Ballroom Dance > Current trends in amateur competition pricing

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

  1. Kitty

    Kitty New Member


    Kat, how much was the BYU entry fee?
  2. Laura

    Laura New Member

    Hahahaha! You are so right! I just spent all day prepping the packet for Southwest Regionals, and am about to do the web site, so I've got "USA Dance" plastered on my eyeballs right now and I guess it was just jarring to see the old-school USABDA.
  3. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    Kitty: not sure, alex paid, I was getting ready, wasnt it somthing like 25?? anyone??? BYU
  4. wyllo

    wyllo New Member

    I think it's fair to ask why Chicago dramatically raised its prices this year. In 2006, entry fees were $80 per person but this year they increased the cost by $45 per person ($95 per couple!). Are the costs of the competition really going to increase that much because its now a regional qualifier? Shouldn't that be offset by the fact that more competitors will attend because it's a regional? It's being held in the same location so they didn't have to pay for a venue upgrade or anything like that.

    Or, were prices increased due to a perceived "value" of being a regional qualifier (ie., people are willing to pay more because of the prestige?).
  5. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    yeah, i heard it is 25, wanted to double check...

    basically we dont' have enough interest in dancesport and enough couples to run huge cheap events for amateurs...
    which in turn probably doesn't help raise the interest in dancesport and increase the numbers of competitors
  6. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    Chicago offers $100 per person early deadline.. still a lot but...
  7. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    Per PERSON?
    that is totally ridiculous!
    If I am a competitor looking to go to nationals and all serious about dancesport... i don't have this kind of money for a competition! unless I am a millionaire, but how many of us are?
  8. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    yes PER PERSON>> after early deadline 125.. SRC in ATL is 150 per person..
  9. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    I wasn thinking about doing one of these competitions... not anymore...
  10. Laura

    Laura New Member

    Anyway, getting back to college events...Stanford hosts a GREAT event every year, the Cardinal Classic. This year they are even having a show by Linas & Ieva! I think their entry fees are $5 or $10 per person for students, and $25 per person for adult non-students. This is a great price point for an event that gets bigger every year.

    The Stanford team made an effort from the beginning to get the local non-collegiate dancers involved (I've danced in this comp three or four different years). This helps with the bottom line because the non-students pay more and so help to subsidize the costs for the college students.

    I don't believe that this comp made money the first couple of years, but the team was very smart about it. They kept their production costs low, borrowed equipment to run it, got donations of time and money from the local dance scene, and kept things simple in the beginning. As the comp grew, they were able to keep their prices reasonably steady (the adult non-student price has gone from $20 to $25 over a seven-year period), but they kept attracting more and more people so they were able to slowly increase their production values. It's becoming one of the most looked-forward-to comps of the year out here amongst college and syllabus-to-lower-PreChamp level dancers in the area.

    It was kind of a "if you build it, they will come" sort of thing: by working hard for many years to build a good comp, Stanford has ended up with a very good comp that is low-cost for everyone but doesn't lose money, has reasonably sized fields for what is expected in California, and doesn't cost anyone an arm or a leg to enter.
  11. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    That's why we gave up on SRC last year.. I even talked to organizers last year on email.. saying what I said about dinner etc, but they didn't listen.. we won't go again.
  12. star_gazer

    star_gazer Active Member

    $30 (registration) + $32 (2 tix)
  13. Laura

    Laura New Member

    Question: was it a one-day comp before, and now a two-day comp? Or is it still the same number of days? That can make a big difference.

    Yes, but it is difficult to predict in the first year what the increase in attendance will be, and so it's best the first year out to budget based on the attendance date from previous, yet non-Regional, years.

    Well, you haven't seen the venue contract, so you don't know. The venues do raise their rates -- sometimes by a lot -- from time to time. For instance, for 2006 Nationals we paid one "per day" rate to use the San Jose Civic Auditorium. However, the city and/or (not sure which) the management company that administers the Civic Aud has decided to raise their "per day" rate for non-profits like us by $1000!!! That's a BIG increase for us, especially when you add in all the BS stuff like the fact that we have to use their catering department for expensive water stations, and so on. So who knows, maybe the Chicago organizers got caught in that sort of increase, it's not something that any of us would know. There are other weird and expensive ways in which venues suddenly change their policies. For instance, we never had to have a paid medical person in the building during our events before, but in a recent contract talk we had we were told we had to. We manged to negotiate our way out of that, but sometimes that sort of thing is just a matter of who is talking to who and how. They also wanted us to pay for uniformed security, and we told them to take a hike. Perhaps Chicago has suddenly had these kinds of things dropped on them and their negotiators weren't as good as ours....

