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Hidden Earth Stomp!

SHould Hidden Earth Stomp be a Disco or a Rock Band...

  • Disco

    Votes: 24 51.1%
  • Rock Band

    Votes: 23 48.9%

  • Total voters
    47

estelle

Member
One of the things that the caving community seems to be trying hard to drive is increasing the number of younger cavers as they are our future. I suspect if you took away the stomp/party aspect, then you'd lose a lot of the younger cavers who choose to come now... We can't please everyone all the time, but i think it's important to encourage the younger generation to turn up and they are usually also the ones with the least money so keeping the stomp as part of the general entry fee and hence 'free' is likely to matter to them more, although i bet they spend far more than the stomp would have cost at the bar! ;)
I'm one of those people like cavegirl99 describes below who does like to dip into the stomp and would like to have a boogie here and there over the evening, but not enough to bother to pay for it outside of the general admission costs of the event as for me the spare time outside of lectures is about making the most of HE to catch up chatting with people i don't see often so don't want to devote all evening to the stomp. I can understand from reading the above that some cavers perhaps don't want the noise of the stomp or all the drunks about at all, but what would those that don't want the stomp/piss up prefer to do on the Saturday evening? I thought the Monmouth venue was excellent for having the balcony area a little away from the band/bar allowing those wanting a bit more quiet to chat to do so while keeping the entertainment close at hand.
 

Bottlebank

New member
I wasn't suggesting that you can socialise close up to a live band, of course it helps to have a quieter area.

Can we get some perspective on this - we've booked a couple of live bands for bashes in the last couple of years, and generally the majority of cavers attending have loved them. There have been a few who preferred to move further away and chat quietly but they were very much in the minority. A band will play for an hour and half to two hours, so doesn't absorb the entire evening.

And again, some perspective on cost. A live band costs around ?150 to ?200 - ok you can pay more if you want but you don't need to - you can get a superb band for this. This isn't a huge amount I suspect in conference terms - I don't see the need to charge extra for it - and if you have the band playing in the same venue as the bar your drinks sales will increase, just selling one extra barrel would cover this.
 

Bottlebank

New member
Peter Burgess said:
You can go to a live music event or disco anywhere. Where else can you go to a caving conference and be educated/entertained by stories of cavers and their daring do's?

Don't forget what the primary purpose of a conference is. That's what the core cost should cover.

I can (and sometimes feel I do) listen to stories of cavers reliving their tails of daring do fifty two weeks a year - never needed to go to conference for that one :)

The prime purpose of the conference in my mind is whatever the people attending want it to be, for some it's social, for others it's lectures, and so on, It could be a long list.

The organisers have a rough job accomodating the wishes of everyone - but my own pitiful attendance record would probably improve slightly if there was a decent live band on the Saturday.  Of course siting it in the Dales every year would help more but that's a different argument :)
 

moorebooks

Active member
I think the organisers have a hard enough time persuading the hard up caving public to attend the event, there must be a significant number who only come along for one day which is testament to that.

Surely the whole idea is to make it economic enough for people to choose what they want to do over and above the basics. As someone says above you can buy the extras as you want  as surely the principle purpose of the conference is to enable expeditions to report back having received grants, for different interests to present achievements and inspire others.

Perhaps then the conference fee should be ?45 for a weekend then no extras would be charged you would need a bloody big dining area for the conference dinner though

Mike
 

menacer

Active member
Bottlebank said:
And again, some perspective on cost. A live band costs around ?150 to ?200 - ok you can pay more if you want but you don't need to - you can get a superb band for this. This isn't a huge amount I suspect in conference terms - I don't see the need to charge extra for it -

AFAIK The bands have always been successful and Hidden Earth has in the past always charged for it.

In not charging for it, not only does it becomes an expense partly (albeit miniscule figures) absorbed by those who dont want it, but worstly (is that a word)  neither can the HE event  make a profit from it. :( 

So heres an idea.
Why not charge ?25 for the saturday night stomp and make the conference free. No? thought not.  ;) Gets coat, Les said he'd regret posting on this  ;)


 

kay

Well-known member
Cap'n Chris said:
So which is it?

