Ballroom Dance > Comp Organization--Stuff We Like - Stuff We Don't Like

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

  1. saludas

    saludas New Member

    I don't see why checks are any different than credit card receipts for taxes. The government makes no distinction. Either does an accountant.

    Plus, with a credit card you have (with Amex any way) 30 days to pay at no interest. The way I look at it, you SAVE money by paying with Amex because you get 30 days free use of money, because you don't have to give them the $$s until you get the bill. And, the comp gets THEIR money efficiently (directly deposited).

    The fact that students at Proam events pay their instructors makes no difference in theis also - every studio I am in takes cards these days, and also the studios have the benefit of the protection of the card company in collecting etc.

    Signed releases? heck, the comps could get these at the door. Getting them in 'the mail' means nothing. Getting the entry money is the only thing that matters a month before a competition. The release only matters when they arrive at the venue. Plus, a good comp would keep these on file (for regular competitors). Even knows that I like certain items and things - and these are not exactly people I know LOL. Most comps are not forward thinking enough to do even that, altho they maintaina mailing list of everyone who ever enters so that they can mail them flyers for the next comp.

    I actually believe that Comps are much more of a 'mom and pop' business than they represent. And, the owners are not really business people... they use paper because of that 'fear' of high tech (remember most comp folks are over 40 or so - hey don't get riled, I am over 40 too...) and they rationalize that. Also, they think that their time is free as well as the 'volunteers' time. Also, darkly, the more 'obfuscated' and 'murky' the entries are (think about those comps that still don't post entry lists etc like USA Dance does, and that the reason they do this iso that competitors can't make decisions about which ones to enter, because they have no idea who si there or who is going - it's cheesy when a comp thinks they will LOSE money if they make their entry list more public), the more that a mom and pop ideaology cats it's shadow over what COULD be a more vital, communicative community.

    BTW, this forum is unique in that respect, since a popular and vital thread always goes ups saying "comp xxx.. who's going". Nowhere else - and that makes this the 'go to' forum! (yay) Now, back to the rant...

    On a related note, I certainly think that nonprofit and volunteer organizations are the most prone to rationalizing the non spending of money and resources where it's needed to gain incremental money gain. For instance, a volunteer organization that uses credit cards would be doing much more for their members by spending the few % on the mechanics of collection, rather than having the volunteer do it. Why? 'Slave' labor is not a useful way of using people. If the 20 hours of opening envelopes, tabulating info, labriously copying handwritten entry forms into compmanager, etc were instead spent on things like promoting the comp, personal services (calling competitors, for instance, to help them with entries), etc, that would give more percieved value to the comp and the participants. What if the 20 hours were spent at the comp as helpers - people who help competitors with directions, 'wranglers' to get competitors ready, etc? I dunno, these may be lame ideas, but I think that thinking 'outside the box' is usually hard for people who see things 'the way they're always done' as the only real way.

    For example, everyone mentions lack of food services. Why not charge an extra $5 per entry and then spend the 20 volunteer's hours on buying and preparing a buffet for the competitors? Even a volunteer on a buying expedition for yogurts and bottled water would give more value to the particpants than their work copying (and usually mis spelling) names into the comp schedule. Even 20 hours on the phone looking for donations for an amateur comp is time better spent than 'backstage' work.

    The volunteer's percieved value to an organization is usually underestimated (or as our esteemed president calls it, 'misunderestimated') as people only valuable for cleanup, door duty, or drudge work. Not tue...You always hear volunteers telling heoric stories about the hard work that goes into putting events together. Mostly it's hard work because the tasks are those mindless or drudgelike tasks, the ones nobody wants to do, that seem to say 'volunteer' on them.
  2. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    Some good points there. It almost makes you think there's a "niche" out there for someone (or someones) to be a contracted competition organizer....someone with some business/finance acumen, who could figure out how to run the comps more cost efficient, and allow the organizers to cater to the personal touches. It's always interesting to see the organizers running around like chickens without their heads trying to tend to something.

    There is already a large "event planning" industry and I know people who have made a good living off of it. Just wonder if it would work well within the dance world.
  3. DancingMommy

    DancingMommy Active Member

    MQ - Think you are right. There is a niche for it. The hard part is selling the idea to the organizers. Yipes! I could do the organizational side of it. Hands down that the easy part. But the sales pitch? Not I said the little red hen....
  4. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    I wish comps could adopt the online registration that's used by all the college comps now. It would be so simple...
  5. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    Well, I'm sure there are many upsides to contracting it out. I'm not that versed into what goes into a competition, but it seems to me if you offered to do it for a percentage of the cost (gross) and the organizer weighed that against the money he/she is losing by the amount of time he/she is putting into it (and losing studio time, etc), I'm sure it could work. And I'm sure there are some organizers out there who hate to deal with the details.

