[Elfsea] Crown's desire to reduce the number of Kingdom Calendar events (long)

Tangwystl tangwystl at elfsea.net
Mon Oct 7 10:04:06 PDT 2002

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Depend on you to put it so well. I would agree with your analysis completely


-------Original Message-------

From: elfsea at ansteorra.org
Date: Monday, October 07, 2002 11:36:35 AM
To: elfsea at ansteorra.org; loch-ruadh at ansteorra.org; steppes at ansteorra.org
Cc: crown at ansteorra.org
Subject: [Elfsea] Crown's desire to reduce the number of Kingdom Calendar
events (long)

I have thought long and hard about this issue. The following derives mainly
from my previous existence as a Seneschal and my current and past position
on the Elfsea financial committee, but others in those roles may well derive
different conclusions.

I have not communicated directly with the Crown, but I understand they have
asked groups to consider dropping one of their two Kingdom Calendar events.
I hesitate to impute thoughts to TRM, but I have been told their motivation
was primarily to stem the current drop in attendance at major events.

As an autocrat of a recent event that had about 30% fewer attend than
expected, I am very interested in the causes of this decline and possible
solutions. But I have a few problems with the current analysis. At this year
s Elfsea Defender, the gate was down. We looked at who attended and who did
not and compared that to previous years. This indicated people who live
farther away from the event did not attend in the same numbers as in
previous years. Talking with those who did attend from far away, we were
told "the economy" was the culprit. Many of the people in the SCA are out of
a job. Many are afraid of what may happen to their jobs. And they are
conserving their resources. We had several people in Elfsea who had to save
up by not attending other events to afford Defender even though it is a
local" event.

I am active in the Boy Scouts and we have seen an equivalent reduction in
attendance at our district and council events. Our analysis shows this is
primarily due to a bad economy.

Though a proliferation of events to choose between will reduce the
attendance if our membership stays the same, it is also beneficial to us.
Events are primary recruiting attractions. Once we get people interested we
set the hook" by taking them to local events. Events build group spirit.
Events provide the training ground for new autocrats, Chirurgeons, Marshals,
and every other function. And many events give us many more choices about
the kind and style of events we would like to attend. More events combined
with effective member recruitment yields a bigger SCA with many more choices

I would argue that our reduction of attendance is not so much caused by too
many events, but by a combination of a bad economy and a slowdown in
membership growth. In a good economy and with good recruitment drives, we
would need the extra events to provide sufficient venues to have fun,
provide training, and have enough tournaments to encourage our new fighters.

Shifting gears, I would like to analyze the financial effect of dropping one
of a group's two Kingdom Calendar events. Most Baronies depend on the
profits (if any) from their Kingdom Calendar events to fund their group for
the year. The argument is everyone dropping one of their two events will
increase the attendance enough at the remaining events to make up for the
lost income from the dropped event. Elfsea's Springfaire generally gets
350-400 people attending at a net of about $3/person. Elfsea's Defender
generally gets about 500-550 people with a net of about $3/person. This
yields $2550-2850/year. If we drop Springfaire, for instance, Defender must
make an additional $1200 in profit to replace it. Since the costs have
already been absorbed by the analysis above, this would require 120
additional people attending ($1200/$10 site fee). I am not confident we
would get the additional 120 people.

Two events also provide a safety buffer. If your first event is a disaster
(rained out, an external event like 9/11, or other uncontrollable disaster),
you still have another chance to raise the money needed to run your group.
This has happened with Elfsea a couple of years ago. Threatened heavy rains
(which did not actually come) caused many people to stay home for
Springfaire and we just barely broke even (it could have been worse - a
major loss). We structured Defender to be a good event with minimal costs
and recovered most of the deficit. Dropping to one event greatly increases
our risk. If our one event has problems (either uncontrollable or due to our
faults) we don't have another event to try to recover.

Note: the Kingdom's income comes from a combination of their percentages of
Kingdom Events and tithes from some groups (including Elfsea). This
additional risk would extend to the Kingdom's income also. If our yearly
income was reduced our voluntary tithe would be reduced. If our income was
sufficiently bad, we might find it difficult to make a voluntary tithe.

In summary, I am aware of the drop in attendance at most of our events, but
I believe this is a combination of a bad economy and stagnation in our
recruitment of new members. Dropping an event would not affect either of
these issues, but would decrease venues for recruitment, training, and
socialization. Dropping an event would also increase our financial risk by
putting all our eggs in one basket. Finally, attendance would have to
increase by 25-30% as a result of this change to allow the same income from
the single remaining event as we had from the two events previously. I do
not have confidence such an increase is probable.

In service to the Crown, Ansteorra, and the Barony of Elfsea,
HL Caelin on Andrede

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