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Rob Ross
Member

Posts: 196
No Entry Fee?
on 6/16/2013 4:55:07 PM
Is it feasible for an ACAM tourney to not have an entry fee?

I mean the players show up, sign in, get their own tokens and play all they want. At the end the winners get a trophy and nothing more. No prize money.

Can it be done? Yes, no, why, why not.


 
Robert
Member

Posts: 116
RE: No Entry Fee?
on 6/16/2013 8:26:33 PM
Proposition - "the players show up, sign in, get their own tokens and play all they want. At the end the winners get a trophy and nothing more. No prize money."

Definite Outcome(1) -

Income = 0
Expense = trophy cost, referee/volunteer cost, cost to David Hernley to fly out the Aurcade system for the event, cost to ACAM staff to test/fix/vette titles prior to event, cost to ACAM staff to move titles to a concentrated area, cleanup costs
Result (1) = net loss for ACAM

Probable Outcome (2) -

No prize = Less attendees BUT same amount of effort/cost invested into setting up event
Result (2a) = a lot of effort for a smaller audience
Result (2b) = less income from end-of-event raffle

That comes off the top of my head as guesses.



 
SanTe
Admin

Posts: 31
RE: No Entry Fee?
on 6/16/2013 9:11:18 PM
Rob Ross Wrote:
Is it feasible for an ACAM tourney to not have an entry fee?

I mean the players show up, sign in, get their own tokens and play all they want. At the end the winners get a trophy and nothing more. No prize money.

Can it be done? Yes, no, why, why not.

Why is this even being proposed? Why is it that so many people in this hobby seemingly want something for nothing?

The fact that ACAM, and Funspot for that matter, exist in 2013 is a minor miracle and there are real costs involved in running the place. As a non-profit ACAM relies on the revenue generated by the games, and that isn't much. ACAM is not very busy for much of the year, and their annual tournament is the only real exception. The money they generate from that tournament is nowhere near enough to pay the costs of running ACAM all year. At one time -- and maybe they still do this, I don't know -- they relied on the bingo parlor across the parking lot to pay most of the costs of keeping ACAM's doors open. They also rely on donations, and I understand it's a real effort to get enough in donations throughout the year to help pay for everything.

The one time I went to Funspot was for ACAM's tournament back in 2008. At the time the tournament entry fee was $30. That was a steal as far as I was concerned. I understand the entry fee is now $60? Still a helluva deal for 4+ days of entertainment to do something you love that nearly went extinct almost 30 years ago.

I'm not singling you out, Rob, just commenting on a general attitude I've seen in the CAG hobby over these last several years. It frustrates me that people are very vocal about what they want but don't support it financially when someone actually does all the hard work to give it to them. TG is currently going through the same thing with their relaunch and the need to charge for score verifications, something I support by the way.

If you love something then help pay for it or don't complain when, not if, it goes away.


 
Robert
Member

Posts: 116
RE: No Entry Fee?
on 6/17/2013 12:32:19 AM
Just to put some perspective on costs...pure speculation of course.

Tourney refs - suppose you require three (3) referee volunteers for the event, Now suppose for sake of argument they get paid minimum wage of $7.25/hr. Now I believe that the event starts at noon on Thursday and lasts for approx. 10 hours on that day and either 11 or 12 on Fri/Sat leaving perhaps 7-8 hours on Sunday.

That is a total of approx. 40 hours. Multiply that by 3 referees at $7.25/hr and the total cost for the refs alone is $870

ACAM gives everyone a complimentary allotment of 100 tokens. At peak value this is worth $20 right there because every token used contributes to wear and tear on the games.

ACAM also utilizes additional resources prior to an event outside of Randy Lawton, their primary technician, to help get things ready, and that comes at a cost as well, and trust me it is not at $7.25/hr either.

An entrance fee of just $30 BARELY covers the costs of the volunteer staff and the tokens. One hundred attendees means $3000 income versus $2870 expenses from 3 ref volunteers at minimum wage and $20 in tokens alone.

