Balancing Budgets: Managing Service Levels as Participant Numbers Vary

Richard Bunting
April 14, 2024
8 minutes

Striking the Balance: Service Levels and Fixed Entry Fees in Event Planning

At Western Bike Events, our dedication to delivering exceptional mountain biking experiences is matched by our commitment to financial transparency and sustainability. We understand the intricacies of event management, especially when it comes to offering varied service levels against the backdrop of a fixed entry fee. Here's how we navigate these waters to bring you events that are not just exhilarating but also equitable.

The Dynamics of Service Levels

Service levels at our events are tiered, not by price, but by the scale and quality of services we can offer, directly tied to the number of participants. Before we get started these prices don't include trail building and office costs, we're bearing these from our day jobs at a cost of £15,000.00. In addition, these levels do not include salary or dividends for Richard and Sara (basically there's no way we're paying ourselves, nor have we ever up to this point-Rich). Final point to note, booking services requires advance notice and lead time, we will be unlikely to get main stream timing like SPORTIdent or Action Sports Timing (Chris) for this event.

Here’s a breakdown:

Platinum Service Level

Venue Hire: £400

Field Hire: £100

Main Stream Timing: £3000

Fairy dust costs: Including valley vibe crew, DJ, Photographers, Slo-Mo guy, awesome edit

Operational Costs: Office, insurance, trail build, portaloos, medical cover, marshals, tape, accommodation, consumables

Additional Fees: SiEntries fees, VAT

Total Cost: £11,472

Minimum Participants: 229.44

Gold Service Level

A tier slightly lower than Platinum with different operational costs.

Minimum Participants: 202.54

Silver Service Level

Similar to gold service level

Timing at a reduced cost of £200

Minimum Participants: 171.94

Bronze Option 1 Service Level

An economical tier with the same bit of fairy dust to make the event special as the platinum level

Minimum Participants: 146.54

Bronze Option 2 Service Level

Similar to Bronze Option 1, adjusted for operational variances.

Minimum Participants: 118.94

Mates Race Service Level

The most basic and accessible option, ideal for any event, would have a grass roots feel. If I beat you, you get the beers in- Rich.

Timing: £200

Minimum Participants: 25.34 [We'd consider chop the entry fee down for this, but in doing will need to increase minimum participants]-economy of scale]

Each level is meticulously calculated to ensure we can offer the best experience without incurring a loss, striving for the 'break-even' point of participants to cover the costs. The higher the service level, like Platinum or Gold, the more comprehensive the services, while the Bronze and Mates Race levels indicate a more streamlined approach.

The Fairness of a Fixed Entry Fee

What entries should be doing
What entry numbers should be doing

Despite the variable nature of service offerings, the entry fee remains constant. This decision aligns with our ethos of fairness and inclusivity and comes with several advantages:

Simplicity and Transparency: Participants appreciate straightforward pricing. It removes any confusion and allows for better planning and budgeting.

Equality: With a fixed entry fee, all participants contribute the same amount, fostering a sense of community and fairness.

Trust: Fixed pricing builds confidence among participants that they are getting a fair deal, with no surprise costs.

Yet, with a fixed fee, the organisational risk increases as we rely on participant numbers to meet our service promises. This calls for clear communication so that participants understand the direct impact of their numbers on the level of service provided.

What entries are doing right now

Ensuring a Sustainable Model

Keeping the entry fee fixed is our pledge to sustainability. It allows us to plan for the long-term continuation of the series, continually contributing to the mountain biking community's growth. While it requires careful management and sometimes a leap of faith, it’s a practice that has served us and our participants well.

In conclusion, while the entry fee remains a constant, the richness of the event experience scales with participant numbers. It's a symbiotic relationship where everyone—organisers and riders—plays a part in the collective success of the event. We invite you to join us in this journey, not just as participants, but as partners in crafting memorable mountain biking adventures. Here's the sign up link to the series click it and sign up.

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