Three trains, two buses and a taxi, or even a trudge through the snow, is a familiar story for those who have made a habit of packing their bags in early January each year to head for the conference.
Neil Fletcher, from the Local Government Association, said: "It is always frosty and cold and frequently uncongenial. You leave your family at the fireside, drag yourself cross-country and find yourself in some hotel without facilities.
"You drag yourself out at 5pm for the opening, some big celebrity with a local connection says something inspirational, you then fall into a cold-plated salad in a windy, draughty town hall and hope you can find a decent pub.
"At that point you realise you are through Christmas. Having said that, I really rather enjoy them. They are an experience - but not in the modern experience of conferences. There is a wonderfully dated feel about them."
In recent years, though, the conference has become something of a burden for local authorities. Gone are the days when an army of town- hall staff could devote a year to setting it up. Now, councils are often obliged to call in a commercial events' organiser.
Because of the pressures on local authorities, Bill Wright, who organised the Leeds conference of 1972, was asked to produce a consultation document on where the conference should head.
An executive committee - made up of council representatives from last year's, this year's and next year's host city or town - is still considering his report.