I agree with SanTe...a fee of $30.00 is MORE than generous. I'd be happy to pay $75-100...after all, where else for $25 per day can you have that much fun alongside so many friends and community members in your hobby for four whole days ? Disney is $200 per day or more per person including fast passes.

ACAM also greatly appreciates any kiosk donations. The more attendees, the more chances for donations.

The flip-side is having too MANY attendees. Suppose registration was free and as a result 250 attendees showed up. If you thought qualifying on all event titles was difficult before you ain't seen nothing yet...and on top of that this would mean twice the wear and tear on the games and zero coming in towards R&M costs (repairs & maint).

Robert


 
lakeman421
Member

Posts: 157
RE: No Entry Fee?
on 6/17/2013 12:47:09 AM
I am impressed that ACAM can happen every year with improvements every time. The entry was the same, but there were even more prizes like the trophies and money for every top score on a game. We also get $60 worth of tokens which is what we pay (which lasts all weekend) along with a free shirt and other good things. I feel like if there were no entry fee those great things that have been added would be taken away.


 
Nashvillan
Admin

Posts: 664
RE: No Entry Fee?
on 6/17/2013 1:02:09 AM
Robert Wrote:
Just to put some perspective on costs...pure speculation of course.

Tourney refs - suppose you require three (3) referee volunteers for the event, Now suppose for sake of argument they get paid minimum wage of $7.25/hr. Now I believe that the event starts at noon on Thursday and lasts for approx. 10 hours on that day and either 11 or 12 on Fri/Sat leaving perhaps 7-8 hours on Sunday.

That is a total of approx. 40 hours. Multiply that by 3 referees at $7.25/hr and the total cost for the refs alone is $870

ACAM gives everyone a complimentary allotment of 100 tokens. At peak value this is worth $20 right there because every token used contributes to wear and tear on the games.


Me personally, I am a ref that also participated in the tourney. Sometimes I step away from the tourney to watch scores going on elsewhere in the museum. I started to see some point pressing on Ghosts & Goblins, but he said he had scored much higher previously already. I know it is labor of love for me. :) Oh, btw, the Funspot refs only work 5 hours Sunday.

While it is true ACAM does give out a cup of 100 tokens, they also give out two $20 gift cards which are then redeemed for more tokens, so the actual virtual token amount each participant gets is about 300.


 
Robert
Member

Posts: 116
RE: No Entry Fee?
on 6/17/2013 1:12:02 AM
The gift cards mean that the current registration fee is even more of a bargain.

In theory, an intangible benefit would be from media exposure that could lead to new and recurring business at ACAM/Funspot but the impact of this is not readily quantifiable.



 
1badv6
Official

Posts: 10
RE: No Entry Fee?
on 6/17/2013 10:03:35 AM
The biggest issue I see here is that everybody thinks this is an ACAM fundraising event. This is a Funspot event that ACAM is a sponsor of. ACAM provides the game selection and it's board members and volunteers to help with check in, score keeping and securing new games. Funspot gets all the funds and provides all the prizes, ACAM gets what ever shows up in the donation box and it unfortunately at this event hasn't been much. Tons of work gets done by the ACAM staffers and volunteers for the reward of gamers happiness of which there also hasn't been much of the last few years.

If your interested in making sure ACAM is funded, we do Bingo games on Thursday that is our primary fundraising source or donations can be made on the website and donation kiosk. None of the tokens purchases or anything else in the building goes to ACAM so your donations really help keep ACAM alive.



 
bestcellar
Member

Posts: 45
RE: No Entry Fee?
on 6/17/2013 11:39:25 AM
If anything, the entry fee should be higher. I thought it was a great deal considering all the costs.


 
moneill139
Member

Posts: 67
RE: No Entry Fee?
on 6/17/2013 11:45:28 AM
Need more vendors. Tshirts and posters etc. Oh and beer


 
redelf
Member

Posts: 61
RE: No Entry Fee?
on 6/17/2013 1:47:52 PM
The cost of the tourney should be higher, or the amount of tokens they give you for your entry should be lower. The tourney is free as it stands now, pay $60 and get $60 worth of tokens, a shirt and some other stuff. If you want you can just play games and you can even play the tourney games. It allows you a chance to win money for getting high score on a game that you love or know very well. You get to hang out with a great group of people, talk about games.

