This is the most difficult thing. The space is available just for you the attendee. You can play ANYTHING you want. That space costs a whole lotta money though.

If cost is lowered, day rates added, more people must attend in order just to break even.

I would really like to stay around $50 for the weekend and make Sunday free. However Saturday is the biggest day, maybe $30 for it?

NashCon has an interesting payment structure. You can pay just to enter tournaments and that includes the cost of entering the convention. I am not sure how this system works, could cover prize support?

Also I would love to have a cheaper rate available for pre-orders so that the convention can pay for itself.

This is the thing that truly drives me nuts, I just want to break even and have the con paid for with its own funds a month before the convention.

I am working really hard on things to interest people but I really think its going to have to be finding a cheaper venue. I had to pay out $1200 just for security. (that is 24 weekend passes)

1 Comment

  1. Witt Sullivan

    I suggest $50 a weekend, $30 on Saturday, $15 on Sunday (not free)
    We’ve (Tupelo Con and Adeptus Tupelo) had a lot of tournament players balk at “having” to buy a badge to the convention and then pay a separate fee for the tournaments. The fee covers the prize support, if the players want prizes other than a printed out certificate, there has to be an entry fee. What we did with Tupelo Con was to give the tournament players the option to have a special badge and a discount for the day of the tournament, but if they were coming to Sunday, they would have to buy a badge for the weekend or pay the day rate on Sunday. Sunday is significantly shorter, so we sell the tickets cheaper. Most were there for the tournament they were playing in, the rest of the con was wasted.
    We’re only a two day con. Usually we do a weekend rate and a daily rate. We also usually do a cheaper badge price for pre-sales so we have some money to work with before the event to cover the essentials. In a perfect world, we would have a profit the previous year to help pay for things, but we can’t rely on that every year. This being the first year for the Siege, you were working nearly all out of pocket and hopefully using grant money and sponsorship in return for advertising space.
    I’ve told the guys at Tupelo Con this over and over and they’re starting to “get it”.
    Lou Zocchi, founder of GameScience and writer of several military tactical games and inventor of unusual dice, told me that he set up conventions and made more money selling ad space in the programs than the event itself.
    He would have a program printed up and set some aside that he would send to stores in a 300 mile radius with a price list for two page, full page, half page, quarter page, and business card sized ads. He said that the revenue he received from the sales of the ad space would more than pay for printing the program. We put businesses on our posters, web site, shirts, and other signage. Comic book style programs are very popular. Zocchi’s stuff was done before the Internet and online stores, so it’s even more popular with vendors and retailers to advertise at conventions they’re nowhere close to. You could stretch it further out or approach major online retailers and make more ad revenue.
    More ad revenue = more stuff you can do for the convention. It could chip away at the venue’s rent, pay for signage, pay for shirts, pay for guests (appearance fees, hotel, per diem, plane tickets, transportation. Authors and game designers are great guests if you approach them in person, they don’t ask for an appearance fee, they just want a space to sell and promote their books and products, panels and other things to keep them occupied, a room to sleep in, food and gas money, or a plane ticket and transportation).
    The Tupelo Furniture Market requires us to hire a couple of off duty or reserve policemen as part of the rent. For the rest of security, we have a bunch of volunteers from the Bearded Villains Society who are mostly former military or police, EMT’s. They watch the doors and patrol and have radios in case we need them, but the policemen are the ones who will get physical, we haven’t had hardly any trouble that I can think of in the 6 years we’ve been doing it.
    Going to other conventions as a table swap is a good way to promote your event. It doesn’t cost anything. It might sound daunting to give away 2- however many badges they ask for, but they’ll give you badges to their event in return. It’s not out of pocket. You’ll be able to set up a table and some signage and have brochures at their event to promote the Siege. And you get in for free and get the con rate for the hotel. And if you want to sell merchandise at your table, they’ll let you. You get the chance to talk to vendors and guests to see if they want to come to your event.
    We’re trying to talk the city of Tupelo into letting us use the building were the automobile museum used to be because the 110,000 square foot building we have to rent for $13,000 for two days (or more?) is mostly wasted space. We use a third of it. But it the only place that can handle 3000 people at once and the events and stuff we have. The BanCorpSouth center is set up wrong and it’s got a terrible reputation for cancelling smaller events in lieu of larger ones with hardly any notice.

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