This is a proposal for Ildhafn's regular November event - St Catherine's Faire including Baronial Investiture.
The event will be a fully-catered weekend, with accommodation, from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon.
The majority of the "usual" St Catherine's will run outside: fencing, archery, armoured combat, maybe Arts and Sciences classes.
On Saturday night there will be a sumptuous feast prepared by Lady Vettoria.
The budget (and the rest of the proposal) is based on that from St Catherine's Faire/Bal d'Argent 2016.
Friday November 24th to Sunday November 26th, 2017. We have already booked the site, based on prior approval from council, and Their Majesties have booked flights to the event.
Auckland is mild in November, but changeable. Daily maxima and minima are usually in the teens (22 is unusually warm). November is one of our dryer months: about 10 rain-days, with moderate humidity.
Opening and closing times
The site will open for staff at 4:30pm on Friday, and for the populace at 5:30pm. We can't allow people on site earlier, as it may be in use by another group. (There's a possibility staff may be allowed on site earlier; will not be confirmed until a few days before the event - it depends on other bookings).
Friday will be ungarbed, or rather, garb optional.
The event will close immediately after lunch on Sunday, at around 1pm. We must be off site entirely by 3pm; and expect to begin the site-inspection with the caretaker somewhat before that.
We need a fast set-up and pack-down. That was tough, but manageable, at our previous events at this site.
Detailed discussion is on a dedicated page.
- Steward - William de Cameron (David Robb)
- Deputy steward - Elena y Delyn
- Feast cook - Vettoria di Giovanni (Shannon Wanty)
William and Vettoria are experienced stewards, with a slew of events under their belts - kingdom events, baronial investitures, St Caths, Bal d'Argent, etc. We work well together.
Many others in our group have offered to help in smaller ways (e.g. assistance with food, or music, or classes): I have no doubt of our having plenty of support, and plenty of opportunities all who wish to join in.
New Zealand dollars are used throughout.
We've used "50 adults" as a reasonable number across which to spread the fixed costs. We will almost certainly get many more than that, but the low number should allow us to make a reasonable profit, given the size of our group.
We won't make a substantial loss unless we fall well below the 34 people needed to cover the site minimum; nor will we make a substantial profit unless we get well over 50 adults for the weekend.
Budgeting for children
Our aim is to charge children only what they cost us. We'll make our profit from the adults.
Site: Hunua Falls charges $25 per day for anyone 5 and over.
Food costs: minimal for 0-4, about 1/2 for 5-11, adult price for 12-17. We're not expecting many under 5s, so we'll absorb their (minimal) food costs.
Other: Adult bookings will cover all other miscellaneous costs, and provide the profit. No late-booking fee for kids (though we'll collect it from their parents).
Site charges $25 per person (5 and over) per day: $25 for a day-trip, $50 for two days, or the whole weekend.
There will be four booking categories - other options may be negotiated with the stewards.
Budget for St Catherine's Faire, 2017
It takes 34 attendees (any age from 5) to cover the site minimum of $1700. "Fixed costs" are distributed across 50 adults.
|Adult||Youth (12-17)||Child (5-11)||Infant (under 5)|
|Food (see detailed budget below)||$42||$31||$22||$42||$31||$22||$21||$16||$11||minimal|
|Fixed costs ($10.92 per adult)|
|Snacks for set-up crew ($40)||80c|
|Cleaning, lighting, decorations, rubbish, etc ($100)||$2|
|Crown complimentaries (accomodation + food)||$3.72|
|Total cost to us||$103.92||$92.92||$58.92||$92||$81||$47||$71||$66||$36||minimal|
|Price to charge||$100||$91||$57||$90||$80||$46||$70||$65||$35||free|
The price to charge is intentionally set slightly below the costs we incur, we expect to make this up in booking numbers exceeding 50, budget underruns, late booking fees. See the pricing section for further discussion.
The spreadsheet used to generate the budget and profit projections can be found here.
Discussion of line-items
Site - $25/person/day, above a minimum $1700
The site charges $50 for people attending on 2 or 3 days (i.e full weekend or Sat-Sun), and $25 for day-trippers. Children under 5 are free, others pay adult price for site.
The site minimum is $1700. To cover that we need 34 people attending for two days, or an equivalent combination including day-trippers (e.g. 30 for the whole weekend, plus 8 daytrippers on Saturday).
The site will require an $850 deposit about 8 months before the event (March 2017), and the other $850 of the minimum two weeks before the event (mid October 2017). They'll invoice us after the event for rubbish disposal and extra people.
The laundries and barbecues are coin-operated, so the steward will need a cash float.
Food - $42/adult for the full event
All meal-budgets are well-tested: based on those used for and May Crown 2015, and previous events; which allowed cooks to produce excellent meals while spending 85-100% of their budgets. We've cut the budget slightly, as these have now been tested so well.
|Meal||Day||price per adult||Notes|
|dinner||Friday||$7||plain but hearty dinner, that can be served through the evening to late-arrivers|
|breakfast||Saturday||$4||cooked breakfast - porridge, fruit, eggs, bacon, toast etc|
|lunch||$5||plated lunch - pre-prepared pie served with salad, fruit, etc|
|feast||$16||a fantastic feast prepared by Lady Vettoria|
|breakfast||Sunday||$4||cooked breakfast - porridge, fruit, eggs, bacon, toast etc|
|lunch||$5||plated lunch - a pie served with salad, fruit, etc|
|miscellaneous||$1||tea, coffee, cordial, etc|
While we've budgeted per-meal, small amounts can be moved from one meal's budget to another as required.
The event will be fully-catered. The kitchen is excellent. We'll do our best to cater to special dietary requirements, as always.
Set-up Crew Snacks - $40
Ildhafn customarily provides snacks or a lunch for the event-staff who are likely to miss meals in setting up and packing down.
A large box of apples, juice, chocolate and biscuits - and the ability to do a pie-and-chips run if people get really hungry and stupid - does wonders for keeping a happy, sensible crew who all like each other (and the SCA) at the end of the event.
Petrol - $100
Ildhafn customarily pays for the petrol for a trip from the Quartermaster's house to the event site and back, to transport bulk of the group's gear.
- Comparison with past event expenses
- $70.54 (St Catherine's, December 2012)
- $81.98 (Bloth, June 2013)
- $48.96 (May 2015)
We only used about half our petrol budget last May, but that was in a period of unusually low petrol prices in NZ.
Laundry - $70
It costs about $60 to get all our group's linens washed and dried commercially.
We'll do some on site in the coin-operated washer and dryer (which is cheaper); but will wash more than usual, as we're providing napkins with lunch. Steward will need cash float of ~$20.
Miscellaneous - $100
- Rubbish: food-waste is free (goes to local pigs). Other rubbish at $2.50 per bag, disposed of by site. Past event there have cost $7.50-$40, scaling with attendance.
- Lighting: oil, wicks, candles. Unlikely to exceed $20.
- Cleaning: our group maintains a well-stocked cleaning box (usually). Minor additions are unlikely to exceed $20, if we have a big event we may need to spend a lot more (but will be making lots of money, so not a problem)
- Firewood: site provides wood for the burner, we have a source of free wood we will attempt to use for the bonfire.
- anything we haven't thought of
In practice, if we get a very large event (over 100 people, say) we may need to spend more on this. Rubbish and cleaning products scale with numbers, the others don't really. But at that point we'll be making a healthy profit so eating a bit of it for more loo paper and jiff won't hurt.
Printing - $50
Typically absorbed by stewards in Ildhafn, but likely to be high enough in this case that we'd like a real budget for it. Includes gate paperwork, site signage, sheet music, ball lists, etc.
We have not included "contingency" as a line item: the budget is well-tested, and there is a small contingency built into most items.
We expect attendance of about 60, with up to 80 being entirely plausible. This is based on past St Catherine's Faire attendance, plus the extra people we expect who will attend for the Baronial Investiture (say 3-6 from the Crescent Isles, 3-6 from Australia, and 6-12 from Auckland, who are interested but who don't often come to SCA events).
This will probably generate a profit of $100-$500.
At 50 attendees it's likely to just break even: most "fixed" costs actually scale somewhat with event size. Below 40 we may make more substantial losses, but we feel this is very unlikely.
Source of profit:
We need 50 adults to cover the fixed costs. For every adult above 50, we make ~$10 profit (including part-event bookings).
We'll pick up some more profit from late-booking fees ($10) (usually about 25% pay this); and anywhere cooks come in under budget.
|Attendance||Adult (18+) Price||Youth (12-17) Price||Child (5-11) Price||Infant (under 5)|
Saturday + Sunday
|Event membership for any adult not already a subscribing member||+$2||-||-|
These prices are intentionally set slightly below our estimated costs. Based on the financial reports from previous events and the likelihood of exceeding the number of people required to cover the fixed costs, we expect to make up the shortfall through a combination of three main factors:
- Late booking fees - these have previously been paid by up to 25% of attendees. We have factored this into the profit/loss projections at half this rate.
- > 50 attendees - it is likely that we will get 60+ attendees, and the fixed costs have been split across the minimum number of people we reasonably expect will book for the event.
- Budget underruns - although our budget is well tuned after previous events at the same site, under very similar conditions, we still expect that some items may come in at between 5 and 10% under the listed amount. This is our contingency built into these items.
We have set the proposed prices in this way to try and keep the maximum amount charged at or under $100 for most attendees, and to make attendance by larger family groups as affordable as possible, in order to maximise attendance. As many potential attendees will also have been at Midwinter Coronation earlier in the year, we want to keep costs down.
We have also chosen amounts to charge so that every possible booking category (including adult amounts which may or may not include event membership) is unique, to make the post-event financial reporting easier.
As can be seen, at 50 attendees for the full weekend, it is likely that the event will make a small profit. Although making a loss is not the intention of this event, the potential losses would not be significant to the Barony.
|Bookings open||Prices increase||Bookings Close||Bookings Finalised||Event!|
|Date||August 6th 2017||October 1st||November 10th||November 17th||Nov 24th-26th|
|Period before event||7 weeks||Two weeks||One week|
Bookings open on August 6th, subject to council approval of the bid.
Adult prices rise by $10 on October1st
Book and pay by October 1st for the early rate. Stewards can waive this at their discretion.
Bookings close a fortnight before the event. There'll be a waiting list, so late-bookers can replace anyone who cancels at the last minute. Stewards can accept late bookings, at their discretion.
Changes and cancellations
With full refund until a fortnight before the event; no refunds after bookings close (except for cancellations for illness, emergency, etc).
We have a well-developed online booking-form for our larger events (see here, for May Crown 2015).
New Zealanders pay in advance by direct deposit.
Visitors from overseas may pay in advance by direct deposit, or in cash on the day (NZ dollars).
We expect payment promptly after booking (save from international visitors who have arranged to pay on the day).
Cap on numbers - 120, somewhat flexible
- Accommodation: the site can sleep about 122; with more room for tents
- Hall: the hall has tables and chairs for over 100 (more at a pinch)
- Kitchen: a large industrial kitchen; will not struggle even with site at capacity
- Toilets: the site's septic tanks can't handle more than 120 at a time; but they can arrange portaloos if we'll need them
See separate page.