[Foss4g2008loc] Lessons 2007 and more costs

Carrin Martin Carrin.Martin at mrc.ac.za
Thu Nov 8 02:32:28 EST 2007


Thanks, the lessons are very useful.  I agree particularly with one of
the Lessons under 'Social Venues'   "In general, we seem to have a
history of subsidizing the event, but it's a dangerous and potentially
unsustainable habit.'  I suggest that we cut the social functions from
our budget and try and get them sponsored.  I'm very confident that we
will get sponsorship and that should pay for the extras.  If the cost is
going to be a critical factor in getting people to come from afar, we
need to bring it down to the minimum.  If it's a toss-up between people
and functions, I'll go for people.  

One of the draw cards for developing countries will be attending
reasonably priced workshops, so I think we need to be ready to provide
as many as are required. I think it was Dawn who said that people can
justify coming if they can show that they learnt something tangible by
attending training.    

If we look at the exhibition space costs - we have 559 square meters
allocated for exhibitors. I think we should work on 500 to be
conservative.  The cost R186 000 for the hire of the space divided by
500 meters is R372 per meter - which  needs to be charged to the
exhibitor.  So someone wanting a 2x3m booth gets to pay R2 232 (R372 x
6) + R2 000 for the booth = R4 232 ($596).  That has to exclude any free
registrations otherwise we are running at a loss. We may tell them that
they get free registrations but they pay for it in the cost of the stand
: R9 000 for one free, R13 00 for 2 free.  

Some of course will be paying big money for all sorts of extras plus a
stand.  So a 20m shell needs to recover 20m x R372 = R7 440 plus the R3
800 booth costs = R11 240 without any reg benefits. If they want two
free registrations it will cost R20 000.00.  Our conference is slightly
longer than 2007 so the cost of space will be more.  

Inge is absolutely right, we have to look very carefully at the
prospectus, and make sure that the sponsorship costs actually cover the
identified items.  Has every costable item be costed and is it catered
for somewhere. If we are selling lunches and teas to sponsors that are
already paid for by delegates, we get some fat in the budget.  
We also need to provide for people just wanting to hire space and not
wanting to do the big sponsorship thing.  
Who pays for the banners that are in the prospectus, is that us or them.
I think we need to be clear on that, otherwise we have to get quotes
which need to be added to the budget.  

If we run out of meeting rooms, we could have 2 demo areas in the
exhibition hall and use them for smaller session as well as break time

I don't think we will get too many local exhibitors unless they are
people who provide a solution rather than a product.  I would be
surprised if we got more than 10.  

***Burnie, Dup and Wilhelm, any comment on this, and do you know what
the cost of a stand is at an international conference these days?  

Now if we remove the workshops, the exhibitions, the cocktail functions
and the gala dinner wine, and reduce the gifts to R100 000 we are left
with a subtotal of R1 520 840 + 5% contingency (R76 042) = R1 596 882 +
VAT R223 563.55 = R 1,820,446.05.  
PeopleSA costs are about R300 000 = R2 120 446 divided by 600 people =
R3 534 ($498) !!! And there we have a good conference fee which can be
played with for early and late registration.   (someone needs to check
all my sums!!)  If we add the workshop rates I sent yesterday, the
conference costs are lower than the 2007 one. 

So what I'm suggesting is that we separate the costs: 
1. Delegates pay for the conference proper
2. Exhibitors pay for the exhibition area
3. Workshop attendees pay for workshops
4. Sponsors pay for social functions
6. over and above that is our profit - which we do want. 

I think we need to decide how many people are going to get in free, if
any.  Obviously we can't expect invited guests to pay, but if that is
only 10 people, it woun't make much of a difference.  Your lessons
learnt page says that no-one gets in free, which I support. 

2007 organisers - do the workshop organisers get any special concessions
or do they do this out of the goodness of their hearts.
In other words, are there any hidden costs that we need to account for.

Carrin Martin
Senior Scientist (MSoc.Sci)
Malaria Research Programme
Medical Research Council
491 Ridge Road
South Africa
Phone : 27 - 31 - 2034811
Fax : 27 - 31 - 2034704
e-mail : martinc at mrc.ac.za

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