Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The cost of running the State of the Franchise event

Yes, we all loved the event. Don't be fooled though. The event costs a lot of money. It was a nice sign of goodwill when the team was struggling and getting people interested in the team was difficult. They'd be maybe 1000 - 2000 people at the event? They'd get food and drink and get a chance to schmooze with the front office and some players.

We're now in a very different world. The Jays have been to the playoffs two years in a road, they now sell out on a regular basis, and season ticket sales have gone through the roof. The most recent number I saw was 12,000 of them. Too many people to be able to schmooze with. The question and answer session is now pre-planned questions and streamed to everyone. No exclusivity there.

Which leaves the free food and drink. No big deal there, right? Not so fast.

First off, there's the cost of running the facilities. Electricity costs for running the lights, heating, and the concessions. Staff to run concessions and usher. You'll need to have security and medical staff there as well. Insurance for the event. Transportation of goods and set-up costs.

If you're bringing in players, their transportation and accommodation costs. Honorarium and food costs as well.

Then you have the costs of your salary staff. The time they spend working on the event is time that isn't be used elsewhere so there is a definable cost for that.

And now we get to that open bar and food. A good rule of thumb in planning events is estimating at least $30/person with an open bar. Multiply that by 12,000 people (and that's a conservative estimate). That alone is $360,000.

It's safe to say that this event would cost at least $500,000.  And half of those people at the event won't even be season ticket holders, the people you're doing this for in the first place.

Is this a good use of money? Or do you find other ways to do something special for your season ticket holders that is not so easily transferable?

This is why I'm not so upset about this event being cancelled. It's outlived its usefulness.

A summary of costs to consider when running an event is here. And an outline of how to budget is here.