Ticket Bucket Ch-ch-changes

We tried something new for pricing Southwest Fox this year. Instead of using calendar deadlines, we divided the number of attendees we expect into a set of “buckets,” with an increased price for each bucket. We even put the number of seats left in each bucket on the conference home page.

The reason for the change was to get people to register sooner, which helps us in many different areas of planning. We put 20 seats in the first bucket and they all sold in the first few days after we opened registration. We were thrilled.

After that, we blew it. We put 60 seats into the second bucket, which failed to create any kind of urgency; as we write this, only 21 of those seats have sold. Even the July 1 deadline for getting a pre-conference session for free didn’t light a fire under many people. The result is that registrations are running considerably behind last year’s; we’re pretty sure it’s the pricing mechanism causing the slow registrations, not a lack of interest.

Since we really do need to know how many people are coming, we’re going to adjust the bucket sizes. But before we do, we want to give everyone a chance to get in on the current price of $645 (a discount of $125 off the regular price).

After Monday, July 25, we’re going to reduce the size of the second bucket to a total of 30 seats (or the number of people who’ve already received the Super Saver price by that date, if that’s more than 30), and add a new bucket called just “Saver,” with a price of $690, which is still $80 less than full price, for the other 30. However, anyone who registers on or before July 25 will get the Super Saver price, even if that means we have more than 60 Super Savers.

So, if you’ve been waiting for the Super Saver bucket to get close to empty before registering, that time is now.

Thanks for understanding our need to tweak this new approach. We look forward to seeing you in Gilbert in October.

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2 Comments

1
John Harvey
Saturday 9 July 2011 - 7:46 am

Maybe you should take a credit card number, like hotels do, but not charge the card until within a few weeks of the conference. I am planning on attending, but don’t want to pay four months in advance.

2
Saturday 9 July 2011 - 10:00 am

Hi John,

Thanks for your comment and I am really glad to hear you are coming this year. It has been too long since we have met, probably one of the Essential Fox conferences in KC.

There are a couple of points in response. First, some companies have a budget year that ends in the middle of a calendar year and they have to expense it early to keep it in the budget. Others like to distribute expenses over different periods to control cash flow. We as organizers have expenses to process over the entire year, but the bulk comes in September and October around the conference. We also are following the same approach as every other conference we have attended.

So all around, people have lots of choices that work for their budgets and we keep cash flowing to meet our expenses.

Rick
Southwest Fox Organizer



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