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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 6:54 am 
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or, at least, £20 for KS supporters.

Sounds like a lot of money for a ticket. If this is non-profit, someone's making a lot in costs.

What gives?

http://adventurexpo.org/adventurex-2018-announcement/


Last edited by jkj yuio on Sat May 19, 2018 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 7:51 am 
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I haven't looked at their budget, of course, but this does not sound at all unreasonable to me, for a multi-day conference held in central London. Speaker and venue costs could very easily account for that,** especially if they expect many of the people attending to have a cheaper kickstarter or concession ticket. And, as they say, last year they ran an event without ticketing and it was not ideal: lots of people got turned away at the door after having traveled to be there.

**I've been organizing events in this general vicinity for a couple of years now. I've taken several approaches to this, with donated or paid-for venues, volunteer or paid speakers, etc., but unless I've lucked into completely donated space and labor, about 5 pounds a head has typically been the cheapest I can make it run, and that's for an event of a couple of hours without any printed goods and a minimum of supplied food/drink.


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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 8:22 am 
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People were turned away last year because there was no in advance booking system. They could run 2018 at the same venue and either have people register in advance or charge a much more moderate entry fee than they're now asking.

Sunday last year wasn't nearly as busy, so a booking system would mean that more people would be allocated a Sunday slot and people wouldn't be travelling there just to be turned away on the Saturday.

I'm not against a reasonable ticket fee as I understand there are necessary costs, but this year's price seems a bit rich.

So how much are they paying speakers?


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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 10:54 am 
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Quote:
People were turned away last year because there was no in advance booking system.


People were turned away because the venue had a limited capacity. The lack of a booking system meant people were turned away *at the door*, which sucked -- but no pre-booking would have made the venue larger. I am sure that the new larger venue costs money, and I expect that they've set the price appropriately.

I'd say £20 (US$27) is reasonable for a smallish player-focused convention of this sort. I expect to pay $40-50 (advance price) for a small SF convention, really.


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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 11:32 am 
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I expect to pay $40-50 (advance price) for a small SF convention, really.


I should clarify what I mean by this. I'm not talking about a Comic-Con with celebrity actor guests.

I mean an event of 500-1500 people; guests are writers and fans; run by a non-profit; using hotel function space, with an attendance guarantee to the hotel; speakers are not paid (except that the guests of honor probably get comped hotel rooms).

This is not an exact analogy to AdvX, but it seems close.

(Smaller events -- 250-ish -- can be cheaper, but are not necessarily. Those events can scrounge space for cheap, but may have other fixed costs which bite harder due to the smaller size.)

(I am keenly interested in all of this stuff because we're still looking at running a Boston IF event in 2019. More news when we have it...)


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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 12:47 pm 
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Quote:
I'd say £20 (US$27) is reasonable for a smallish player-focused convention of this sort.


Yes, I agree. I think it should be £20 maximum.


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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 3:21 pm 
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Hi, I'm one of the organisers I'll try and address your concerns as best I can here though I understand if you're not happy about the change. We agonized about this. Sorry this is so long, but I want to try and be as open as possible. I feel we owe it.

