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

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

  1. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    About the schedule, I like when it is sort of specific rather than (the event will be held some time between 5:00 and 11:00
  2. DancingMommy

    DancingMommy Active Member

    Exactly. I know I'm protected from moment one in case anything happens that shouldn't. And the cheesy .5% thing just makes me freaking mad, ya know??? I'm a merchant and I take 'em all. :)
  3. ChaChaMama

    ChaChaMama Well-Known Member

    I completely agree with that! I don't need to know a down to the minute time, but maybe we could narrow down the window to less than the time of a cross-country plane flight!

    I also really like it when comps arrange the schedule in ways that make sense, e.g.,
    -Don't go super-late Friday night if events start Saturday morning at 8 AM.

    -Don't run things too late on Sunday, as working people have to fly or drive back home and get a halfway decent night's sleep before work on Monday.

    :) ChaChaMama
  4. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    I agree with all this...
  5. skwiggy

    skwiggy Well-Known Member

    Things I like:

    - space to warm up
    - as specific of a schedule as possible and frequent announcements of any deviation from the schedule
    - posting of recalls
    - online registration
    - even, consistent floor
    - option for personal videotaping
    - score sheets available on the wall or online

    Things I don't like:

    - Interleaving 2 events with a big overlap in entries
    - Too wide a schedule block as mentioned earlier
    - Schedule that goes late on a Sunday night making travel home difficult
    - No warning for the next round so you sit and get cold and then have to jump up and dance again without notice
    - Music played noticeably too long or too short
    - Unclear registration fees (sometimes when you have to pay separately per event, and separately to get into the ballroom, it can be complex to calculate what you have to pay -- just make the information clear and accessible so one can make an informed decision about the cost)
    - Rude deck captains
  6. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Your volume is probably small enough that you're not leaving much on the table.
  7. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Never order seafood in a diner.
  8. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Actually I think the real reason is that it isn't always included in the basic, lowest-free card processing package that a small business might select - that gets (or at least got you 10 years ago) you only the big two.
  9. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member


    Someone should have tipped you off. The cheesburger deluxe is your safest bet. French fries with gravy are a must, too!
  10. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    Ouch... about the sickest I've ever been was one time when I got some fish at a cafeteria. I cringe just thinking about it.
  11. Laura

    Laura New Member

    If you hook up your online competition web site to PayPal, you will be able to accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, eChecks, and transfers from personal PayPal accounts. (So this is what we did for our comps.)
  12. wyllo

    wyllo New Member

    Doesn't PayPal charge a fee for credit card transactions? Do you raise the competition fee to cover it?
  13. saludas

    saludas New Member

    Well, Paypal charges 2 or 3 percent. So, your entry fee of $25 is then increased by a whopping 75 cents. I'd never go to a comp that increased prices (usually in $5 increments) per event because of that.

    The cost of doing business in not simply how much your card charges cost. It's also how your comp is perceived - if it's easy to get the money to it, then more people will go. I can imagine the comp that doesn't accept Amex (for instance) that loses me as an entry basically loses a lot more than a few cents.

    Also, I'd figure that a comp would save money simply by eliminating the time wasted opening envelopes and depositing $$s.
  14. scullystwin42

    scullystwin42 Active Member

    Paypal would be very nice for comps. but then they'd have to really make their entries clear (as several people have noted). The last comp i signed up for, it took three people to figure out just what events i could compete in, when they were, and how much they cost. :roll:
  15. ChaChaMama

    ChaChaMama Well-Known Member

    Would comps have to raise fees if they accepted credit cards? That's an interesting question Wyllo asks.

    Comps should actually be able to calculate whether accepting credit cards and/or PayPal would be economically feasible.

    Let's say you are a comp that averages 6000 entries.
    Let's say that you have 400 students and 100 pros at this comp, with each of those students entering an average of 15 events. (Some enter more, some less, of course.)
    Let's say you charge $35 per event.
    Let's say that you charge $30 per day session, $50 per night, and that your average competitor attends 2 day sessions and 1 night session. (Some attend more, some less, of course.)
    Let's say you also have 80 pro entries at $50 a pop.
    Let's say that 100 people choose packages, and that the average profit per package is $100.
    Let's say you sell 500 programs at $10.

    6000 am and pro-am entries x $35 = 210,000
    80 pro entries x $50 = 4,000
    500 people x $110 ballroom entries = 55,000
    Package profits = 10,000
    Programs 5,000
    TOTAL: 284,000

    Let's say half of everyone would pay by credit card if they could. That would be 142,000. 2% of that is 14,200.