On the one hand you seem to be saying it's OK to have ancillary, non-core events so long as they bring in sufficient additional (i.e. secondary ticketing revenue) money to cover their cost...

.... but on the other you seem to be saying it's OK to include ancillary, non-core events in a single entry fee provided you end up selling more tickets than you might otherwise sell (probably impossible to determine unless you compare parallel universes) and as a result cover the additional costs incurred by staging them.

I was answering different points in both those quotes.

From my perspective the aim of Hidden Earth is to bring cavers together in a  conference to exchange knowledge and get to know cavers from different regions. If a non-core activity adds to the event as a whole, and brings in enough revenue to cover its cost, then there is no problem in adding it.

You put forward as an "acid test" a series of comparisons, eg that T shirts are paid for. But you also advanced as the main aim  the donation to Ghar Parau. If you view Hidden Earth as a charity fund-raising event, then you add things which will bring in more people (or persuade those that do come to pay more), and thus increase the money raised. And the "acid test" is then how much money you raise, not whether people pay for t-shirts or dinners.



 

kay

Well-known member
moorebooks said:
Perhaps then the conference fee should be ?45 for a weekend then no extras would be charged you would need a bloody big dining area for the conference dinner though

There's a key difference between the Stomp, which is a one-off costs irrespective of numbers participating,  and things like t-shirts and dinners, which is a constant cost per caver.

How many people go to Hidden Earth? If it were 800 (and I think it's more than that), then the cost of a band for the Stomp would, on Bottlebank's  figures, be 25p on the entry fee. Whereas the cost of providing a free dinner would be ?14.95.
 

Bottlebank

New member
menacer said:
In not charging for it, not only does it becomes an expense partly (albeit miniscule figures) absorbed by those who dont want it, but worstly (is that a word)  neither can the HE event  make a profit from it. :( 

I think "worst" would have been fine :)

That's pretty short sighted.

If the end result is increased attendance of course they make a profit - not only on conference fees but also on beer.

I think if you refuse to include things simply because a few boring old buggers don't want them you'd have to rule out pretty much everything the conference does do?

Common sense suggests that if you want a successful conference you not only consider what people who do go want but also want people who don't go would be looking for to persuade them to make the effort.
 

Bottlebank

New member
I agree with Kay posted whilst I was typing that, equally if you encourage higher particiption by investing in fixed cost events you'll also get a far higher return on sales - t-shirts, beer etc. 

You'll also get a better return on your existing investment - if the room is already paid for - why not use it? I'm certain turning a room into a stomp/disco venue for one evening hasn't cost a penny extra - at least at the (few) ones I've been to recently.

It partly depends what the organisers want to achieve - for all I know they may want to fix numbers. But if they want to increase from say 800, to 1000, they need to be talking to people (like me) who for example don't make the effort to attend conferences down South, when they live in the North West. Find out what would change that.

Les may regret bringing up the topic, but at least it's getting some ideas out!
 

bograt

Active member
Points to ponder;
            I gather from the general swings in this thread that it is the "youngsters" who are pro inclusion of costs and the "veterans" who are anti.

            I consider myself as a veteran, and as such I consider it my moral responsibility to encourage the next generation to develope upon my experience and progress the sport, enjoying it as much as I have, even if it costs me a few bob extra to do this.

            I suggest that we veterans do not begrudge a slight elevation in costs to access the biggest gathering of cavers in this country because of a few noisy hours on the Saturday night, the denial of which could discourage the youngsters.

            I would encourage todays veterans to remember their mentors, and consider the time, expertise, costs, and good times provided by them to encourage you when you where a youngster.

            Come on guys, remember your spelio developement and make some concessions!!
            Don't you remember a few enjoyable noisy sessions?, it used to be a part of caving!!


(Alternatively, charge extra and get a different coloured wristband ;))

P.S. I Suspect I must have mentored a few of you in the past, or even mentored your mentors!!
 

menacer

Active member
bograt said:
Points to ponder;

            I suggest that we veterans do not begrudge a slight elevation in costs to access the biggest gathering of cavers in this country because of a few noisy hours on the Saturday night, the denial of which could discourage......


