So, on that note, Camp Mustache Canada should cost more?
CMC is definitely priced silly cheap. I'm amazed at the value. :)
Not complaining, and since the money doesn't go to charity, it's more like Vanguard, where keeping costs down helps the people attending, which is the whole point.
It's the opposite of a situation in which one is trying to maximize a cost to raise money.
I've done my best to keep costs down. Here's why...
1.) Raw financial impact of the real cost of a weekend like this:
a) A lot of the folks attending are early on the path to ER. A $500 (total cost incl. travel, etc.) weekend is a big chunk of some of their savings. Grown over time that cash could be big (thinking of a year 1 saver here). OTOH, $500 spent to attend could give you ways to increase savings by $1000's in your first year. The upfront cost can't be a barrier to attending and making the gains. I am not being eloquent. do I make sense?
b) Travel costs on top of attendance costs can balloon a $500 weekend to thousands, and the local draw is not huge. Many (most) will be travelling more than 2 hours.
c) For the non-ER crowd (me) a missed day of work will add $100 - $300 to the cost of the event.
2. I think it would be hypocritical for me to lock into a posh venue for an event for a crowd that celebrates simple pleasures. Finding a venue that fed into the tenets of frugality, simplicity, environmental awareness, and charity was not easy, but was very important to me. I started off looking to support independent family businesses. When I saw this venue with its charitable registration, it immediately changed everything. The added bonus of a very reasonable price fed into item 1.
3. Where CM (Seattle) allows room for scholarships in its budget, I do not. For folks whose budget is very tight, I need this to be doable on a travel hack or carpooling. The benefits must outweigh the cost by 3:1. I believe I am hitting that target IF attendees apply the information shared. If you are coming for a weekend at the Marriott and hoping for a cabana boy to bring you towels... well... the CB ratio will be off then.
4. Local draw - in the GTA there are not as many Mustachians as Seattle or NYC or some other areas. If I am going to fill bunks I need this pricepoint to appeal to folks from afar. Price will be a factor there for sure.
5. International Borders - Similar to item 4, some folks are getting/renewing passports to come. Not only is this an added cost, it is added effort and added risk in taking a bunk. I needed to come up with a price that offset the cost and risk folks are taking on. Some folks who are attending have never been to Canada before. For them the perceived risk (there really isn't any) of spending time in a foreign culture (its not really different) needs to be offset as well. The uncertainty of travelling abroad can be seen as an exotic as well (its not) so I guess I could market this as a reason to pay more??? Dunno, I'm not in marketing. How do I make McDonald's Canadian Menu exciting and exotic? Anyone?
In summary, I have worked hard to hold a hard budget line and I think we will hit the targeted $235 per bunk price. We may need to get creative on some facets of the event, and it is only 3 days (Seattle is 4) but I think that as long as everyone arrives with an open mind and willing to participate and relax we will have a great time. There will be no gold flakes on your ice cream. There will not be $100 bills to light the non-existent Cuban cigars with. And its BYOB - the Courvoisier will only be available if YOU bring it. But I still believe that it will be a good time and dollar-for-dollar entirely worth the cost.
Finally I don't want this to be a 3-day long brag session. Please share your successes, but really I don't care if your NW is a bajillion dollars or a buck-ninety-five. I want to laugh with you, canoe a little, and bust a move on the dance floor. I have no desire (or time for) brag sessions.
Wow this got long and preachy. I'll hit post anyways. Feel free to blast me as needed.
<Edit for 3 reasons:
1. Thanks ARS for recognizing teh work that has gone into keeping this a low cost weekend. I'm glad people recognize what I'm up to.
2. The only way to keep it low cost is to keep tasking in-house, so thanks too to teh folks who have stepped up as presenters and helpers. I will be looking for more folks "in a supporting role" as the event draws nearer.
3. I openly admit we are flying a test-balloon here. If this is a success, and if feedback is positive, we can try to make this happen again in the future. Since this is the beta-event, it will not be perfect, and folks may give feedback that for an extra $50pp it's worth it to get a balloon artist and face painter next year. For this first go though, simple and low cost is my mantra.>