USDC - U.S. Dance Championships

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by samina, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    I would not rely on that source of revenue for morning, or mid-week evening events, but for Friday and Saturday night I don't think it is wise to ignore this source of revenue. Orlando is a growing metro area, I think there should be some interest in watching that sort of entertainment. Also, I don't know how many competitors were there with their families, but I haven't noticed that many kids around, compared to a smaller comp, but in summer. From academic calendar perspective this is one of the worst weeks to have a competition.
     
  2. tendancer

    tendancer Member

    It's not simple supply and demand here, because in economic terms, ballroom admission tickets would be an example of a highly price-inelastic item. It is not like selling a t-shirt or eggs, where if you lower the price demand goes up almost linearly--or more importantly, where if you increase the price demand would go down linearly.

    If a ballroom seats 100 people, and charging $50 gets 50 people to come in, an organizer wouldn't want to charge $25 to try to get a full ballroom--chances are, even if he charge $25 he'll just end up with 55 or 60 people and make less $: The same 50 people, likely all dancers/relatives/friends who already spent $ to make the trip, would come one way or the other. And by lowering the price one would get, optimistically, maybe like 10 folks who walked by and go "hey this may be interesting, let's pay $25 and watch these folks I don't know dance"?

    So instead, since they got the dancers+relatives where they want them, they'll raise the price...and there're additional ways to do this, maybe raise the entry fees; or "double dip" and insist dancers would have pay an entry fee to dance + a fee just to enter the ballroom; or give a "top teacher" cash award and entice the pros into doing the dirty work and throw a hard sales pitch at their students to make as many students
    as possible to come and pay the increased entry fees, etc. So in the long term, until ballroom truly becomes popular enough that the general non-dancing public is willing to pay $25+/ticket, price will keep going up.

    It comes down to: is an organizer's priority to help make ballroom dance accessible to as many as possible, or to make money? And though they're price-gouging one can't fault them for making the latter choice either, it's a business. And until dancers revolt by refusing to pay the outrageous fees and not go to a comp--and we dancers don't, yes we complain about it on msg boards but then we stink up and pay the price anyway--there's no really no reason for organizers to change when they can capitalize on the price inelasticity.
     
  3. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    it is a very cheap time to book an event in florida though
     
  4. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    A and B along with family of the pro/am competitor and the rest of pros who aren't competing in the pro events....I think very little of the third...some, but very little
     
  5. croaker

    croaker New Member

    Have you ever been to a collegeate competition? The ballrooms are packed there.
    Where are these kids when the price to get in is not $15 but $50? Not buying tickets,
    that's for sure.
    Also, it's curious that TV shows like "Dancing with the stars" and "So you think you can dance" are setting records, but the live dance competitions are still run "business as usual". Let charge dancers and their families through the roof, nobody else will show up anyway. Of course they won't. This hurts the culture of ballroom dancing more than anything else.
    OSB is one great exception where collegiate dancers can get to see the professional competition at a low price. And they do come!
     
  6. reb

    reb Active Member

    Good question (maybe you've hit on a poll idea . . .) - as I see it (slightly different groupings) in this order:
    1. Competitors of all stripes who participate at any part of any day (Pro, Amateur, Pro/Am students, including collegiate, junior, etc.)
    2. Family / friends of the above
    3. Local students / local social dancers who enjoy going to a comp (although I see a sizeable amount of our local area social dancers heading out to organized social events the same evenings of local comps - they are that disinterested in the competitive scene and would rather 'do' than 'watch')
    4. Random spectators
    As we've seen on these forums, there are a number of people who would attend if they could afford to attend. That number would be lessened by a lower price, but my experience with pricing is that reductions would reduce, not eliminate this situation. of course, significant reductions might.

    I'll bet some organizers could add to this from experience . . .
     
  7. reb

    reb Active Member

    It would be interesting to see how certain pricing practices might work - a challenge would be to see who would hold the risk during the experiment (M&S anyone?)
     
  8. waltzgirl

    waltzgirl New Member

    Yes, but are they there to see dancing, or to see their friends? How many of them have no connection to the events being run (competing in other heats, members of the ballroom club, friends of competitors, etc.)? Would they turn out to see dancing they had no personal connection to? I doubt it.
     