    That is another possibility. Like, they look around at what the other Regionals charge and set their price based on that. That line of thinking can definitely exist.
  14. star_gazer

    star_gazer Active Member

    This "sticker shock" thing doesn't sound good. Louisville is already an expensive airport to fly to and the Galt House is an expensive hotel. It would be something if it ends up that Embassy is more affordable.
  15. dgcasey

    dgcasey New Member

    But, if the college team is that strapped for cash, shouldn't they be holding that comp on the campus somewhere? Like in the fieldhouse? Now the bill for water shouldn't be anywhere near $500. If the comp is being held outside of the football season, I would be willing to bet that the football team has quite a few empty water jugs sitting around not doing anything.
  16. Another Elizabeth

    Another Elizabeth Active Member

    It's not just the jugs - it's assigning someone to keep them filled, and to deal with them if they leak. Sometimes the college is more strapped for volunteers than for money.

    Which leads me to another cost-saving suggestion - call the organizers and ask if you can have a break on entry fees if you volunteer in a session you're not dancing. Or if it's your kids, the parents may be able to volunteer.
  17. Laura

    Laura New Member

    You'd think, but some schools are really clueless and just don't get that a ballroom dance competition is a sporting event! For instance, due to problems with hip-hop parties getting out of hand in the student union ballroom at UC Berkeley, dance parties have been banned from using that ballroom! The UC team tried to get permission to host their yearly dance competition there, and the team could not get the administration to understand that this was a sporting event that wasn't going to be filled with drunken partiers. So, after going around and around with them, they've decided to hold their annual competition off campus at a very large dance studio that recently opened in the area.
  18. Laura

    Laura New Member

    Excellent idea. All the local comps around here, be they collegiate, USA Dance, or NDCA, like to trade tickets or entry fees for volunteer time.
  19. Anna

    Anna New Member

    Just read through the whole goes...

    The MIT show was a big factor in our decision to go this year. It was also the main factor for going to Cornell. For more local competitions, a show is a nice bonus but the decision is almost entirely based on the overall quality (organization, size, officials, etc.) of the competition itself.

    We had a show last year but not this year (scheduling problems), but the number of couples still increased significantly.

    We did get more open couples than otherwise similar competitions, so I guess the scholarships helped with that.

    Our team goes to about 6 competitions a year with a registration fee of ~$30/person (subsidizing 50-100% of registration). I don't think we'll be sending the team to NE regionals though, because of the price.

    We joined UPenn in running a competition last year because our team was building up and it was a big deal for us to be big enough and cohesive enough to run a competition. So it was mostly a question of pride within the team, publicity in the ballroom community, placing ourselves in the collegiate network. Of course it's nice to make some profit towards going to other competitions as well.

    NYU seems to be unique in being the only large and succesful team around here than does not run a competition (please forgive me if I've forgotten someone), so I’ve always been curious about their model. Their website mentions a competition for the 2007-8 school year, and since they’re so close to several large teams and lots of independents, they might actually be able to edge into the over-saturated schedule.

    The price decision wasn't a big issue. Most college competitions here are pretty stable around $30 per person. This can be an issue for small teams that don't run a competition or have some source of funding outside of club dues, but unfortunately I think most teams that do run a competition do not see a big enough incentive to lower prices to attract just a few more dancers.

    I think one of the very few ways new teams can get into running competitions is to piggyback onto an existing competition, or at least co-host a competition between two new teams. NYU could be an exception though.

    We had a range in the eliteness of our judging panel and they were all paid the same amount. Judges will generally accept a low fee for judging college comps, around $300 or so.

    I might be mistaken, but I’ve heard that the Harvard and MIT teams do not get huge amounts of funding from their universities. Certainly Princeton has an enormous endowment, and we easily overspend our entire yearly allocation within 2 competitions. (And none of it going towards lessons or other costs).

    Yep. I’d much rather just have everyone pay a flat fee and expect that all competitions will have roughly the same entry fees across the year. The only exception that makes sense is a lower newcomer fee, especially for competitions early in the year and newcomer-specific ones.
  20. Anna

    Anna New Member

    The problem is, enough people are willing to pay around $30 that no one has any incentive to lower fees. In many cases, lowering the fees significantly would either attract so many more competitors that it would push the competition beyond capacity, or it would attract negligibly more and significantly decrease profits. There is also the collective action problem that has been pointed out, where if a single team lowers their fees, they might not be able to afford the other competitions.

    One solution might be YCN/USABDA funding to help "needy" teams directly, preferably in some self-sustaining way... Perhaps teams could be given grants specifically to attend small/developing competitions, allowing small teams to go to more competitions, increasing revenue for the small competitions, and in general putting more money into the system in a way that would help developing teams. It would also put the increased number of competitors into competitions that need more competitors rather than the large ones running at capacity. And it would let these teams spend school funding on MIT, etc. while still going to a few competitions a year. (This could easily require more money than YCN/USABDA has to give though, plus it still favors schools that run competitions...)

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