    In this model, each individual am or pro-am competitor who enters 15 events ($525) and goes to two day and one night session ($110) and buys a program ($10) earns the comp $645. (And, theoretically, one in five would buy the package.)

    According to this model, if there were 21-22 people who would opt to attend if they could pay by credit card, but would not enter otherwise, then it actually costs the comp NOTHING to offer this option and they need not pass costs along to the customer. So that's the question: how many people let form of payment sway their decisions, and how often?

    And of course, you could change ANY of the variables above to make the numbers look better or worse!

    :) ChaChaMama
  16. saludas

    saludas New Member

    yes, but your numbers are wrong - and it makes the 'costs' of credit cards even less:

    Let's say half of everyone would pay by credit card if they could. That would be 142,000. 2% of that is 14,200.

    actually, 2% of $142,000 is $2,840, not $14,200.

    It means that if only 4 or 5 competitors do not enter, the comp will have lost the $$s..
    But who says comp owners can be that logical? Especially when a local store in town doesn't get it that Amex would be a minor cost to their bottom line. Lastly, remember, every $ in CASH that is taken in at a comp can go unreported....
  17. ChaChaMama

    ChaChaMama Well-Known Member

    OMG, I did 10% instead of 2%!!! :oops: :oops: :oops:

    Thank you for catching that. And yeah, that solidifies my general sense of things, namely that it IS quite probable that it would cost a competition NOTHING to accept credit cards.

    As for cash that doesn't get reported to the IRS...no comment! I'm sure you are right and that it happens, but that's a dangerous game. Plus, if we're all so supposedly gung ho about paying for Hurricane Katrina recovery shouldn't we pony up and pay taxes honestly?

    :) ChaChaMama
  18. Laura

    Laura New Member

    It depends on the competition, and the credit card clearing house. It cost us several hundred dollars to accept credit cards at our last competition, and since we're a non-profit every bit makes a difference. Basically, it cost us on the average of $1 per ticket sold to accept credit cards. So that's not a lot, but it does need to be taken into account, especially for smaller-budget events.

    We never under-report our cash receipts. It's just not worth it to lie, since we're a non-profit and we need to maintain our non-profit status. Also, our organization's treasurer is an accountant at one of the *big* banks, so she's meticulous and rigorous. We certainly don't lose money by doing everything on the up-and-up.
  19. DancingJools

    DancingJools Member

    One point missing from this discussion is that the overwhelming majority of entries at NDCA comps (which, by implication, are the ones discussed here) are pro-am and pro.
    Pro-ams usually pay their teacher, not the comp owners. They pay their teacher by check (or cash, but that's rare, in my experience, because of the amount of money involved). If the pro is a studio owner or formally affiliated with a studio, students often do pay with a credit card, but they are paying their teacher, who does accept credit cards (via the studio). The pro then sends the entries and pays for them by check, because they're mailing the entry forms anyway. Plus, for keeping track of your accounts and taxes, checks are the better way. So, very few credit card transactions would be carried out in this whole sequence at the comp organizer's level, and very few will be, even if credit cards are accepted. A lot of these payments also include the entry tickets to day and evening events.

    Comp owners do not have any other activities that require them to accept credit cards (outside of the comp itself). But if they were to have a merchant account to allow them to accept credit cards, they will normally pay a monthly fee and a minimum fee, etc, throughout the year.

    On the other hand, the only need a comp has to accept credit cards is from amateurs. There are too few amateur entries, and their fees are too low, for the overwhelming majority of NDCA comps, to be an incentive for comps to accept credit cards. And in this case, the numbers mentioned here really would'nt apply. Then there is the occasional guest who did not purchase evening tickets in advance and does not carry cash. Now if you've been to more than one comp already, you know to bring cash with you for these incidentals. And there's always an ATM machine handy.

    So look at it from the point of view of the comp organizers, who mostly are not tech savvy and probably never heard of PayPal, and ask yourselves: Why should I bother? Then for the larger comps that do accept credit cards, it's kind of reasonable to tag on the 3% processing fee, because that is what the organizer is actually paying to accomodate those few who insist on this convenience.

    PS - One reason why forms are mailed and not delivered electronically is that competitors need to sign a release form, concerning injury.
  20. DancingMommy

    DancingMommy Active Member

    They do, but it is lower than the standard merchant fees if you were to go with some other cc merchant clearing house. My dad switched from his merchant account that screwed him over royally (think 10,000 bucks here) and moved over to PayPal for just that reason. No monthly fees + transaction fees. Just transaction fees.

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