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and on January 9 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Job Center

The Job Center will be located in Ballrooms A/B of the Hynes Convention Center. Hours of operation will be January 6 from 12:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.; January 7 and 8 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and January 9 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Messaging and Internet Center

The Messaging Center, which will facilitate electronic communication among attendees and also make finding them easier, will be located in Ballrooms A/B of the Hynes Center. Free wireless internet access will be available in the Convention Center as well as in the first and second floors of the Marriott Copley Place Hotel.

Sharon K. Tune is the convention director for the AHA.