Hello all, I had the pleasure of meeting with a number of driving club presidents this last few weeks and the question keeps coming up how much (or little) do YOU (the people) feel comfortable paying "PER" class in a "pleasure" or fun show.
PLEASE don't get long winded about it. If you where at a local pleasure show, what do you consider a high fee and a fair fee , you would be willing to pay per class.
$10-15 a class is great, means i can enter more classes... $20 or more means i'm incredibly limited, especially if i need stabling and it costs more than $50.
I think if they can keep the class fees lower, they'll get more entries in more classes... But that's coming from my broke perspective...
I had to turn down a welsh show that was only 3hrs from me because class fees were $20 a class, once i figured in gas, stabling, hotel, and food, i was at $500 just to enter 6 classes (3 a day), which didn't really seem worth it. This was two shows back to back, so i was entering the same 3 classes both days. If they were cheaper, i would have been able to enter way more, which would make that $500 seem more appealing to spend. But that's my thoughts.
The Open shows around here (norther Illinois) that do offer driving classes usually are $6 a class + $3-$5 office/number fee.
With that, an average of 4 drivers per show is all that enter. I'm not sure if it's costs (which at those prices, I can't imagine), or just the lack of prevalence of drivers.
Another event that offers driving charges $10 a class + $6 office fee. They usually get about 6 drivers, it's just a slightly bigger event.
The county fairs that do offer driving (as some have dropped it) are $8 a class + $1 number fee, and still, you're only talking 6-8 drivers that show up.
When you start getting into ADS shows, the entry fees jump up to $80-$150 + stall + lunch + office fee (+ hotel if needed), and suddenly you're talking $300-$500 if you need to consider gasoline, hotel, food other than the lunch, etc...
Not fun. And still, 4 people at the smaller ADS shows, and maybe 12 in a class at the larger ones.
All in all, with prices on both ends of the spectrum, it really doesn't seem to effect turnout.
The people who show will still show, and maybe a new person will try it out, and the people who don't show, can't be convinced to do so based on pricing. In my opinion based on this area.
I try to compete at both open shows and the ADS shows, but with those kinds of costs, I have to be very picky about which I can go to, and cannot attend shows that require 2 day stays and hotels. It's just not possible for me personally.
Well, I show ADS and local shows with my own ponies as well as students. I pay around $15+ a class at ADS shows and between $7 - $10 a class at local shows.
I wouldn't under price an event because it may lower the perceived "value" of the show. I don't think people would change their mind on attending an event unless the class fee was really high or the additional fees where too much, especially if it was close by for them!