Archive for Registration
Let’s pursue what we talked about in Part 1. Let’s say you have your contract with the venue in hand, and you have determined the baseline cost per person, depending on room occupancy. You are hoping for 50 women to attend. The contracted room price is $80 per night, $160 for two nights. This is divided by the number of ladies in each room. Additionally, the meal price is $60 per person for 4 meals. **In this example, the room price includes the 7% city tax you pay even if you are exempt of state tax. Meal prices are inclusive of all service charges:
- One-per-room = $160 plus meals ($60) – $220 **Guest speaker would be offered a private room
- Two-per-room = $80 each plus meals ($60/each) = $140 per person
- Three-per-room = $55 each plus meals ($60 each) = $115 per person
- Four-per-room = $40 each plus meals ($60 each) = $100 each
How do you come up with the actual cost of registration? All other retreat costs will be estimated and divided by your projected number of women attending (50):
- Guest speaker travel (local – possibly gas and to meals ($80), private room and meals ($220), honorarium ($400) = $14/person
- Promotion,booklets, nametags ($200) = $4/per person
- Remembrance gift ($50) = $1/per person
- Decorations ($50) = $1/person
- Built-in expenses ($250) = $5/person
How do you come up with the actual cost of registration? Actual cost for each person would then be figured at the base cost of the retreat plus $25/person.
- Two-per-room = $140 + $25 = $165
- Three-per-room = $115 + $25 = $140
- Four-per-room = $100 + $25 = $125
If you do not have any budget money to work with and the retreat is totally self-supporting, you now have your budget for guest speaker, booklets, name tags, remembrance gifts and decorations. If more than your budgeted number of people attend, then you find yourself flowing in the black, which is a good place to be on the balance sheet!
What to charge for your event? That is the question. And it is never a simple answer, primarily because we have to set the price before we know the exact number of women who will attend. Our price is based on our best guesstimate of the number of women coming.
We begin with the biggest expense–the venue and meals. If this is a hotel, you have probably contracted a price based on room occupancy (if you are staying overnight), the meeting room and then a price for the number and kind of meals that you want during your event. Full breakfasts cost more than continental breakfasts; buffets may be more expensive than plate meals. Remember, meals can be an area where you have some flexibility in cutting the cost of a retreat. Both of these prices (rooms/meals) are based on your projected number (of rooms/people). If you are needing extra meeting rooms, that increases your costs, and there may also be additional charges for equipment and special set up requests.
Once meal choices have been made, the only variable in the base cost of your retreat is how many people room together. In our case, we have a price for 2-per-room, 3-per room and 4-per room (which is the maximum per room, normally). This price includes the meals. Any additional entertainment (such as horse-back riding at a camp) would be an individual choice, and not included in the price of the retreat.
The following expenses may also need to be considered; divide the total cost by the number of expected attendees to determine the cost per person:
- Guest speaker (travel, room/meals and honorarium)
- Promotional materials, booklet, name tags
- Remembrance gifts
- Decorations allowance
- Built-in expenses (such as scholarships)
These costs are estimated at a per person cost, and added to the base cost of the event to determine the amount charged for the retreat. We will look at this further next week. Finally, these numbers are also used to provide a budget for the retreat. We’ll explain that further in two weeks.
For the next month, our weekly posts will concern money matters. And money does matter, especially if you are the women’s ministry in a smaller church with a tight budget. Often, there is no extra money in the budget for women’s ministry, so all of our activities need to be self-supporting–meaning that we need to bring in enough from the event to fully pay for the expenses of the event. And that can be tricky at times.
As we plan a retreat, a luncheon or other event, we need to estimate, as accurately as possible, the number of women who will attend the event. This will enable us to create a budget that will balance in the end. IT IS ALWAYS SAFER TO UNDER-ESTIMATE! It will mean smaller budget numbers, but hopefully keep you from ending up in the red.
Even when we underestimate, leaders can find themselves anxious that even that number of women won’t attend because ladies are waiting until the final minutes to sign up. Consider this option for encouraging early sign up!
With a very few exceptions, IF you have registered for the retreat and have to cancel after the registration deadline, you do not get your money back.
There will still be ladies who can’t attend because something comes up at the last minute. Often, this type of cancellation happens the week of the retreat. It is sad, because we are then left with an opening, fully paid for, which may go unfilled.
The Waiting List
Encourage women who are unable to afford the cost of the retreat or women who, for whatever reason, missed your registration deadline to be on the waiting list. By keeping a waiting list, we have a list of women to call who may be able to come if someone cancels at the last minute, using that fully-paid-for registration.