[FIKR6] quicky recommendations

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1. Look into improving the registration process. It’s taking unnecessarily long and people are getting rather frustrated.

2. The whole conference is about the intersection of technology and education, yet, we don’t have a free wireless network at the conference area which can not only facilitate its use for filing stories, but also its absence might demonstrate that the conference is all talk without implementation. I was rather frustrated by not getting access and not have a free and fast internet connection at the venue was roundly (and vociferously) criticised by several attendees.

3. (for the hotel) Paying BD7 for two hours access is absolute usury. Get with the program. Even 4 star hotels in Amman now provide internet access (both wired and wireless) for free. The Ritz being supposedly the best we have does not do itself nor its reputation any service whatsoever by this ridiculous fee.

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3 Comments
  • ammaro.com
    3 December 2007

    Very valid points; the registration process was unfortunately very unorganized, and it took a good half an hour to sort out an access pass.

    As for the wireless internet point; definately a minus for the Ritz on this one. When you hold a large conference such as this, you’re banking on the reputation you gain and the quality of the services you offer, rather than the pocket-change you get out of the few people who pay to use your wireless service. I’ve been to $40 motels that offered free wireless, as compared to this top hotel in Bahrain.

  • Hamad
    11 December 2007

    Dear Mahmood,

    Thank you for your comments they are valid and correct. Please allow me to explain about the registration process we had printed 700 cards including about 400 who were invited and confirm and 300 who were invited but not confirmed just in case they show up.
    We were overwhelmed by people that showed up uninvited and therefore not registered and we had to add them. They were mostly VIP or Government officials from Bahrain or Saudi and we had to accept them on the spot.

    To be honest we were expecting this so we had plan but due the lack of available space we had to cramp it all on one location. We will plan it better next time and we have an idea you and your readers are fist to hear about which is the have people that are not invited or registered to pay $500 registration fee. This will allow us to filter people and we can afford to have more people working the registration.

    Now for the internet access this is a long story with the Ritz they would not give us internet access even to the media room we were given only 5 connections then increased to 8 each charged with BD 35 per day per person. I have a list of things I can tell you about the Ritz but I rather keep quite for now. Previously we had all the conference area in Dubai Fikr4 covered with free wireless network.

    For Fikr Conference to come back to Bahrain I think they will need an alternative hotel or venue to host it.

    Hamad AlAmmari

  • mahmood
    11 December 2007

    Thank you for the explanation Hamad. Much appreciated. I agree with you that the Ritz was a disappointment in respect to Internet wireless access. It would have done them much good to open it up. I can imagine the other troubles you have had to go through with them. Their management has certainly gone very un-customer-friendly for at least 8 months now which is a huge shame.

    Like you, I am sure a lot of their other patrons will be looking for alternate venues. They most certainly are of the previous (milk as much as you can) generation.

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