This will vary depending on the “upscaleness” of your event. Ticket prices and what people are getting for their money will generally determine whether guest’s drinks are included in the ticket price or if they need to pay for them. Typically, the more expensive the entrance fees the less likely you are to charge additional for drinks. On “drink inclusive” events a limited bar (beer, wine, soda) is suggested to curb costs. On other events entrance fee usually includes two “drinks tickets” which are typically redeemed at a rate of one ticket for a soft drink and two tickets for wine or beer. Additional drinks require the purchase of more drink tickets.
Bottom Line: Drinks can vary between being a good source of revenue to being a very large expense. Manage your bar wisely.
This follows a similar format to your drinks.
Bottom Line: Don’t leave people feeling “short changed” because of poor quality or insufficient food. However, don’t spend all your money on providing a spectacular meal because that is not the focus of this type of evening.
These are often incorporated into a casino evening and I offer the following advantage/disadvantage thoughts on the inclusion of a silent auction:
Opportunity to raise more money
Requires additional sponsors to donate auction items
Interrupts flow of casino evening and takes people away from tables
Much more organization and coordinating involved
Guest often feel “hit-up” two or three times in one evening
Bottom Line: Silent auctions are often the backbone of revenues generated at fundraising parties. However, they do require a lot of time and effort to coordinate successfully. Delegate at least one person whose sole responsibility is to manage the silent auction of the event.
Live auctions can generate a tremendous amount of revenue for the event, if done correctly. There are several key ingredients to a successful live auction.
Maintain a captive audience – shut down all other activity during this time
Shorter is better – your live auction should run no more than 30-40 minutes
Less is more – have only a few; generally less than 10 – high ticket items for auction
Use a dynamic auctioneer
Bottom Line: Keep the live auction short and it can be very, very sweet.
As part of their entrance fee guests are usually given an initial “stake” of script or funny money. If they lose this initial stake they should have the option of acquiring more money for a token “donation.” This is an additional source of revenue though generally not to the extent that hosts expect it to be. Primarily because guest, for the most part, gamble conservatively. You want to give your guests a sense of having received value for their entrance ticket so be sure to include enough script money in their package. I suggest a minimum amount of $100 to $150 in script. Anything less and guest might feel a little “short changed.” Much more than this and you greatly reduce the likelihood of many people purchasing more script. Regarding the purchase of additional script: Make the additional “donation” an amount that is a round number and covered by a single bill ($5, $10, $20, $50 etc.).
Bottom Line: Keep the “donation” to an amount that encourages people to get more script rather than setting it too high and not having anyone buy in again.
Again, the fundamental rule regarding expenses is to keep them to a minimum without compromising your event.
- Typical expenses incurred hosting a casino event:
- Facility costs
- Decorations and props
- Casino equipment rental and dealers
- Beverage costs
- Food costs
- Clean Up
All the points addressed below carry the same caveat: “without compromising your event”
Invariably, free is the key word here. Attempt to secure a facility at no cost to your event. There are generally several organizations that are open to making their facility available at little or no charge.
Casino Equipment Rental:
Provide the casino operator with accurate head counts so the appropriate amount of equipment is supplied. Too much equipment on hand results in a bigger expense and having too few tables to accommodate your guests is one of the surest ways to spoil your event.
Arrange with your beverage supplier to be able to return all unopened bottles. This way you only have to pay for the beverages you have sold.
The same applies to security and parking. This will vary with different locations and organizations. Be aware of this possible cost when selecting a location.
4. Determining Ticket Price
Ask the following questions:
How much money do you want to make? = NET PROFIT
How many tickets can you sell for this event? = TICKETS
What is the total of all expenses? = EXPENSES
What is the total of my net profit plus all my expenses? = GROSS
NET PROFIT + EXPENSES = GROSS
GROSS / TICKETS = TICKET PRICE
What then needs to be determined is if this price is appropriate for what you intend to provide your guests and will your market support the sale of your proposed quantity of tickets at this price. Remember that you might even be under charging your guests!