    Whaddya say...let's set up shop and go comp hopping to see if we can drum up some business?? I can do the selling. You can do the details of organizing. We can call it "Two Organized Mothers" *LOL*
  6. DancingMommy

    DancingMommy Active Member

    I'm in if you are.... I just need to have a few more months (about 6) before the "Baby" decides to show, lol. And after that it will be smooth sailing.....
  7. Merrylegs

    Merrylegs Well-Known Member

    The credit card idea seems easy enough to implement once you work out logistics. Heck, the video people take my credit card! They have a wireless connection and it goes right through. Easy.

    The only problem I can see, and I don't this this was was touched upon already, is that as Pro-Am dancers we pay our studio the comp fees which includes a markup for them dancing with us. Do we pay the studio and then pay the comp organizers? It's no secret that this markup happens and this is in no way a complaint, just stating the facts. It would turn the billing part of competing into a long string of transactions.

    I do, however, think that studios should be able to pay the comp organizers by credit card. Let them sort out all of the finances.

    I'm Pro credit card, Pro Pro-Am (and for the record, Pro Choice since I have your attention!) :wink:

    Alrighty, back to work!
  8. saludas

    saludas New Member

    You pay as always - to your studio, which then takes the $$$s you give them, takes half off the top, and then pays the comp. It's twice as much for most proam, right? It is the same, just subsitute credit card for check...
  9. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    I thinks that's potentially very dangerous for some of the studios and independent pros out there. Lot of cash comes in, obligations going out go on the credit card = not good.
  10. DancingMommy

    DancingMommy Active Member

    If they can't manage their finances.... Well.... Too bad.
  11. saludas

    saludas New Member

    Michelle, all you are saying is that the studio and comp have to be more professional in how they handle money - if you're afraid of mismanagement. Be vocal!!

    Also, this is even more reason not to pay by check. A credit card company will cut off any company that gets complaints about returns etc. Plus, did you know that you are protected by fraud FEDERALLY if the payment goes interstate. You will be protected by the card company if there is a dispute. They remove $$s from the comp, and refund to you, until the dispute is resolved.

    That's why this forum is good - word spreads here fast if there is impropriety.

    BTW, not for nothing, but isn't USA Dance supposed to be looking out for the competitors in this regard? Maybe they could be more responsive, or actually have a process that 'certifys' a comp that meets requirements for accountability? Posting a small bond? Or such?
  12. Merrylegs

    Merrylegs Well-Known Member

    Why do you think this? Is it akin to the ever spreading epidemic of personal debt in the US?

    Hmmmmm. Yet another twist to the plan.
  13. Merrylegs

    Merrylegs Well-Known Member

    Huh? I didn't say anything at all relating to impropriety!
  14. saludas

    saludas New Member

    Yes. I did. Why is it dangerous, then if not for impropriety? Who is it a danger to? I only am thinking of my side of the transaction, of course. Where is there danger for the other side? And, poor money management is not a danger - it is a need for education...
  15. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    One of the many reasons :wink:

    I usually pay by check (and sometimes cash) because even though I *know* I can send that check to the CC company to pay it right off, that usually doesn't happen. In 1982, I ended up with a nice, shiny Firebird as a result of those good intentions. Ouch!
  16. saludas

    saludas New Member

    One suggestion: pay by credit card and the same day deposit the $$s into an account to pay the card. The account will pay interest for the 30 days, then you send out a check from THAT account. You've now MADE money on a transaction.

    Really, I think that most people live so day-to-day that THIS is why people can't figure out how to live within their means...
  17. DancingMommy

    DancingMommy Active Member

    You are confusing Michelle with Chris. Chris is the one who said it was a problem, lol. ;) To which I said it was the problem of the studio and not any one else's prob....
  18. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    I'd be better off writing the check right away to the credit card company. Trust me, I'll find a dress on sale in the month my money is *supposed* to be earning interest. And honestly, my checking account makes all of 1/2% interest...not really cha-chinging away.

    As for the "living day-to-day sentiment." Guilty as charged (and much to my husband's dismay). Carpe diem!
  19. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    :lol: :lol: :lol:
  20. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    I know you can relate, Kat! :wink:

    (to the dress thing, anyway)

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