After 25 shows I can tell you it is no easy feat to make ends meet when you put on a show like TRAFFIC.
The moment we sign a contract for TRAFFIC we are on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Matter of fact, right now, we have well over $1 million in commitments with the contracts already signed and in place and thru 2015.
Hotels care about only 2 things. How many rooms you will occupy and how much food and beverage will you consume. Howard and I care about having a great show which means you folks had a successful show and your time was well spent. And not losing our shirts. Both pretty risky but worth the risk and so we do it.
I have different levels of pricing for several reasons. But all in an effort to make ends meet. To motivate folks by different price points. We have an early bird discount. But to be honest, we could not put the show on if everyone paid the early bird price and do it the right way. Sure we can skimp. But that was tried when we licensed out TRAFFIC and it did not work.
Most wait until the last-minute. More folks pay the $1795 price than any other price point.
My goal is to moderate that imbalance and still make ends meet. So I am thinking about changing our price points. But to do that is a bit risky and I am not into added risk. One price won't work. I can't market it effectively. We can't wait until a week before to know 100 more people or 100 fewer people are showing up. So the different levels eliminates that planning problem.
The basic concept behind TRAFFIC was breaking bread together. We don't serve hot dogs and pizza. Eliminate the food and we have a different equation. We also have a different show and a different formula and I like our formula. With 1 year to go until we return to South Beach I can't tell if 250 people will show up or 500 will show up. The earlier we know, the better we can prepare and the better that hotel can accommodate our needs and space. Same with Last Vegas in May. What I want to do is try to narrow the gap and perhaps give more reasons to sign up at a lower level.
So I plan to unveil a new pricing structure for the Las Vegas Show in May as early as tomorrow morning after I get a little feedback from a few close and trusted advisors. You help us, we help you and together we all save a few dollars.