Comp Organization--Stuff We Like - Stuff We Don't Like

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by ChaChaMama, Sep 25, 2005.

  1. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Exactly. Someone who's going to steal, say, a dress, is someone who's at the comp anyway, knows its value, and how to sell it for a profit. But an entry fee is going to significantly reduce the type of thieves who are looking for an easy grab of a wallet, camera, cell phone, etc. Allowing anyone who wanders by (in a hotel, where the majority of NDCA events are, that can be a LOT of people) to move in and out freely means it's now completely worth a casual thief's while to pop in. The average person who goes into a pro-am event is a competitor (not likely to be committing petty theft, especially considering what they already spent to be there before you even bring in tickets), the pros, vendors, officials, and spectators who are usually friends or family of one of the above. Now, SOMEONE among that group MIGHT decide to snatch a handbag or an iPad, but it's a lot less likely than a total stranger wandering in because hey, door's open.

    And just having tickets/passes mean you've generally got someone sitting at the door watching who comes and goes--not memorizing, but a least there's some sort of observation. Let people wander in and out at will and stuff is going to walk away.
  2. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    What about: each competitor gets X number of free or discounted "guests" who must be on a predetermined list and show ID to purchase a ticket or enter the ballroom?
  3. llamasarefuzzy

    llamasarefuzzy Well-Known Member

    I LOVE this idea!
    Mr 4 styles likes this.
  4. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    nikkitta you are a genius!!!
  5. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    Thanks. It just makes sense to me to offer this "guest list" option to competitors.
    pygmalion likes this.
  6. j_alexandra

    j_alexandra Well-Known Member

    If you're talking about a "guest list" for daytime, that can work without adding too much time-consuming paper shuffling for the ticket sellers. If you're talking Friday or Saturday night, with a big-name pro show, well, those lines are already long and the people waiting to get in are already impatient.
  7. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Well those people need to be there earlier.
    Mr 4 styles likes this.
  8. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    I would say if it IS an evening with a pro-show, then no guests. They CAN sell those tickets, for higher prices, and easily, so there is no purpose served in letting daytime competitors bring people in free or at discount.

    And I guess that would be all right, but I wouldn't want to see a 'guest list' built into the price of the competition (be it free or discounted tickets for guests) because the cost is going to get passed on to the competitors, and it's just not something I can see many using or finding especially helpful. What are the odds there's going to be someone nearby you want to invite? At least, not unless competitors just don't have to buy tickets at all. I wouldn't want to waste another $2-$3 per dance or however they'd spread the "guest" cost out when I'm still having to pay for tickets on top of a few hundred at least in entry fees. I just don't think ticket prices ALONE are especially onerous for people who just want to spectate.
    Larinda McRaven likes this.
  9. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    I agree that if there is a much higher-priced sell-out Pro show, there should be no freebies or discounts for it. But if there are plenty of empty seats for the other cheaper sessions (syllabus Pro-am for the most part, I would assume), let friends and relatives of the competitors watch without spending a fortune.
  10. Titoxd

    Titoxd Member

    Also in the "don't like" category: Competitions that don't tell you that spectator prices at the door are higher than when you pre-order them...
  11. bia

    bia Active Member

    I'm curious -- what is it that makes pro/pro-am comps more expensive for the organizers than am-am comps? (Leaving collegiate out of the picture for the moment; I get how they're different.) We mostly dance at USA Dance comps where competitors get free admission to spectate throughout the weekend and non-competing spectators pay $10-15 at daytime sessions. I understand the price difference from the competitor's side that comes from having to pay your dance partner (pro-am) or not (am-am). But how are the expenses different enough on the organizer's side to require such a difference in spectator fees and policies? Is it the amount of the scholarships and prize money? Or paying all the comp workers instead of having lots of volunteers? Or are there lots of extra amenities that I'm not aware of since I'm not experienced in that world? (I think I've kinda answered my own question in the process of typing it out, but I've typed it now, so I guess I'll post it.)
  12. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    um...how do I diplomatically say this?..size of wallet?
    scullystwin42 and Bailamosdance like this.
  13. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Also and more importantly... venue and environment. As one of my students said when he came to visit and watch his first NDCA comp vs a Usadance-collegiate comp... "the presentation sure is a step up"
    debmc, danceronice and Bailamosdance like this.
  14. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    sure...it is a different market...and some are more elaborate than others, depending upon perceived market
  15. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Some USA Dance comps (not college, as per bia's question) use the exact same venues as NDCA comps. It's true that they often don't have all the prizes and gifts and whatnot that NDCA comps have, but if you didn't know that there were no pros there, you wouldn't know the difference.

    IMO the difference is that NDCA comps are actively trying to make a profit for the owners. USA Dance comps aren't.
    ballroomlady likes this.
  16. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    Really? When the promoters pay USA Dance their sanction fee, their next goal is to not make money, but just break even?
  17. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    i think the key word in joes post is actively.. which i would change to aggressively
  18. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    There's not much point in running any event without aiming for a profit, or you'll just eventually have to quit doing it...I think NDCA comp organizers, especially if they're running a lot of pro-am, realize they're selling the whole experience to everyone, not just show up, dance, leave. So they're going to have a nicer setup (plus advertising for other competitions, quite frequently), they're going to have more vendors, better lighting, more prizes, etc. That costs more and takes more setup, but the customers expect more and many will make decisions on where they're going based on some of that (I'd rather do a comp where they scholarships pay out to sixth place than third, if I'm given the opportunity.) Some people like the 'participation gifts' like bags or jackets or whatever a comp happens to give away to competitors. If you don't turn a profit, you can't keep up and of course you go broke, which is never good (those organizers are taking a bigger financial risk.) But even USADance events better be aiming for a profit as it's hard to keep doing events if you went broke last time. "Non-profit organization" doesn't mean "aim to have your balance sheet be zero." It just means most of your profit should go back into your operating expenses.
  19. bia

    bia Active Member

    Yeah, your post makes sense. Though thinking back to the discussion that prompted my question, I could imagine that part of that whole experience being sold might be spectating in other sessions, so that organizers might want to make that easier. But I don't know the effect on the bottom line.
  20. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    I can see that for competitors. You know that cost is just going to get shifted over to the student ams. I could see including a set number of tickets with *entries* (not packages, which are marked up and include things some competitors don't need or want--most times I can do hotels cheaper on my own, for example.) And people can use any extras however they want--friends, family, scalping (I'm kidding.)

    I realize this is coming from a position of not really caring about spectator tickets--$40-60 if my parents happen to be within 200 miles and able to come is not especially onerous for them or me, and not amounts I'd expect to be a hardship for most people compared to what the people participating are shelling out.

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