Why is the Fall Gathering in 2019 going to a flat-rate pricing structure?
Year after year, our volunteers were burning out because it was so hard to plan anything when literally half of the registrations would come in during the final week. This repeatedly caused stress as committees struggled to figure out how to downscale for possible smaller numbers followed by scrambling to change things when the numbers usually (but not always) went up a lot in the final week, even up to the night before.
While it’s nice to ask people to sign up early to help prevent that, simply asking in the past hasn’t made the difference.
As keeping volunteers coming back is an important goal, we decided to make this a priority, even if it required a change in payment policy to make this work.
We have devised a change that we hope will be successful in achieving that.
The Fall 96 Committee has worked hard to create a reasonable set of flat rates for this Gathering instead our previous sliding scale plan based upon income.
1) Marketing with a sliding scale is really confusing! Organizations need to be able to more simply answer the question, “How much is your event?” When rates could vary so greatly between the high end and low end, budgeting is very difficult as well.
2) We also have found that the sliding scale was alienating many men of higher incomes who felt too much of the burden was falling upon them; we were losing them from CMG. The flat rate gives them the chance to feel like they can register at a fair price, then if they feel like being generous, donate extra to help CMG’s success, without being required to.
This is a bit of an experiment, but organizations have to take some chances to grow! We’re hopeful that many higher-income men will still donate extra to help with our success.
Financial Aid will still be available for those for whom the rates are still prohibitive; we encourage those men to take advantage of early-bird registration to achieve maximum savings. And we’re giving them about eight weeks notice and multiple reminders to bring in as many of them as possible.
Please note that the early-bird flat fee we have come up to is LESS than the lowest tier rate for the last fall Gathering in Julian, which was well-attended by men at all tiers. With that, the new flat-rate should not be such a big number as to be off-the-chart of lower-incomed men.
If a first-timer learns about CMG during the November 1-7 last-minute window, he will be allowed to pay at the standard rate, so higher pricing won’t dissuade him from coming.
If you’d like to comment at FallGathering@theCMG.org, your feelings on this will be heard, but at least for 2019, the plan is in motion.
We very much hope to see you over the weekend of Nov. 9-11, 2019!