Funding Future AWS Events

Place discussions about upcoming events here in this thread.

Moderators: BeligerAnt, petec, administrator

User avatar
peterwaller
Posts: 3194
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2002 12:00 am
Location: Aylesbury Bucks
Contact:

Funding Future AWS Events

Post by peterwaller »

Haveing had a quick look round at suitable venues I was surprised at how much hall hire cost.
I believe we need to find a way to reduce the finacial burden of running AWS events.
This could be done by making a small entry charge per team or per robot.
The last AWS had about 80 Ants and 20 Fleas so a £2 a robot charge could raise around £200.
Any comments or other ideas.

User avatar
BeligerAnt
Posts: 1872
Joined: Wed May 15, 2002 12:00 am
Location: Brighton
Contact:

Re: Funding Future AWS Events

Post by BeligerAnt »

We are probably at the stage where we do (unfortunately) have to look into ways of raising money to cover the cost of events. We actually need a fairly large hall for the number of people/robots we have. The last AWS at the Reading Uni Social Club (AWS37?) was actually rather cramped.

The cost of halls also seems to have increased dramatically over the last few years. Obviously if we can get a cheap/free hall it's a bonus, but we can't rely on it.

I think any entry fee should be modest, £2-3 per robot still adds £10 or so to the costs for people with many robots, or families with Dad and 2 young kids each with their own robots.
Also, I don't think it's necessary for the entry fee to cover the entire cost of the hall. The organiser generally saves on transport at least, which should be offset against the cost of hall hire. This is how I justified several of the AWS's that I ran - compared to the cost of fuel plus overnight accommodation and food for a family of 4, renting a hall was a bargain!

It must be down to the organiser to set the entry fee, but it should be set at the beginning, as soon as the venue is found and the event announced. Maybe we should have a maximum limit on the entry fee?
Gary, Team BeligerAnt

User avatar
Deskconstructor
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:37 pm
Location: Redhill, Surrey

Re: Funding Future AWS Events

Post by Deskconstructor »

BeligerAnt wrote:We are probably at the stage where we do (unfortunately) have to look into ways of raising money to cover the cost of events.
I've been thinking about this, and had a couple of ideas on how to make money to pay for AWS events.

1) If we got some simple adverts on the main website.

2) Sponsership from a company with a component manufacturer e.g. they paid for a hall and we bought motors for the ants

3) Probably the most ambitious, but set up an official YouTube channel. there is a guide somewhere on how to make money off videos. Each "team" seems to have there own channel, with a collective number of views that would make it a reasonably popular channel. It would just be a matter of everyone uploading to one place. Aslo a couple of people can do video editing, so a simple title sequence can be added to each new video. In theory the workload wouldn't be any greater, as everyone just uploads there stuff, and there wouldn't be the need for someone to constantly maintain the channel. Also we are getting better at hosting live events, so that's something else to add.

All the money made can go into one pot to fund future events. Just some ramblings for you to consider.

The other thing i wanted to check was, will the charge per robot would be for robots entering the main competition?
Team DisConstructor
Team DC Antweights - Laurie Phillipson, Driver of Little Doris, THRUST, TiNY, Avenger, Avenger 2

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Team-DC-A ... 1703987819
http://www.youtube.com/user/LPDCmovies

User avatar
joey_picus
Posts: 1137
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:51 pm
Location: Lancaster, Lancashire
Contact:

Re: Funding Future AWS Events

Post by joey_picus »

I don't personally know about a) - the money made would be measurable in tens of pounds a year, which just isn't quite enough, and the same probably applies for c). b) might be workable but it's a case of finding an interested company that wouldn't want to put odd restrictions on the event (the Robochallenge/Silverline power tool drag racing debacle comes to mind - that one non-event is probably what put me off featherweights...)

Realistically an entry fee is probably the most sensible option, but there should at least unofficially be a limit - personally I think £20 for four robots is probably the maximum I would go to without grumbling too much! - and ideally it shouldn't be more than about £2-£3 a robot in the main competition. There are still free/very cheap halls available though, considering that I was able to get my college's sports hall for £50 and John Denny mentioned having the free use of one linked to his job, so there shouldn't be a need for the entry fee to be ever-present (certainly not for more than one or two of the 10+ ant events a year).