- No one is making any money, in the early years I actually put a lot of my own money into the event. We have a non profit bank account and we run it as such.
- I suspect the no-show rate for free tickets would be very high, we had people pay and not turn up previously. We've also had exhibitors ( who get two passes free) and speakers also no-show. We worked out roughly the price per head, then a bit extra. We'd like to try and run the event with seed money for next year. This is something we've been advised to do by other event organisers.
-We'll put out a chart with our costing when we launch the KS I hope that'll explain our reasoning in more detail.
- We were moving toward the end of our time with Goldsmiths we got the venue at a discounted rate due to one of the organiser studying there. After the capacity issues and the technical fault. Our lecture theatre shorted out during the first talk, and they refused to send anyone to fix it. The only reason we could run at all was because they left another theatre unlocked which we then invaded. We decided to look elsewhere. The British library offered us space with almost twice the capacity.
- The only reason it had free entry previously was because many people paid over the cost per head during the Kickstarter effectively funding others. Many of these folks didn't even attend themselves.
- We suspect most people will pay £20-£30 via the Kickstarter. We need to make some tickets available via the British Library so we decided those would act as 'slacker backers' which as traditional with Kickstarters are more. We have of course made sure concessions aren't hit by this. I believe if we took all the tickets we have reserved for the KS backer, speakers and exhibitors we pretty much hit the number of people who attended last year. So if everyone who came last year wanted to come again and backed the KS they'd pay at most £30 or less if they are a concession or get the £20 early bird.
- Last year speaker costs went up as we paid for travel ( if people asked), food and yes for some speakers hotel rooms. Ideally we'd like to provide more and continue working on improving diversity of speakers. I should note that all the speakers from overseas funded their own travel and we'd again like more funds so we can invite overseas speakers who may not have the resources to travel. We also were able to pay for food for the volunteers which led to a significant rise in volunteers. ( some years it's literally been 3 of us running the entire event with no breaks).
- If you add volunteers, speakers, and exhibitors together that's around 80 people not paying ( as they are contributing to the event). On top of this we've also reserved some tickets which we are looking to give away free to marginalized creators ( we have some groups in mind if you know of any groups you think would like tickets please DM me or email us on the website). In addition as has been mentioned we have concession tickets which are £6 for a day pass or £10 for a weekend.
- Everything costs more than you'd expect some costs we incurred which aren't obvious. i'm sure I'm forgetting things. e.g
* Artist commission fee for art Kickstarter rewards and branding.
* Backer rewards
* Kickstarter fee.
* Wristbands
* Deposit for the pub afterwards for both nights. If you think this seems like an extravagance ask people what the Friday night which we tend not to organise is like!
* Printing banners/signs.
* Any AV equipment rental or purchase.
* Promo costs ( flyers,
* Entertainment
- We also have to budget assuming we don't fill the venue, because every survey or free prebooking system we've used is unreliable.
- Capacity is about 400.

As for Sci-fi cons, I suspect publishers sponsor guests? Our price is comparable to UK anime cons which only tend to have a max 3 special guests and are run outside of London All the rest of the events at those cons are run by attendees. I ran panels at those cons for many years and the most I get is £5-£10 off my ticket! I'd genuinely like to see how they manage to run at those costs!

I am fully prepared to admit we may have gotten this wrong, and totally understand if this is off-putting for you. I'm still looking into streaming/filming talks again this year, so I hope if you decide we're no longer an event you'd like to support you can still see the speaker's talks.

Again I'd like to repeat we are not for profit, would you consider at least removing the quotes from the post title? I totally get you have questions but you could have e-mailed or talked to us directly to ask them rather than post here, with the implication we're misleading people. It's fine to say if you think we're overcharging but we're not pocketing any money here.

I hope this explains our stance somewhat, any further questions I'd be glad to respond. I'll post up the pie chart when we have that ready.


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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 4:04 pm 
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Hi @Azure, thanks for your detailed information.

I changed the title as requested; I don't wish to cast aspersions on the organisers nor to appear negative about the Expo because i think it's a really good event.

Please do follow up with more info and breakdown when you can. Also, if possible, consider rethinking the price structure; £20 seems fair to me. For example, if i had to pay £40, i would not attend, i can't justify that cost. I realise there is a discount for KS backers but as yet we don't know the minimum KS pledge.

Best of luck with the event.


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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 4:10 pm 
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The £20 KS pledge would be for a weekend pass. Thank you so much for editing the post. I'll be back with more details when we can share them.


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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 9:11 pm 
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FWIW i think you're running your expo business the wrong way round;

You should be charging the exhibitors, who are there to showcase and promote their commercial products rather than have the attendees bear all costs.

The opportunity for organisations to advertise their products has value that you're not extracting (except possibly through KS pledges).

Generally, trade shows are free after registering and allow access to the expo floor, but also have a paid ticket tier which grants access to talks and events. I assume the model is that exhibitors cover venue costs and paid tier tickets cover speaker costs, or something similar.

My assumption would be that as AventureX scales up, it would eventually have to adopt a similar model.


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