Last Saturday myself and some of the other UK based SAP Mentors and Friends hosted SAP Inside Track Sheffield. It was the second time we’ve had an Inside Track in The North of England and feedback was very positive from speakers and delegates. We had 55 people in attendance. Not a bad number some may say but I was slightly disappointed by the turn out. We set up an Eventbrite page and attendees had to register for a free ticket. We had 135 people register for a ticket but, despite regular contact from us, 80 people still decided not to bother attending. Yes some people were polite enough to send me an email but the vast majority didn’t. So, why did so many people not turn up? We put this to some of the other delegates over a beer later and the two main reasons were:
It’s on a Saturday. Let’s face it, if you’ve had a really bad week at work or a few too many beers on a Friday you may wake up and not feel like attending an event. In my view it should remain on a Saturday for a number of reasons but that’s for another discussion.
It’s free. According to some of our delegates, the fact it is free means they feel less committed to actually attending. This got us on to the subject of should we charge people?
SAP Inside Track is a community event that, historically, has always been free to attend. It’s funded by a mixture of event sponsors, a bit of “beg borrow and steal” and there is also a €500 donation from SAP if you have the patience to pursue it. I’m told it is easier to get hold of this if an SAP employee is in attendance at your event. So what are the arguments for charging people say €20 to attend?
- More commitment to attend. If someone has paid money they are more likely to attend
- Easier to predict numbers. This year I found it very hard to know how much water to buy, what rooms to put sessions in as we had no way of knowing how many would show up
- More money for refreshments / give aways
- More money so we can look at technology to record / stream sessions
- Money left over to donate to a local charity
What are your thoughts on this matter? Have you attended an Inside Track and would you pay next time?
SAP Inside Track Sheffield was a real success and we will build on this next year. We are planning live streaming and recording of sessions and also working closer with Sheffield Hallam University to maximise on publicity and hopefully reach that magical number of 100+ attendees! Read Steve Rumsby’s review here: Inside Track Sheffield Review
Below are some more pictures of the event: