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May Crown 2015 - proposal

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This bid is a resubmission of Ildhafn's bid for November Crown 2014, with the significant adjustments listed below:

  • The site fee has increased by $4 per person, with a minimum total of $1700
  • Added $10 to each of petrol, laundry and miscellaneous budgets; and removed $2 from printing (to bring the totals back to round numbers)
  • Removed $1/head from lunch budget: the platters we purchased recently can be used instead of wicker baskets
  • Added $1/head to the token budget, taking it to $3
  • The result of the changes above is that the total adult price has increased by $5

The last Kingdom event in the Crescent Isles was Midwinter Coronation, in Ildhafn, in 2010. We think it's time we ran another one.

The event will be a fully-catered weekend, with accommodation, from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon.

Our aim is to do what we already do well as smoothly as we may: using well-refined plans and schemes we've carried out before to produce the most spectacular event we can with the least fuss. 

While we want lots of theatre and pageantry, we don't have a particular period or theme in mind: we think Crown Tournament is as much about SCA culture as any specific bit of the middle ages.


 

Dates and times

Friday May 1st to Sunday 3rd, 2015.

Weather

Auckland is mild in May. Daily maxima and minima are usually in the teens (22 is unusually warm). May is an average month for rain: about 12 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.

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; but we kept to this schedule at our previous event at this site, and will be more efficient now we know the site.


 

Site

Detailed discussion is on a dedicated page.


 

People

Detailed discussion is on a dedicated page.


 

Budget

New Zealand dollars are used throughout.

Break even

The site has a minimum charge of $1700 - i.e. 40 people attending the whole weekend.

We've used "40 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.

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 $22 per night (or day visit) for anyone 5 and over, so we must too.

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: Site token - $3. 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).

Partial attendance

As the site charges us $22 per person (over 5yrs old) who is on site for Friday or Saturday night, or for day-tripping, we're presenting the following attendance windows:

  • Friday night
  • Tournament
  • Feast
  • Saturday night

If a person wishes to attend for up to 2 of these units in a row, they're charged $22 in site fees, giving the options below:

  1. Friday night + Saturday until after the tournament (not staying for the feast, Saturday night, or Sunday)
  2. Day-tripping Saturday, arriving after breakfast (on-site for the tournament + feast, not staying either night).
  3. Saturday evening (arrive after the tournament, but there for the feast) through until the end of the event on Sunday

Anyone staying for longer is charged $44 in site fees, with the following options:

  1. Whole event (Friday -> Sunday)
  2. Arriving any time on Saturday (after breakfast but before the end of Crown tournament) staying until the end of the event on Sunday.
  3. Friday night + Saturday until after the tournament (staying for the feast but not Saturday night, or Sunday)
Budget for May Crown 2015 (dividing fixed costs across 40 adult attendees)
 

Adult (18+)

Youth (12-17)

Child (5-11)

Infant (under 5)
Booking option a b c 1 2 3 a b c 1 2 3 a b c 1 2 3 any
Site fee $44 $22 $44 $22 $44 $22 free
                     
Food - scheduled meals (see detailed food-budget) $54 $42 $43 $23 $31 $34 $54 $42 $43 $23 $31 $34 $29 $22 $23 $13 $16 $18  
                  
Fixed costs $13/adult                                                                                                
Snacks for set-up crew $40 $1

Site+food for Crown

$202

$5.05

Petrol $100

$2.50
Laundry $70 $1.75
Misc - Cleaning, Lighting, Bells, Wreaths etc  $80 $2
Printing $28 $0.70
 
Site token $3 $3 $3  
Kingdom Levy $1                
                  
Total cost  $115

$103

$104 $62 $70 $73 $101 $89 $90 $48 $56 $59 $76  $69 $70 
$38 
$41 
$43 free

The spreadsheet used to generate these numbers can be found here.

Discussion of line-items

Site - $22/night, above a minimum $1700

The site charges $22 for a night (4pm to 4pm) OR a day-visit; and will ask us for numbers on site each night plus total day-trippers. Under 5s are free, no price-break for older kids.

A pencil booking has been made; to be confirmed by May.

They'll require an $850 deposit about 8 months before the event (September 2014), and the other $850 of the minimum two weeks before the event (April 16th 2015). The site will 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 - $54/person

Meal-by-meal budgets for food.

All meal-budgets are based on those used for St Catherine's Faire in late 2012, and the Bloth in mid 2013, and which allowed cooks to produce excellent meals while spending 85-100% of their budgets.

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.

  • Comparison with past event expenses
    • $39.40 (St Catherine's 2012)
    • ~$30 (Bloth 2013)

Site and food for Crown - $202

Of course we won't charge the Crown for the event. The costs we must cover are their food ($54 each) and site-fee ($44 each), and tokens for them ($3 each).

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.

Isabel Winter has kindly agreed loan her horse-float and a suitable tow-vehicle.

  • Comparison with past event expenses (same car and float, similar distance)
    • $70.54 (St Catherine's, December 2012)
    • $81.98 (Bloth, June 2013)

We've added 20%, to allow for increase in petrol costs.

Laundry - $70

It costs about $60 to get all our group's linens washed and dried commercially.

  • Comparison with past event expenses
    • $50 (St Catherine's 2012)
    • $69 (Bloth 2013) (unusually high: will not use this place again)

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 - $80

Rubbish: food-waste is free (goes to local pigs). Other rubbish at $2.50 per bag, disposed of by site. Our last major event there cost $7.50 in rubbish-disposal.

Lighting: oil, wicks, candles. Unlikely to exceed $20.

Cleaning: our group maintains a well-stocked cleaning box. It may need minor additions; unlikely to exceed $20.

Wreaths, bells, etc: unlikely to exceed $20.

Firewood: provided by site, no extra charge.

That leaves about $10 for inflation, or stuff we haven't thought of.

Printing - $28

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, printed material for the use of the Crown (e.g. attendance list and local OP), etc.

Token - $3/person

We have some ideas, but we've not yet decided.

Contingency

We have not included "contingency" as a line item. This budget is well-tested, and there is a small contingency built into most items.

Profit projections

We expect attendance of about 75. This will probably generate a profit of $600-$800. It will only make a loss if we fall below 40 attendees (adults and children); which is highly unlikely.

By the standards of much of the kingdom that's a small event and a meagre profit. However, we don't feel we can reasonably increase any of the numbers - prices, profit, or attendance.

May Crown 2014 Profit Projection

Profit projections by attendance
Adult attendees Minimum profit[1] Optimistic profit[2]
40 $0 $280
60 $260 $680
70 $390 $880
80 $520 $1080
100 $780 $1480

Source of profit:

We only need 40 adults to cover the fixed costs. For every adult above 40, we make at least $13 profit (whether they book for the whole event or only part).

We'll pick up some more profit from late-booking fees ($10 after March 1st); and anywhere cooks come in under budget.

[1] Minimum Profit: guaranteed for a given attendance - calculated from only fixed-expenses beyond break-even of 40 adults; i.e. assumes we spend all of our budget, and everyone books and pays before the price-rise.

[2] Optimistic Profit: entirely plausible, but not guaranteed - assumes 20% of adults pay after the price-increase (+$10), and cooks save $5/person across all meals (i.e. ~10% under-budget ).

Attendance: about 75

Our last Kingdom Event (Coronation in 2010), and our last two Baronial Investitures (2008 and 2011) got attendance in the mid-70s. It would be extremely surprising if we got attendance below 60, or above 90.

Our Barony is small, and fairly isolated. The group based in Auckland is has around 25 members. The rest of our small Barony is spread across the Waikato: most members live 2-4 hours drive from Auckland, and many are families with children.

The only neighbouring group is Darton, about 9 hours drive away, and also small. We expect good attendance from Southron Gaard, and hope for good attendance from Australia; but both rely on people who are able to fly to events.