The beauty of antweights though is that they pay for themselves in the education and joy recieved without ever being a burden - at least for me! - and we're quite lucky not to be facing the same problems as RoboGames in America and Roaming Robots/RW over here are...
Joey McConnell-Farber - Team Picus Telerobotics - http://picus.org.uk/ - @joey_picus
"These dreams go on when I close my eyes...every second of the night, I live another life"

User avatar
petec
Posts: 555
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2002 12:00 am
Location: Burgess Hill, West Sussex
Contact:

Re: Funding Future AWS Events

Post by petec »

I reckon £10 is the realistic maximum you can charge for ants - the whole point is that this is accessible to all and doesn't require the bigger budgets of larger robots. To be fair although hall hire has gone up in recent years, we have also found much better venues than we used to get.

Another approach is charging a small fee for basic refreshments or merchandise. But most of these things won't cover the whole cost.
------------
RobotWars101.org
RobotWars101.co.uk
Antweights.com
Antweights.co.uk
AntweightWorldSeries.com

User avatar
joey_picus
Posts: 1137
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:51 pm
Location: Lancaster, Lancashire
Contact:

Re: Funding Future AWS Events

Post by joey_picus »

Does AWS merchandise exist outside of the rw101.org kits and World Series DVDs*? I'd happily buy a whole load of it :)

*(Pete, do you post DVDs internationally?)
Joey McConnell-Farber - Team Picus Telerobotics - http://picus.org.uk/ - @joey_picus
"These dreams go on when I close my eyes...every second of the night, I live another life"

User avatar
petec
Posts: 555
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2002 12:00 am
Location: Burgess Hill, West Sussex
Contact:

Re: Funding Future AWS Events

Post by petec »

Yes, I can post overseas. I may have to add a bit for shipping to the US or Canada, depending on the item.

I have considered making more merchandise but as nonprofit making, I need to have a market to invest in. Have thought about posters and tee shirts before. Caps and mugs also.
------------
RobotWars101.org
RobotWars101.co.uk
Antweights.com
Antweights.co.uk
AntweightWorldSeries.com

User avatar
olivers
Posts: 533
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2002 12:00 am
Location: Reading
Contact:

Re: Funding Future AWS Events

Post by olivers »

I see no issue charging per ant, i'd be more than happy to do £2-3 per ant of max £10 per team.

IAny new teams tend to have 1 or 2 robots so £5 isn't bad for a days entertainment.

I've always thought we need to recoup costs somehow as asking someone to layout £100+ for a venue is a big ask.

The only thing i'd add is an AWS should be cost neutral so no profit/loss, we need to police this at some level. Any profit could go on biscuits or a new arena for example.

User avatar
joey_picus
Posts: 1137
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:51 pm
Location: Lancaster, Lancashire
Contact:

Re: Funding Future AWS Events

Post by joey_picus »

olivers wrote:Any profit could go on biscuits...
This is a business model I'd like to see more companies adopt :) personally I would rather pay an entry fee than pay for refreshments throughout the day (with refreshments it would probably work badly anyway as people could easily bring their own)

Regarding merchandising (although that might end up being a topic for a separate thread, apologies) I would definitely buy or at least consider buying all the things mentioned...what would the break even points be in terms of orders? You could always sell them at the AWS on the day, car space permitting!
Joey McConnell-Farber - Team Picus Telerobotics - http://picus.org.uk/ - @joey_picus
"These dreams go on when I close my eyes...every second of the night, I live another life"

User avatar
peterwaller
Posts: 3194
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2002 12:00 am
Location: Aylesbury Bucks
Contact:

Re: Funding Future AWS Events

Post by peterwaller »

At the end of AWS44 when a few of us were persuading Scot he really wanted to run AWS45 it appeared that the cost of his hall was high.
So I think we should really push ahead with some way of helping finance future AWS's.
From the discussions above it looks like the charging of an entry fee seems the most poular so I suggest we look at that and maybe discuss the amount.
My suggestion would be £1.50 per robot both ants and fleas which on recent entries would raise around £150 and even my team would be under £10.

Post Reply