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Re: event pricing (longish)

Poster: Beth Morris <bmorris@access.digex.net>

Gregory Stapleton wrote:

> If I'm following this argument correctly, here's how I've always viewed
> "charging more at the door than we charge those who prepay."  The door
> fee is the "actual" event fee we would like to collect, but, in order to
> create interest and encourage people to prepay for the event, in order
> to have some idea of how many we can expect, etc., we ***discount*** the
> event fee for those who are able to make the effort to send in an early
> reservation.  I've never once thought of it as a punishment.  I've
> always view it as an incentive.  Kind of like automakers rebates.

Keilyn's thoughts on event pricing are as follows:

1) Work out how much you're planning to spend.  Include items like hall,
rental equipment, any free feast seats you're giving away (to musicians,
royalty, etc), lemonade, toilet paper, trash bags, cleaning supplies,
decorations, prizes, signs, menus, gatorade, archery targets, etc. 
Let's say for our example, the Baronial Kumquat Tourney, that this
number works out to be $400.

Separately, work out with your feast cook (*there is no such thing as a
feastocrat!*) how much they want per person to work with.  (At this
point or
sometime soon, figure out what size tables you'll be using and let the
cook know this too).  Let's say your cook wants $6 per head.

2) Guesstimate how many people will attend, and be conservative. (Here's
where you may make extra profit by accident).  This is your breakeven
Let's say you know that the neighboring shire's Apple Blossom Tourney
100 people and last year's Kumquat had 150, so figure maybe 150.

3) Divide the number in 1) by 2) to get the offboard base price.

In our example, this is $2.66 per person (a not unreasonable site fee in
my book).

At this point, I usually split the difference.  I figure that 1/3-1/2
(depending on what I expect the popularity of the event to be, how able
the group is to afford a loss if I'm wrong, etc) will pay at the early
and that the remainder will pay at the late rate.  My rates differ for
both on and offboard by one to two dollars, but only if the offboard
price was already
cheap.  If due to site, etc, the offboard price was already about $4, it
doesn't go up.

In our example, the early site fee would be $2 (x50 attendees = $100)
The late fee would be three dollars $3 (x100 = $300, and there's your
$400 for site & essentials).

And an onboard reservation will run $8 or $9, quite acceptable by
standards.  Now I might pump the on board late fee up to a total of $10,
because I am generally of the opinion expressed by Duke Galmr that the
real "need to know" in advance and therefore the incentive in pricing is
for feast seats.  

So our "real" pricing is Early: $2 /$8
and Late: $3/$10

I will usually take the number preregistered by a given date (a week or
so before the feast depending on how much precooking the cook is doing,
whether we need to special order exotic items, etc) and round it up to
the next table or maybe add one more table. E.g. if I'm working with
tables of 8, and I have 63 preregistered feasters, I'll round up to 64,
or more likely 72, or possibly even 80 if I suspect there are folks who
plan to attend (like members of the local group) who haven't reserved.

My justification for changing the offboard fee is that if I know in
advance more people are coming (because they have reserved) I have a
better idea of how close on budget I'm going to be, and I can skimp (if
it looks close - maybe not buy as much lemonade or something) or add
things if I discover I'm headed towards extra money.

Then I can play with ideas like adding a light lunch or refreshments
during dancing, getting some nice(r) hall decorations, getting a keg,
buying more gatorade, etc.  Some of that can even be done the day of the
event, if more
people show up at the door and the higher rate.  But it CYA if there's a
problem to know it in advance.

Anyhow, this is how *I* do it....

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