The thread started as Stomp or disco.
Its currently an even split.
I dont think anyone minds which way it goes, no one resents a stomp and im not sure anyone is put of by attending hidden earth because there either is or isnt one, at cost or not.

The thread seems to have  become, "we must have a stomp and everyone must pay for it."

Im not sure ive heard many " youngsters" actually argue for that.
It actually seems to be predominantly the veterans that want it included in the cost.

Im trying to see the logic thats all.

Ask 100 people if they want something for free they will all say yes.

Doesnt make it right or wrong particularly, just not a very balanced view.Somebody somewhere is gettinga bum deal. Im trying to make the case for the bum deal.

you know what, IF it really were the case that more" youngsters" would attend hidden earth if the " stomp" were free, id be encouraged. But really?? Evidence.
I could equally argue more come to HE because of a free disco.

I have no evidence to make that statement though either.
Theres more than the cost of one ?5 stomp to consider.

Bottlebank gave the perfect example, he questions the geographical location? South vs North...

You will never please everyone, but why foist a cost onto others, out of the blue, over some unproven altruistic intention.
 

Kevlar

New member
I'm curious, will the final decision by made as a result of an internet poll on a forum that (will all due respect) that the majority of cavers would not read?
If the caving community is serious about bringing down the average age of attendance to Hidden Earth down, perhaps there should be more consultation with student clubs and younger members of other clubs?

Instead of the disco / stomp question, should the question we are debating be "what could we as a community be doing differently to attract a younger audience (without alienating the existing audience!)?"

Slightly different note, one thing that was apparent was the number of people eating out in Monmouth on the Saturday night. There was one curry house that must have had 100+ cavers eating there! Perhaps the whole format of the Saturday evening could be reconsidered with the Stomp just one aspect of that? I'm sure those going out for food were proably spending more on beer / food than the conference meal would have cost and that to me is a tad silly and perhaps a missed opportunity.

 

Hughie

Active member
Kevlar said:
Slightly different note, one thing that was apparent was the number of people eating out in Monmouth on the Saturday night. There was one curry house that must have had 100+ cavers eating there! Perhaps the whole format of the Saturday evening could be reconsidered with the Stomp just one aspect of that? I'm sure those going out for food were proably spending more on beer / food than the conference meal would have cost and that to me is a tad silly and perhaps a missed opportunity.

I imagine they didn't want either rock band or disco?
 

maxb727

Active member
It would be good to get an idea of how much extra the stomp actually costs for either disco or band. If we were not fortunate to get a couple of individuals to donate their time then the disco would also cost money so lets consider the cost of each.

As someone who has spent a couple of Stomps manning the door I have to say the ?5 charge puts off a lot of people and they just stand outside until at about 11.00 we stop charging and then just come in for free. In the meantime the stomp has been quite empty with maybe 40-50 people only which considering the numbers who attend is pretty poor. I'm sure if it was a ?2 admission fee payable on the night most people would happily pay that if they wanted to attend and numbers would be up and total payment could end up being higher possibly.

I think if the cost of running the stomp is under ?500 then HE absorbing it really isn't a bad thing considering the amount of 'profit' made each year by the event. The people running the event are not getting any younger, encouraging younger members to attend with things going on in the evening will help ensure HE gets new people to take on a role running the event which is more work than I expect most people realise.

In contrast I have attended the last two Belgium/Dutch caving conferences which take place every two years. The cost this year was 45? for the whole weekend and for that we got:
Entry
Breakfast both days
Packed lunch Saturday
Evening meal Saturday
Lunch meal Sunday
Bed inside a castle
Entertainment - folk dancing and then disco
Trip underground Saturday
Lectures Sunday

We had to pay extra for T-shirts, raffle and beer - it's a fantastic event with so many opportunities to socialise together at all the mealtimes. And the food is excellent.

