5.0 Budget and Finance
5.1 Meeting Costs
The following is a list of typical meeting costs:
- Postage and printing for pre-meeting mail-outs
- Name tags (and special ribbons such as "Host," "Officer," "Speaker," etc.)
- Printing of meeting programs, registration forms, event tickets, name placards for the head tables, etc.
- Up-front deposits (if any) for the hotel, entertainment, transportation, etc.
- Meals and beverages for Kick-off Luncheon, Business Luncheon, and other functions, including taxes and gratuities
- Rental costs, if any, for technical session visual/audio aids
- Rental costs, if any, for meeting rooms
- Refreshments for technical session breaks
- Transportation to out-of-hotel functions or tours
- Door prizes (if any)
- Prizes for golf, tennis, etc.
- Golf green fees, cart rental, etc.
- Other sporting event costs
- Admission fees and meal costs for spouse or children's tours
Some of the items listed above may be available at no cost to TexITE. For example, the meeting rooms are normally provided on a complimentary basis by the hotel. Also, the following items may be provided by the Convention Bureau:
- Postage for pre-meeting mail-outs
- Name tags
- Door prizes
In some cities, the Convention Bureau may also provide some or all of the following services:
- Complete mailing service, including envelope stuffing, for the pre-meeting mail-outs
- Assistance at the registration desk, including the preparation of name tags
Also, some costs (such as up-front deposits for the hotel) will eventually be offset by an equal revenue. Nevertheless, the meeting budget should include these cost items since the funds will need to be on hand at the time the cost is incurred.
Sporting events and related costs (prizes, transportation, etc.) should be covered by fees for that event and not offset by the meeting registration fees.
5.2 Meeting Revenues
The following is a list of typical meeting revenues:
- Registration fees: This includes event ticket prices listed on the registration form as well as the item called "registration."
- Contributions: This includes voluntary sponsorship of events by affiliated groups such as CCTexITE or the HPG.
5.3 Estimating the Attendance
A critical step in the budgeting process is to estimate:
- The total number of registrants by category (e.g., members and affiliates, students, spouses, children, etc.); and
- The number of attendees at each meal or event.
Historical information from the past meetings indicates the following general trends in attendance:
- A meeting in a major metropolitan area (e.g., Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, etc.) will have substantially greater attendance than a meeting in a less-populated area.
- Overall attendance is slightly greater at a summer meeting than at a winter meeting. This is principally because the attendance of spouses and children is substantially greater when school is not in session.
- There has been a steady growth in attendance over the years. By 1990, the average attendance was approximately double the average attendance in 1975.
Allowing for these general trends, TexITE meeting attendance is reasonably predictable, particularly for summer meetings when there is less risk of inclement weather. Generally, the overall attendance can be estimated within ten percent. The attendance of individual events, particularly evening social functions, is more difficult to estimate.
Attendance by event, hotel room nights, and registration fees for recent TexITE meetings are shown in the appendix.
5.4 Pricing the Registration Fee and Event Tickets
A number of factors must be taken into account when registration fees and event ticket prices are established:
5.4.1 Gratis Registrations and Event Tickets
The Executive Board has established the policy that several categories of individuals will receive free registration and/or complimentary event tickets:
- Candidates for International ITE Vice President will not be charged a registration fee and will receive complimentary tickets for all meeting functions.
- Local dignitaries (Mayor, City Manager, etc.) and the keynote speaker may receive complimentary tickets to the Kick-Off Luncheon at the discretion of the LAC.
- Non-member guest speakers for the technical program will not be charged a registration fee for the day(s) on which they are speaking and may also be given complimentary event tickets if approved by the Vice President (who arranges the technical program).
- Spouses and children will not be charged for a fee for "registration" but will be charged the ticket price for events they wish to attend. Spouse’s tickets should be priced the same as member/section affiliate tickets for the same event (although the price for children's tickets may be lower).
NOTE: To aid in the planning for future meetings, spouses and children should be encouraged to register even if they are not attending functions for which tickets are required.
Gratis registrations and event tickets affect both costs and revenues. Therefore, their number must be carefully estimated before the registration and event prices are established and reflected in the budget.
5.4.2 Student Registration
ITE Student Chapter members are charged a reduced registration fee, typically $15 or $20. The student registration fee includes the Kickoff Lunch, the Business Lunch, and the social event. For a number of past meetings, CCTexITE has voluntarily underwritten the cost of the Business Lunch for the students up to a specified maximum amount.
5.4.3 Targeted Profit or Loss
The targeted amount of profit or loss for each meeting is determined in conjunction with the establishment of the annual TexITE budget and will vary from meeting to meeting depending upon the location of the meeting, time of year (i.e., whether summer or winter), and other factors that affect anticipated attendance and costs. The Secretary-Treasurer will advise the LAC chair as to the targeted profit or loss amount and the budget must be approved by the TexITE Executive Board six months before the meeting.
5.4.4 Preferred Pricing Strategy
The following pricing strategy has been used for recent meetings:
- Registration for members and students includes all events,
- Price sporting event tickets (golf, tennis, etc.) to cover the full cost of the event, including prizes.
- Guests pay no registration, but may purchase individual event tickets, which are individually priced to cover the entire incremental event cost, including:
- meals, admission tickets, and
- the event's fixed costs (such as transportation, room rental, entertainment, door prizes, etc.).
This strategy allows the LAC to more accurately predict event attendance.
Although the Executive Board will consider alternate pricing strategies, this preferred pricing strategy shall be used to guide the LAC's preliminary financial planning for the meeting.
Options that may be considered by the LAC include:
- One-day registration. The price of a one-day registration should include the lunch but not the social event, which may be purchased separately. The combination of two one-day registrations plus the social event should be greater than the total meeting registration. This type of registration should be used with care, since full registration may be adversely affected.
- Vendors registration. Vendors usually leave when the exhibit room is closed. A separate registration fee for vendors (members of HPG) who do not wish to attend the entire meeting is suggested. Since no meals are included, a fee of $15 is customary. If the registration table is located in or near the exhibit area, it is easier to collect the fee from the vendors. The HPG may choose to handle vendor registration separately and provide TexITE with an attendee roster and combined registration fee.
These strategies, if adopted, must be included in the budget, which is subsequently approved by the TexITE Executive Board.
5.4.5 Alternative Pricing Strategies
The LAC may choose an alternate pricing strategy, such as reducing the registration fee and charging all registrants separately for the meals and social event. The individual event fees may be set to cover their specific costs, or part of the cost may be covered in the registration fee. However, these strategies are not recommended, and their adoption must be explicitly approved by the TexITE Executive Board.
5.5 Meeting Bank Account
TexITE has established a checking account for the section meetings. All meeting bills shall be paid out of this account, and all meeting revenues shall be deposited into it. The LAC chair shall contact the Secretary-Treasurer to establish access to the meetings account. The LAC chair must maintain complete financial records for all meeting-related transactions.
5.6 Tax Exempt Status
TexITE is not exempt from sales taxes.