To our Fusion Exchange Community:
The Fusion Exchange would not be what it is today if it wasn’t for all of you. As a community of dancers, we hope that this event listens to its members and strives to be the best it can. We hope that in this letter we will be able to show you how important your survey responses were in crafting this coming year’s event, as well as answer questions you may already have. Here are some of the main points we will be going over:
- LVFX Survey Feedback
- Budgeting & Ticket Pricing
- Budget Process
- DFX Ticket Pricing
- Organizer Compensation & Risk
If you love the Fusion Exchange and can’t wait to come next year, be sure to mark your calendar!
The event will be January 10-12, 2014 at the The Curtis Hotel in Denver, Colorado!
The full value of an All Access Pass to the event will be $349, with an advanced purchase price discounted to $159 for the first group of registrants. The full value of the Dance Only Pass will be $125, which will start at $65. General registration will open on August 14th at 6PM PST.
Thank you to all that participated in selecting this year’s venue! The Curtis Hotel received the most first and second choice votes, making it the clear winner. While the cost of the pass may have risen some, we have worked to ensure that the first group passes stays at a lower rate.
LVFX Survey Feedback:
Your feedback is crucial to making every FX the best it can possibly be. We spend a lot of time breaking down every part of the experience and seeing how we can improve it from year to year. Part of that process includes a careful consideration of every survey we receive. So, thank you for taking the time to complete it! Without you, FX would not be what it is today. Some of the recurring feedback from this year included a great number of you raving about hot easy it is when the hotel and dance venue are one and the same. We certainly listened and that’s how we came up with voting for this year’s Curtis Hotel! We will continue to take your feedback on food, scheduling, etc. when planning for next year’s events. We also greatly appreciate the time you took to praise and rate the people that had such a huge hand in making the weekend memorable. We want to give a special shout out to A’lan Abruzzo and David Keogh for being the best rated musical talent of LVFX and Mario Robau, Jr. and Ruby Red for being our top rated instructors!
We do appreciate your kind words in the surveys and hope to learn from your suggestions. We may not be able to put everything into play, but just know that we do take the time to consider them. Thank you for overwhelmingly saying that you feel that FX is a great event that offers great value. Almost everyone stated that they are planning on returning to FX 2014, if possible, and we are excited to see you there! Again, sincerest gratitude to everyone that makes this event possible. If you want more details about your responses, please email our Marketing & Customer Service Manager, José, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Budgeting & Ticket Pricing:
Since the first Fusion Exchange, we have grown to have seven times the original number of attendees and three times the original number of class and dance options. While we are incredibly pleased about this growth and increased dancer satisfaction at our FX yearly events, it means that FX now requires a more expensive venue — of the type reserved for mega-competitions and corporate events. The only way to find more inexpensive venues would be to restrict the number of attendees we could have and FX is not willing to do that. We want everyone to be able to experience FX!
As always, we put our attendees first at every step in the process: from setting the budget to planning to pricing to event execution. This year we even took it one step further. In selecting where the 2014 venue should be, we turned to our dancers to make the decision. We tried to give as much information on each possible location, including how each location would affect the ticket cost. The votes were cast and the ticket pricing was set based on the location that received the most votes. The Curtis Hotel was not the cheapest nor most expensive venue on the list, which shows that dancers want a balance between cost and quality. This is exactly what we try to always keep in mind when planning and executing each year’s event. Did you participate in selecting this year’s venue? If so, thank you! If you have a moment, please let us know what you thought about that process here: Venue Vote Feedback.
Our Budget Process:
Our budget process is the same every year. We always start with what we think is a realistic budget and two fundamental principles: (1) we only promise what we are certain we can deliver and (2) we deliver everything that we promise. A dependable and top quality product is our main priority – even if we lose financially in the execution.
This year, we narrowed down potential locations through a combination of voting, vetting, and research. The location needs to have a venue that cater to the needs of our dancers. We aspire to always have an event that is more than just a great weekend of dancing, but an entire vacation experience. We create a rough budget based on projected numbers and costs for each of the locations up for a vote. This is why the ticket prices vary from location to location. We want to make sure that the ticket prices stay reasonable and keep a balance between the realities of the marketplace and the value we offer. Of course, having multiple locations with such detail up for a vote this year was a lot more work that it has been in previous years, but we think that putting this back in your hands is another step in making this weekend amazing for everyone.
Once the venue is selected, we turn the rough budget into a more detailed budget that breaks down where everything needs to be allocated. Line items are set up for each of those needs and a cost is determined for the whole weekend. The overall weekend cost is then broken down to the individual days and divided by the number of attendees. This gives an idea of the budget allocation per attendee. We add to that target value as value becomes available. We ask most people who work with us to keep the initial required investment low and then enjoy the upside if we do better than our budget.
Please note that we have a policy against releasing our specific budget or actual expenses.
For more information, please see our Budget Process document.
DFX Ticket Pricing:
For Denver Fusion Exchange 2014, Full Access passes will start at $159. We sell our tickets on a discounted sliding scale with the full value of our All Access Pass being $349. The sliding scale helps keep tickets accessible, while also rewarding early buyers for their commitment. The incentive to buy early also provides us a source of cash to finance the development of the event. However, our discount structure must also take into consideration the quantity of tickets sold, not just the date purchase, because the budget is set based on the number of attendees and tickets do go very quickly at the beginning. What this means is that there will be a set number of tickets at each price point and they will sell out on a first come, first serve basis. Please keep in mind, that in order to get the lower price ticket, you must have paid for it and not simply added it to your cart. This year, in order to ensure a more fair opportunity for people to purchase tickets (those on both coasts and those with 9 – 5 schedules), All Access Pass registration will launch at 6 PM Pacific time on Wednesday, August 14, and we will sell tickets until we are sold out.
Please see our Ticket Pricing document for more information.
Each team member spends anywhere from 400 – 1,500 hours across an entire year planning FX for you. Organizers receive an All-Access Pass for themselves, a t-shirt, and a free Dance-Only pass to give to a friend. Depending upon the required commitment and hours, some organizers will also receive minimal compensation which typically takes the form of reimbursement for travel and lodging expenses. Clearly, this is a labor of love!
For previous Fusion Exchanges, Andrew Sutton was the sole financial backer for the Fusion Exchange. He took on the $50,000 to $100,000+ risk of putting on this event (depending on city, year, and other factors). He accepted the responsibility for giving early registration discounts and for front-loading the risk of loss. As compensation for taking on the risk, he received about a 10-20% return on his investment as his compensation – but that could also have been a 10-50% loss. The organizing team thinks that this setup is fair—it provides pre-registration cash flow for important deposits on items like the venue but protects the team from the financial risks of planning the event — without it, we doubt FX would exist.
Please see our Organizer Compensation & Risk document for more information.