Every year, I believe, Thinkers' Press has some kind of event. Sometimes two in one year.
A Chess Festival
A Chess Clinic
A Chess Soiree
A Chess Classic
A Chess Steak Fry or Wine and Cheese
The whole idea is to have some chess fun--chess and entertainment.
All events are announced from 3 months to a year in advance.
Everything is known, can be marked on a calendar and worked around.
But that makes little difference.
What Makes an Event Successful is NUMBERS!
Let me explain.
I have noticed, or calculated ("measured" in marketing terms) that one of ten "active" people will show up for an event. It doesn't matter much, how much it is promoted. I think THREE times, maybe FOUR and that's pretty much ALL who will make it.
I know an opportunity company who has about 12,000 active members and when they put on an event that costs about $1,800 each approximately 1,200 will pay to come. They may have 150,000 on their "rolls" of current and past or inactive members who they contact once in a while.
Indeed to many that will sound like a lot of $$$ but it isn't because they may have 10 celebrities at the event. In the past just ONE might cost $25,000 to show--nowadays it is probably twice that. Then there are lesser celebs. What people hope for from a "lesser celeb" (or even a major one) is some TIDBIT that might make ALL the difference in the world in their business. When some "smart guy/gal" collects 4 or 5 of these creatures it can be a huge difference in payday.
They announce the venue in advance such as the Grand Ole Opry which seats a fixed number of people and they play to that. They will sell tickets up to that capacity. A place like the Opry probably will cost $50,000 a day.
Then there is air fare (usually first class), lodging and accommodations, cab or limo costs. Even the celebs will often have something to sell to help make up for THEIR time lost (i.e., they could be doing something more profitable).
EVERY EVENT WILL DO BETTER ACCORDING TO...
A few other metrics such as stature of celebrity. If I had Garry Kasparov more people would want to come but that doesn't mean they would be willing to pay a LOT more. In the "opportunity" (money making) field, more people will pay much more for a chance to become one of the 1%-ers. One-percenters get asked to do more but it also makes it "easier" for them to ONLY do the events they want to do and be able to afford them.
On the other hand, if I had a "mystery guest" who promised to expose chess cheats at the top level in the last 5-7 years of chess, I would probably get more attendees than having a world champion or a former world champion. If the Mystery Guest WAS a world champion, the attraction would be BIG!
I can usually tell about how many will show up. Sometimes MORE will show if it is announced, like Frank Sinatra or others, as their... FINAL ROAD TRIP. Or maybe Criss Angel (the magician) will be there and set some famous master on fire and bring him back to life although this would more than likely get more magic and celeb enthusiasts than chess people to show. For chess to be exceptional as a draw it is necessary to be really outrageous or offer something that seems impossible. For example: In CHAPTER ONE of my new Secrets book which will go on sale at the Fall Chess Classic 2012, the Long-Karbo method for achieving your wildest dreams will be outlined with additional information on where you can get more to fill in the blanks. It will pertain to $$$, rating, abilities, and almost anything else because I can tell you one thing without revealing it all, lots of our issues develop in our subconscious mind when we were little and we have never snapped out of it. Karbo figured out HOW for the general population and I adapted some of his processes for chess (he does mention skills at "games.")
But you know...
Some won't believe it. I passed on the info to a very insightful and wise woman I know and asked her what she thought and she said, "Absolutely true." I have about 120 reasonably active people who I hear from at least once a year. 10% of that is 12. I have 11 people signed up for the Fall Chess Classic. Anything over 12 will be a pleasant surprise.
This Weekend I am having a Chess Steak Fry
So far one person has signed up. It was on the Calendar for a whole year. The month was moved from August to September. Wears me out doing these things. This will probably be my last one. Let me know if you are interested. $30. 563-271-6657 or email@example.com
Once a thing becomes "measurable" then disappointment is easier to take. Once something surpasses expectations (such as meeting the "hottest" woman in the world) then life is wonderful isn't it? One thing I do know, and have experienced: Those who can't crap or get off the pot, due to their indecisive nature, usually have problems with everything else and regrets too. They say "No" to pretty much everything rather than have to make a decision to give a thumbs up. Or, worse, ask their wife to make a decision for them. What a shame.