I just hope that someday someone that has a passion for arcade games will win the lottery and make a significant donation to ACAM so that it can continue to make people happy that can't get enough of the arcade scene.

I'm very happy that ACAM has some great people in it's mist, they go out of their way to make a great event happen, they do alot of events and donate a lot of their time to make others happy.


 
SanTe
Admin

Posts: 31
RE: No Entry Fee?
on 6/17/2013 2:34:01 PM
1badv6 Wrote:
The biggest issue I see here is that everybody thinks this is an ACAM fundraising event. This is a Funspot event that ACAM is a sponsor of. ACAM provides the game selection and it's board members and volunteers to help with check in, score keeping and securing new games. Funspot gets all the funds and provides all the prizes, ACAM gets what ever shows up in the donation box and it unfortunately at this event hasn't been much. Tons of work gets done by the ACAM staffers and volunteers for the reward of gamers happiness of which there also hasn't been much of the last few years.

If your interested in making sure ACAM is funded, we do Bingo games on Thursday that is our primary fundraising source or donations can be made on the website and donation kiosk. None of the tokens purchases or anything else in the building goes to ACAM so your donations really help keep ACAM alive.

If this is in fact how the money works then I think 1badv6 really has identified the biggest problem: most people think that the tournament entry fee they pay goes to ACAM when it does not. I know I didn't know that until now. This means that out-of-pocket donations to ACAM are even more important than most people realize.

bestcellar Wrote:
If anything, the entry fee should be higher. I thought it was a great deal considering all the costs.

redelf Wrote:
The cost of the tourney should be higher, or the amount of tokens they give you for your entry should be lower. The tourney is free as it stands now, pay $60 and get $60 worth of tokens, a shirt and some other stuff. If you want you can just play games and you can even play the tourney games. It allows you a chance to win money for getting high score on a game that you love or know very well. You get to hang out with a great group of people, talk about games.

If what we're worried about is that ACAM is adequately funded then we shouldn't be focused on the tournament entry fee at all. I'm just speculating here but it sounds like the tournament entry fee was raised to accomplish a number of things: 1) cover rising ancillary costs of hosting the tournament, 2) provide for cash prizes and additional "freebies" like T-shirts, etc., that come with playing in the tournament, and 3) keep the number of registered participants reasonable so that there aren't too many players trying to qualify on too few games (i.e. if it was free you'd have 200+ participants).

Whatever the reasons for the tournament entry fee being what it is, apparently ACAM gets none of it. That donation box, both real and virtual (on ACAM's web page) needs to be added to on at least a semi-regular basis, and we all need to understand the importance of doing so.

I just started a new career (semi truck driver) and my cash flow is still kinda tight and will be for the next few months, but I intend to make a new donation of at least $100 by this fall sometime. Even better would be if people would make regular quarterly donations of whatever they can afford, even if it's just $25, which is the cost of a decent pizza. The more of us that do that the fewer dollars that need to come from each of us. As soon as I get my cash flow straightened out I intend to start making quarterly donations on ACAM's web site, and I've just set up a quarterly reminder in Outlook for it. I'm gonna shoot for $100 each time. I've made donations in the past but they've been irregular in their frequency.

redelf Wrote:
I just hope that someday someone that has a passion for arcade games will win the lottery and make a significant donation to ACAM so that it can continue to make people happy that can't get enough of the arcade scene.

I really need to start buying lottery tickets. I know ACAM wouldn't have to worry about anything for decades to come if I ever won a million dollar payout.

redelf Wrote:
I'm very happy that ACAM has some great people in it's mist, they go out of their way to make a great event happen, they do alot of events and donate a lot of their time to make others happy.

