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So far, the idea for the DW weekend is being funded out of my pocket, and my anticipated attendance is in low numbers, and mostly people I know. I want to make it open to everyone, but I also want to keep it from turning into a logistical nightmare. I have no idea what the interest level in the outside world would be, although I'm trying to find out. One of the problems I've seen happen in the SCA is when someone proposes a demo, 200 people wax enthusiastic about it and promise to show up, and they only get 20 people at the gate. Trying to figure out anticipated attendance for a first-run event can be a scary headache.

All events need a break even point. Right now, this event is being planned based on how much money I'd be willing to lose to host it, because I'm well aware that I very well could. This is why it's being planned for a smallish gathering. I'd be willing and able to run a larger sized event, but that means being able to finance it.

And therein lies my current conniption. Pre-registration is something the SCA does all the time and it's very useful for guestimating attendance and budget. However, pre-registration for conventions and fan gatherings has, in recent years, burned a whole lot of people. The most recent horror story I'm aware of was the Firefly "Flanvention II" that went belly up the day it was to open, after repeatedly assuring people it wasn't going to, and made off with literally hundreds of thousands of dollars, leaving fans really in the lurch. The California Browncoat group rallied and pulled off a last minute miracle that saved the day and saved hearts from being broken. I'm loathe to even ask people to front a fee, and would rather find another way to do it if my event winds up needing it.

Right now, it doesn't need it - it's all me, and I'm ok with that. The thought I've been toying with would be to have a pre-reg that didn't take a full fee up front, but some sort of pittance - say $5. That would guarantee the visitor a discounted ticket in at the gate and some sort of nifty commemorata exclusive to advance registers. The actual amount would wind up being whatever amount it would cost per person to have sanitation facilities on site to accommodate them. (I.e., for 925 people at WW2007, it cost $3000 for porta potty rental and pumping, which breaks down to roughly $3.25 per attendee.) If I had to factor in water, it'd be a little more, because all of that is stuff that has to be factored in advance.

My thoughts are: A) cap attendance or B) find a new way to do the pre-reg.

One other thing that I intend to do is a full, ongoing financial report both so people can see here the money's being spent, not only to ease minds but in case anyone else wanted to do something like this. They'd be able to see how much it cost to do. I haven't even started yet, and it's currently around $2000 with insurances and permits and sanitation.



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Feb. 17th, 2013 04:18 am (UTC)
I'm alone and online Go Here dld.bz/chwZN
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