  9. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    But smaller comps do not charge as much for evening sessions as USDC and I think they get a better turnout of spectators. Last year, for example, Saturday evening session at Windy City Open was sold out completely. I think the show was a major attraction there, since they had Max and Yulia, and I think a lot of spectators were locals who did not compete. And at USDC, I don't think all those who danced in morning bronze/silver sessions went to see evening sessions, in attempts to save some $$$, so I think they do lose some income there. The number of pro-am competitors there is not that big, it's not anywhere near OSB in size, so if they're supposed to constitute the bulk of the audience, no wonder the ballroom was pretty much deserted. I personally went to just one evening session, because I wanted to see someone I know dance.
     
  10. kimV6

    kimV6 New Member

    i will say in reference to the above, that as a college student, i would have paid the train tickets, and spent the entire weekend in orlando with partner just to watch USDSC... if the ballroom entry fees weren't $70 for the pro events.
     
  11. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Moderator

    Maybe there needs to be more price discrimination? Greater discounts for students, especially those already spending money to compete in other events? More seating categories, perhaps as many as 5 or 10?
     
  12. reb

    reb Active Member

    TC - I like these ideas.:eek:

    In addition to your idea of student discounts and seating categories (great ideas!), how about:
    • Kids
    • Seniors (not too long now . . . )
    To limit the organizers risk, there could be a limited number of these discounted tickets, encouraging advance sign-up which could reduce it a little bit further . . .
     
  13. delamusica

    delamusica Active Member

    Ditto - I would have driven down and spent the entire weekend alone in orlando just to watch - the tickets were completely prohibitive
     
  14. syncopationator

    syncopationator Active Member

    I think I read that they had around 7,000 entries at USDSC. Its not OSB, but still a pretty big comp. So the demand was there, but like others have said, most stayed away to save $$ since they were already spending a alot of $$ on the competition and hotel.

    Some competitions waive the entry fees for the pro events if the competing pros have a certain number of pro/am entrys. Why not do something similar for the students/amateurs by giving a reduced ticket for the evening pro sessions. After all, it is the pro/am $$ that are driving the competitions. It would be a nice gesture to say the least.
     
  15. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    *grin* hey etp, you musta' really been sleeping, this woulda' been covered in the micro economics class....
     
  16. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    I think one of the reasons a smaller comp may get more evening turnout IS the time factor. I missed work for almost a whole week, and spent stupid amounts of money on sunglasses hat sunscreen restaurant food, taxis... like taking a vacation, but working. So paying to go in the ballroom was the last thing I wanted to do if I didn't have to. However if I showed up at a comp on Saturday and only missed that day of work, then paying for a ticket is not such a dent in the wallet. But when it is a whole weeks worth of admission tickets to buy, one becomes much more discriminating...
     
  17. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member


    Very briefly-- When I ran my comps-showcases etc, I have to do a cost analysis .

    I have to look at my fixed costs, factor in variables, and then, price my event on probable attendance . This is done, by calculating what I termed a " mean average " .
    My pricing is then pre set. I know that the overall package, is "swings and round abouts", that is to say-- sold out Sat and half empty for several other sessions .
    I want you to just consider this --- 7 Judges--Air fare -- Hotel, Food and Salaries .

    Thats just for openers.

    I do, by the way , agree , that some events do seem overpriced ( and maybe they are ) .
     
  18. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    excellent idea
     
  19. liz

    liz New Member

    sigh***** on a perfect, fair world we wouldn't have to have this discussion... Sad, isn't it?
     
  20. cy_phi

    cy_phi Member


    Yeah, the economics and business of ballroom is a controversial subject where no one can be satisfied of the answers. I see this has bought a lively discussion since I started it[#398]! I've come to accept that this activity is a fairly expensive venture; I cannot afford all things ballroom so I have to pick what gives me the most satisfaction.

    If one decides to go to USDSC's events one evening, one should have figure this into their ballroom budget. Like I said, $70 for a six hour event is not a bad price for the one of most prestigious comps in the country. I paid that amount to see Burn The Floor, and that lasted only 3 hours. I cannot imagine how much Blackpool costs to watch!
     

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