Portlandia Postscript

The final accounting is in. I shouldn’t have bought the candy.

Last I wrote about this, I mentioned the event was going to be borderline break-even, depending on the final coffee bill. That bill arrived today, and so I can definitively say: I lost money on the event. Not much, in the grand scheme of things, but here we are. Here’s the books:

31 Hospitality Fees $620.00
17 Intermediate Entries Rake $255.00
15 Championship Entries Rake $450.00
Minis/Jackpots Rake $64.00
Tips $20.00
Printing & Office Supplies $229.60
Trophy Plaques $100.02
Pens & Score Cards $209.86
Spare boards, clocks, door prizes $196.79
Candy $44.91
PayPal Fees $7.78
Hotel set-up, coffee $663.34
Profit/(Loss) -$43.30

We had 32 attendees. Why 31 hospitality fees? “Things happen.” I had one registrant who didn’t pay this fee, and I didn’t realize until slightly later, and I let it go rather than further agitate him. The “Tip” I will call out publically: thank you, Kevin, it was a classy gesture.

On the expense side, there are a number of items that will not recur for the next event – most of the office supplies I should be able to still find, there are left-over pens and score cards, the spare boards and clocks shouldn’t mold, etc. The candy (and the bright pink rabbit head felt bucket to dispense said candy) was a last minute whimsy purchase. I think most of us were glad it was there, but it conspicuously close to the net loss for the event. As my beloved wife and registration expert, Jen, said “we ate our profit!”

The PayPal fee is from the couple of people I allowed to pay entry fees electronically, which I’m seriously considering making the default for next time. The transaction fees associated is the main drawback to that approach, but it removes the case of registrations arriving after the event (which did happen!)

Originally the hotel was going to charge me for 4 gallons of coffee on Sunday, but I protested there was no way the size of a group we had left at that point could really have gone through that much, and they relented and dropped it to their minimum 2. I will say the Sheraton was super easy to work with, start to finish, and I agree with the people who did my post-event survey that it was an excellent venue, even if parking Saturday night got a little tight. I had several people suggest I move it to downtown for the next event, but I am not sure I will be able to swing the increase in rent that would entail. Any other tournament directors who happen to read this are going to be shocked and amazed that the hotel fee was so low, and again, most of that was consumables: coffee, at $59/gallon + 23% gratuity. Many people expressed their appreciation for it being there, but my goodness! And don’t get me started about the whiteboard fee!

I also have three books for door prizes which didn’t get handed out. I might see if anyone wants to buy them off me, or return them, instead of saving them to next time, and recoup the loss that way. I just philosophically am bothered that, in effect, I spent $43.30 to watch other people play backgammon. The whole reason for running the club is it gives me a lot more opportunity to play – organizing this event gave me a lot of opportunity to do a lot of other things besides playing. But, it’s good for the community, and it kept me out of other trouble for a good stretch, so no problems.