Behind The Scenes – Chapter 8

The Rooming Department

In the days leading up to the International Convention in Melbourne, thousands of delegates from different parts of Australia and around the world will flood into Melbourne, all needing appropriate & affordable accommodation.

How is the accommodation organised to ensure there are enough properties available for those visiting Melbourne? Who has this assignment? The Rooming Department!

What does the Rooming Department do?

An Overseer along with 2 Assistants care for the Rooming Department and are directed by the Rooming Co-ordinator, who co-ordinates rooming for all conventions throughout Australasia. These brothers work as a team to ensure that there is enough accommodation for all delegates attending the International Convention. They also provide the needed training for volunteers in their department.

The hard working volunteers in this department have searched for and listed all the accommodation providers throughout Melbourne CBD and up to 1 hour away from Marvel Stadium. They were trained to be able to inspect these properties to ensure they are clean & safe for our visiting brothers and sisters. More training was provided so that the brothers could negotiate with each property to achieve the best rate possible. Once achieved, all of the necessary information about each approved property was uploaded onto the purpose built, online Recommended Lodging List (RLL). 

When did this work begin?

The Rooming Department first began preparing for the Melbourne convention back in February 2018. They had the assignment of gathering enough accommodation for the 5500 International delegates. In fact, these rooms had to be finalised before Melbourne was secured as the location of the International Convention. The next assignment was to gather accommodation for the more than 30,000 national delegates. After many months of work, this too was achieved. An exciting occasion was the release of the completed RLL, allowing publishers to start booking their accommodation.

Has the Rooming Department finished their work for this year’s convention?

No! They continue to search for additional properties, maintain regular communication with each accommodation provider, ensure the RLL is up to date, answer questions and solve accommodation issues faced by delegates. 

The department has recently held 2 more training sessions to help prepare more willing volunteers to assist with any rooming issues that could arise during the convention days. These volunteers will be manning the “Rooming Outlet” during the lunch breaks and before & after the day’s sessions. They will be more than happy to help with any rooming/accommodation related matters you may have.

When does planning for the 2020 conventions start?

The Rooming Department has already been hard at work preparing accommodation for the 2020 regional convention series! This means caring for the accommodation needs of 2 conventions at once! While not on the same scale as the International Convention, the process for acquiring and inspecting accommodation, along with negotiating room rates is the same. These properties will be listed on the 2020 RLL, which will be released at the end of September 2019, so keep an eye out for it.  

There is no question that Jehovah has supported the efforts of the Rooming Department. From the very beginning, Jehovah has provided the training along with his holy spirit to help these brothers complete this daunting assignment. Without Jehovah’s support, none of this would have been achieved.

All in the Rooming Department have viewed it as a real privilege to have a share in this work. We are excited that, due to Jehovah’s blessing, all the visiting delegates can enjoy suitable accommodation, allowing them to focus on what is truly important — the spiritual feast from Jehovah during the “Love Never Fails” International Convention.