I like both events, they are very different but I really don't understand why we are all arguing over such a little about of money considering the figures over the weekend!
 

estelle

Member
Kevlar said:
If the caving community is serious about bringing down the average age of attendance to Hidden Earth down, perhaps there should be more consultation with student clubs and younger members of other clubs?

Instead of the disco / stomp question, should the question we are debating be "what could we as a community be doing differently to attract a younger audience (without alienating the existing audience!)?"
maybe that should be started as a new thread? it's not just about attracting the younger audience to the caving events like HE, it's about attracting them at all to go caving and join our community. :)
 

Bottlebank

New member
This is getting a bit ageist. I'd like to see the format attract more people of ALL ages, there are many, many cavers over forty that don't bother with the conference, in fact I've been impressed last couple of times with just how many younger cavers do turn out. Of the fairly wide group of people I cave with in the Dales only four people went to Monmouth, and of these only three were cavers.

I would never suggest that the views of this forum be used as the basis for making a decision, the fact only forty cavers have voted on this suggests it has a fairly limited audience. A discussion of Facebook would probably reach far more people.

In fact on cost grounds you could have both a disco and a stomp, as I said earlier there are plenty of excellent bands around for ?150 to ?200 - the cost of hiring a band has plummetted as pubs have closed, they bring they're own kit - all they need is some floorspace or a stage and if Mr D is happy discoing as well - why not? As long as a couple of rooms are available.

Also could not agree more that so many people leaving the venue to eat out etc is a lost opportunity, but the quality of the food at the last couple I've been (Leek and Burnley) left a lot to be desired  :cautious:
 

estelle

Member
Bottlebank said:
Also could not agree more that so many people leaving the venue to eat out etc is a lost opportunity, but the quality of the food at the last couple I've been (Leek and Burnley) left a lot to be desired  :cautious:
there was a bit of a 'curry exodus' at Monmouth with a lot of people hitting the local curry houses - we were part of a booking of 40 in one of them and the second booking of that size in their upstairs room and the curry house was struggling a bit to keep up really with their downstairs also full of cavers (and they were one of several curry houses and eateries, so suspect others had an equally busy night from what we saw!) - don't think they were quite aware that so many cavers were going to descend on them!!! Would cavers eat in though if something like a large vat of curry was provided or do people see going out in the local town as part of what it's about for some?
 

christine

Active member
maxb727 said:
It would be good to get an idea of how much extra the stomp actually costs for either disco or band. If we were not fortunate to get a couple of individuals to donate their time then the disco would also cost money so lets consider the cost of each.

As someone who has spent a couple of Stomps manning the door I have to say the ?5 charge puts off a lot of people and they just stand outside until at about 11.00 we stop charging and then just come in for free. In the meantime the stomp has been quite empty with maybe 40-50 people only which considering the numbers who attend is pretty poor. I'm sure if it was a ?2 admission fee payable on the night most people would happily pay that if they wanted to attend and numbers would be up and total payment could end up being higher possibly.

I think if the cost of running the stomp is under ?500 then HE absorbing it really isn't a bad thing considering the amount of 'profit' made each year by the event. The people running the event are not getting any younger, encouraging younger members to attend with things going on in the evening will help ensure HE gets new people to take on a role running the event which is more work than I expect most people realise.

In contrast I have attended the last two Belgium/Dutch caving conferences which take place every two years. The cost this year was 45? for the whole weekend and for that we got:
Entry
Breakfast both days
Packed lunch Saturday
Evening meal Saturday
Lunch meal Sunday
Bed inside a castle
Entertainment - folk dancing and then disco
Trip underground Saturday
Lectures Sunday

We had to pay extra for T-shirts, raffle and beer - it's a fantastic event with so many opportunities to socialise together at all the mealtimes. And the food is excellent.

I like both events, they are very different but I really don't understand why we are all arguing over such a little about of money considering the figures over the weekend!

I quite fancy going to one of these. We spend a bit of time in the Netherlands. Could you please post up some info for the next one? (or if it's taking the thread off on a tangent, PM)
Cheers
Chris
 
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