Pricing/Profit:

The event, as proposed, is expensive enough to put it out of the reach of some of our Barony. We can't reduce costs far without losing some of the facilities that make it suitable for a Crown Event (e.g. good accommodation). We're unlikely to substantially increase profit by increasing the prices, as it's likely to be offset by reduced attendance.

We considered offering the whole profit to the Kingdom, instead of half. After some discussion, we decided against this: our group can only sustain one event a year that makes any significant profit (our experience being that if we run a second, low attendance makes the profits minimal). Thus, this event is likely to be our only major income for 2015. After splitting the profit with kingdom, we should make about what we usually do on St Catherine's Faire: i.e. it will be a "normal" year for us financially.

Proposed Prices (assuming budget as above)

       Attendance Adult (18+) Price Youth (12-17) Price Child (5-11) Price Infant (under 5)
A Whole event

$115

$101

$76

Free!

B

Saturday + Sunday (excludes Saturday breakfast)

$103 $89 $69
C Friday + Saturday + Feast (not staying Saturday night or Sunday) $104 $90 $70
1 Friday + Saturday (no feast, or accommodation Saturday night) $62 $48 $38
2 Day tripping Saturday (no accommodation) includes feast $70 $56 $41
3 After tournament arrival Saturday (feast + accommodation Saturday night) $73 $59 $43
  Event membership for any adult not already a subscribing member +$2      

 

Summary of booking options: what you get
  Friday Saturday Sunday
  Dinner Accom. Breakfast Morning Lunch Tourney Feast Accom. Breakfast Lunch
A                    
B                    
C                    
1                    
2                    
3                    

The stewards would like to retain limited ability to arrange prices for other attendance options, but we're much constrained by how the site charges us.


 

Bookings

Booking will be required for all attendees.

Schedule for Bookings
  Advertise event Bookings open Prices increase Bookings Close Bookings Finalised Event!
Date from May 2014 January 1st 2015 March 1st April 17th April 24th May 1st-3rd
Period before event 1 year 5 months 2 months Two weeks One week  

Bookings open on January 1st, a few weeks after November Crown Tournament in 2014, and five months before the event. While we could open them earlier, this means all event income will be in one financial year; and the incoming Crown can request changes to the event before bookings open.

Adult prices rise by $10 on March 1st. We usually get a rush of bookings just before deadlines. By March, May Crown is the "next big thing" both locally and for the kingdom - most people can make plans.

People who book before the price-rise will be charged the extra $10 if we have not recieved payment by March 6th (international travellers excepted).

The stewards may waive the $10 late-booking fee where someone couldn't reasonably have booked any earlier (e.g. work roster not yet published), or in cases of financial hardship.

Bookings will close a fortnight before the event. After that, there'll be a waiting list, so late-bookers can replace any gentles who cancel at the last minute. Any with good cause may be allowed to book late, at the steward's discretion.

Changes and cancellations

Changes and cancellations will be accepted, with full refund, until a fortnight before the event.

No changes to bookings (except non-attendance due to illness, emergency, etc.) will be accepted inside the last week.

Booking form

We have a well-developed online booking-form for our larger events (see here, for St Catherine's 2013). We'll refine it a little further for a Crown Event.

Payment

New Zealand residents must pay in advance, by direct deposit, into Ildhafn's Kiwibank account.Those who don't use internet banking can deposit into our account in person at any Kiwibank branch (i.e. any post office).

Visitors from overseas may pay in advance by direct deposit, or in cash on the day (NZ dollars). We suggest paying in groups if you use the former option, to share the cost of an international transfer.

We expect payment promptly after booking (save from international visitors who have arranged to pay on the day). Locals who haven't paid when bookings close will be given five days (and a stern email) before their booking is cancelled.

Cap on numbers - 120

It's unlikely that we'll invoke this: Ildhafn's largest events over the last 6 years - Kingdom Events and Baronial Investitures - have drawn 70-75 people.

  • 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.

Food

Detailed discussion is on a dedicated page.


 

Schedule

Detailed discussion is on a dedicated page, along with Chores and Entertainments.


Communications

Detailed discussion is on a dedicated page.


 

Contingency plans

Detailed discussion is on a dedicated page