Ballroom Dance > Current trends in amateur competition pricing

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by NielsenE, Mar 15, 2007.

  1. Laura

    Laura New Member

    If you send them out to San Jose for the USA Dance Southwest Regional Championships in June, they'll have to pay at most $25 per person. That includes their tickets to the ballroom and also their dance events because we aren't charging separate event entry fees for this event.

    Also, because of the way the US Nationals calendar will be changing, if they dance in our Regionals in San Jose in June this year, they will fulfill the Regionals Participation Requirement for BOTH 2007 and 2008. So you can kill two year's worth of birds with one stone.

    By the way, this $25 per person rate has been the same since at least 2001, and perhaps even 1999, but I wasn't involved back then so I don't know what the rate was. We also give a small discount to college students, and a large discount to dancers ages 18 and under.

    We don't do anything fancy at our comps, which is why we've been able to keep the price low and constant over the years. Some people don't like that and say we're cheap, but we say we're inexpensive!
  2. GJB

    GJB Well-Known Member

    Wow, hard to imagine MIT or Harvard teams having funding issues considering the endowments big name schools like these get.
  3. tunape

    tunape New Member

    I really only want to dance one round - the finals. How much for that? :D
  4. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    true, but those are a minority at a college comps (there were like 4 champ couples not also doing prechamp at harvard)...
    by higher level i meant silver and up... lower level are bronze and newcomer... bronze and newcomer and many silver dancers usually don't dance up as much... the ones doing well - cause they are too tired doing so many rounds in their own level... the ones not doing well - cause they don't feel they belong in the higher level..

    the top of silver, gold and prechamp competitors often do few levels...

    I am not talking about myself all the time:)
  5. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    I think perhaps one reason this doesn't happen is that the people setting prices tend to be the same people who have to figure out what their team will pay or subsidize in terms of entry fees for competitions it attends.

    I mean, pretty soon you're going to have to figure out what the team shells out for an undergraduate dancing prechamp standard with a grad student, bronze rhythm with an alumnus, and silver smooth with an unaffiliated adult, who registers late...

    And then you have to explain that to everyone... and justify it
  6. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    is it a 6 couple, or an 8 couple final? gotta determine the costs... :)
  7. Laura

    Laura New Member

    I don't know what other venue's policies are, but I will assure you that drinking water does cost the competition money!

    Those water stations we had at Nationals last year in San Jose cost us some ridiculous amount, something like $150 per day each, which included a small number of extra water jugs. Since we're talking about a competition, where people are getting dehydrated, we had to order a bunch more jugs at something like $25 each. We also had to pay for cups. We were spending several hundred dollars a day just for water. Due to the rules of the venue, we couldn't just bring in our own water, we had to go through their catering department and pay their prices whether we liked it or not. Fortunately Nationals and the budget were plenty large to accommodate this -- but if we were talking about a college team running a one or two day event where they might have to budget as much as $500 just for water, well, it's something they really HAVE to do but it most certainly costs a smaller competition with a tight budget a significant amount of money!
  8. skwiggy

    skwiggy Well-Known Member

  9. star_gazer

    star_gazer Active Member

    Southwest Regional Championships is a good deal. It was last year and will be again this year. No complaints. 2006 Nationals was very afforable and enjoyable. But 2005 Nationals was expensive for those doing just a couple events and so are a few of the regionals. And again..its not just about qualifying. Its about trying to do as many good competitions as one can afford.
  10. Laura

    Laura New Member

    Again, I don't know how all venues work, but speaking from my experiences the organizers do not earn money from concession stands. The profits from that go to the catering department of the host venue. In fact, the way these contracts tend to go is that the competition organizers agree to a minimum sales amount, and if that minimum isn't met then the organizers actually have to pay the venue extra money just for opening up the concession stand! For instance, the San Jose Civic Auditorium has something like a $400 minimum for a one-day event. If $400 worth of food and beverage doesn't get bought by the competitors and spectators, we (the organizers) have to pay the venue the difference. And if they sell over $400, we don't get a cut of the profits. That's why we don't bother to have the stand open for one-day events, because we've gotten stuck too many times having to pay the minimum.
  11. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    but the champ level dancers are required to dance all 5, while beginners can choose what they've been preparing for... not like champ dancers have a choice. Wit the a-la carte system, do american smooth competitors end up paying less than rhythm or standard?

    on the other hand, charging base + per dance might lower the cost for champ dancers a lot compared to beginners if the base is not too high.

    on the other hand 10-dancers will have to pay a lot more... they are already a rare species at the high levels due to high costs of doing more than one style... this kind of comp pricing might make it worse....

    I don't have a position on a la carte vs flat fees... just looking at the possibilities...
  12. quixotedlm

    quixotedlm New Member

    How much mney are we talking about here? Is it order of $100, or 1000+ dollars?
  13. Laura

    Laura New Member

    We experimented with a la carte pricing at the 2006 Nationals in San Jose, and thought that it worked out really well and very fairly for the competitors.

    For instance, a Champ-level couple in one style only had to buy ballroom tickets for the one day that they were competing, and pay $10 to enter their one Championship event.

    However, a lower-level Senior couple that does three styles, two age categories, and two proficiency levels had to buy tickets for all the sessions they were competing in, and pay $10 per event (so like another $120) in entry fees to compete.

    Except for generating weird numbers for entry fees, there's not really a reason why a college comp couldn't try something like this: a flat $5 per person base fee, plus $1 per couple per event on top of that. Or some other combination...the point being is that the people who dance the most will end up paying the most.
  14. tunape

    tunape New Member

    heh, perhaps the optimal would be "screw the middle" strategy where beginners are helped, and top dancers are helped(trickle-down effect). It's like U.S. tax laws where the middle-class is screwed. :)
  15. NielsenE

    NielsenE Active Member

    Well I was throwing out numbers such that a single style competitor would see a cost savings compared to the present price structure at most event, while a 10 dancer would pay about the same. A single style dancer competiting two levels would see the same as today, roughly.

    A beginner doing '19" dance would have to decide if its worth doing their same routine twice in C,Sw/J,W,Vw, etc or if they want to save some money.... or if they really want to dance P,B,M, etc or end up paying a lot more

    I've been rather surprised at how many people bought extra blocks this year at MIT.... Last year it was a very small number of people and we only kept it this year since it seemed like an easy way of offering the flexibility without really impacting teh schedule.... This year about triple the number of people purchased extra blocks leading to a lot of the growth in entries.
  16. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    well, that's what we have now... kinda

    newcomers only pay 10 bucks,

    and the top prechamp and champ couples do get scholarships a lot of the time that help cover the costs of entering the event...
  17. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    this might look like the competitors are willing to pay extra to dance more and that the price isn't really an issue, but I think this is a tricky piece of data:

    most teams do subsidize attending MIT, so the team members really don't care how much their entries will cost cause they are not paying for it themselves.
  18. NielsenE

    NielsenE Active Member

    Most teams I talked to only paid for the base package, not the show nor extra blocks, so I thought collegiate frugalness would reign supreme
  19. tunape

    tunape New Member

    I think we also don't have an estimate for the travel cost to comps. Even with a la carte pricing, the registration fee may be less than the travel cost(say DC folks to Boston, or California or Canada to Boston). As a result, finer pricing may only increase demand for geographically local competitors.
  20. star_gazer

    star_gazer Active Member

    just under $300 to dance am std open. That is $112 registration & show and $180 for transportation.

Share This Page