by Matthew Stollak on Tuesday, October 20, 2015
With the news that hotel reservations are now being accepted for the 2016 SHRM Annual Conference in Washington, DC, I bring you my 7th annual expose of SHRM hotel costs.
To be honest, I gasped when I saw the prices for 2016. Is this the most expensive SHRM Annual Conference when it comes to hotels?
To examine this question, I look at selected SHRM conference brochures (i.e., the ones that I still possessed) over the past 16 years to see what it would cost a person to book a single room on a per night average. Clearly, prices in 2001 will be different than in 2016, so I use an inflation calculator to adjust costs to today's dollars. So, how does the 2016 Conference in DC compare to years past?
Cost of an Average SHRM-Affiliated Hotel (per night: 6/19-6/22; 1 room, 2 beds)
Washington DC (2016): $269.59 (standard deviation of $31.85)
Chicago (2008): $269.40 (sd of $31.01)
San Francisco (2001): $268.68 (standard deviation of $59.23)
San Diego (2010): $257.31 (sd of $44.29)
Chicago (2013): 253.46 (sd of 20.99)
Washington DC (2006): $242.42 (sd of $41.65)
Philadelphia (2002): $228.16 (sd of $61.00)
San Diego (2005): $213.84 (sd of $52.14)
Atlanta (2012): $206.29 (sd of $23.02)
Las Vegas (2007): $174.71 (sd of $33.67)
Orlando(2014): $163.69 (sd of $36.43)
Las Vegas (2015): $142.79 (sd of $22.85)
Las Vegas (2011): $135.09 (sd of $18.74)
Ugh! My initial sticker shock was right. SHRM 2016 looks to be the most expensive conference for hotels in 15 years. Rooms, on average, will cost approximately $127 (+ tax) more per night than Las Vegas (though that will be somewhat tempered by no resort fees). It is $27 more on average (in 2015 dollars) than the last time the conference was in DC (2006).
The sticker shock is even more surprising given the sheer number of hotels listed (69); the most ever in this survey. Of the 69 listed, only two fall below $209 per night (+ tax). The middle 50% of hotels range from $249 (25th percentile) to $290 (75th percentile).
The cheapest listed hotel in DC ($177) is more expensive than every hotel but one ($179) in Vegas a year ago.
Also of note, many of the hotels do not provide bus transportation to the convention center (though Metro passes will be provided). If you choose one of these hotels, be sure to build in extra time to make the morning keynotes as the Metro will be particularly crowded for rush hour.
Given the above, be sure to budget a little extra when you make your ask to your boss to attend in DC in 2016.