Some people like to charge less for events, as some people can’t afford to pay the typical £80 cost that a basic event costs for us to run. That’s fine. What they charge is up to them and their audience. For a lot of people the limiting factor is not cost, although that does come into their decision, but leave. This is why a lot of people won’t go to a cheaper event. They’re limited in the time they can spend LRPing and would rather spend the extra money to go to an event that provides more.
Adults have responsibilities. Often they have jobs that require them to be in places at certain times and if they’re not doing that they don’t get paid anymore and it makes life harder. They might have partners, families and children. A responsibility to their own staff or a need to keep on top of studying or marking.
While I personally believe that we have a decreasing need for labour and will eventually reach a point where we would be wise to stop ‘working’ being the normal default for people we’re not there yet. Therefore if your players are mostly okay for money but have less free time, then they will look at the quality of your event over the cost of it, up until the point they can’t afford it anymore.
We’re quite lucky here in the UK. We are entitled to 24 days of leave a year, and some of the biggest events fall on bank holidays when a significant portion of us get time off. Many of us get significantly more than that. As I’ve got older I’ve wanted a day off before the event, to finish kit, pack and get to site at a reasonable time. I’ve also wanted a day off after the event to sleep.
I start with 28 days, but will take three days leave for every Empire event (12), 5 to go on holiday somewhere (17) three or four to visit my family (20), which leaves me with 8 to spend on other events. Given that this year I’ve crewed 4 Curious Pastimes events (but without the extra days off) and have to fit in a fifth Empire event because Easter falls early this year. I’m not entirely sure how I’ve managed to fit everything in while running a business in the rest of my free time.
However, I am sure that if I see an event and think that it will be fun just because I can see that friends are going, I probably won’t go. I expect more from an event before I dedicate time to it. I expect it to deliver a return. I expect it to be a good event, not just a good weekend with my friends.
A proven record is also worthwhile. If you have run good events before and people know who you are they are more likely to try something else you’re running. This is another reason for advertising and writing about the events we run. It shows people what they’re missing and means they’re more willing to invest in you for your next event.
We know that we are aiming our events at people who are willing to pay for the extra effort we’re putting in. They want something a little bit more than the typical £80 event, so we charge more and then nearly kill ourselves making it happen. If you’re charging £30-40 for a ticket you need to know what you’ve cut back on (cheaper site, no food, etc) and why your event is a good event, not a good weekend.