Seconded. They really don't get thanked enough. Wish I could make it back out there for the tournament someday. Still hope to.


 
Robert
Member

Posts: 116
RE: No Entry Fee?
on 6/17/2013 8:36:56 PM
What ibadv6 wrote about incorrect perceptions that this is an ACAM event and is instead a Funspot event that ACAM is a sponsor of...I'm embarrassed to say that I have been guilty of misunderstanding this myself. I'm glad this was explained as part of this thread.



 
moneill139
Member

Posts: 67
RE: No Entry Fee?
on 6/17/2013 8:47:55 PM
What we need here is more cow bell


 
Rob Ross
Member

Posts: 196
RE: No Entry Fee?
on 6/18/2013 1:38:46 PM
Robert Wrote:
Proposition - "the players show up, sign in, get their own tokens and play all they want. At the end the winners get a trophy and nothing more. No prize money."

Definite Outcome(1) -

Income = 0
Expense = trophy cost, referee/volunteer cost, cost to David Hernley to fly out the Aurcade system for the event, cost to ACAM staff to test/fix/vette titles prior to event, cost to ACAM staff to move titles to a concentrated area, cleanup costs
Result (1) = net loss for ACAM

Probable Outcome (2) -

No prize = Less attendees BUT same amount of effort/cost invested into setting up event
Result (2a) = a lot of effort for a smaller audience
Result (2b) = less income from end-of-event raffle

That comes off the top of my head as guesses.


How is the income = 0? The players would walk in and place money in the machines to get tokens to use in the tourney for 4 days. THAT IS INCOME!

Yes there would be a trophy cost.

So are the refs/volunteers being paid? I've never heard a definitive answer on that one. I thought "volunteering" meant to volunteer time for free to help out. I'd work an iPad for a few shifts for free if ACAM needed help.

Is David Hernly paid to travel and work the tourney? That's news to me.

Cost to test and vet games? I've been told, several times over, that a group of players comes in to ACAM weeks before the tourney and plays every single game to find problems. I was under the assumption that this was done for free and was not a tourney expense.

Cost to move titles to a concentrated area? Again, I would do this for free if asked. I don't see how dollying 20 games can be listed as an expense here.

Cleanup costs? What does this include? Isn't there staff already in the building to do general cleanup. Once again I'd help for free and maybe other gamers would join my lead.

Anyway, the point being, if there was no entry fee and no prize money wouldn't all our $20 bills to get tokens for the tourney make the building more money on this event?

Food for thought.


 
1badv6
Official

Posts: 10
RE: No Entry Fee?
on 6/18/2013 4:46:10 PM
Rob Ross Wrote:


How is the income = 0? The players would walk in and place money in the machines to get tokens to use in the tourney for 4 days. THAT IS INCOME!

Yes there would be a trophy cost.

So are the refs/volunteers being paid? I've never heard a definitive answer on that one. I thought "volunteering" meant to volunteer time for free to help out. I'd work an iPad for a few shifts for free if ACAM needed help.

Is David Hernly paid to travel and work the tourney? That's news to me.

Cost to test and vet games? I've been told, several times over, that a group of players comes in to ACAM weeks before the tourney and plays every single game to find problems. I was under the assumption that this was done for free and was not a tourney expense.

Cost to move titles to a concentrated area? Again, I would do this for free if asked. I don't see how dollying 20 games can be listed as an expense here.

Cleanup costs? What does this include? Isn't there staff already in the building to do general cleanup. Once again I'd help for free and maybe other gamers would join my lead.

Anyway, the point being, if there was no entry fee and no prize money wouldn't all our $20 bills to get tokens for the tourney make the building more money on this event?

Food for thought.

Well Rob you can come down to Funspot and spend your money any day and I'll be happy to give you a gold star each time you get a score. Does that sound like a fun time for you to travel? Do you think someone would come 1000's of mile for a trophy? If there was no prizes this event would become a very locals only event.

Yes Funspot Ref's get paid, ACAM volunteers do not but that being said there isn't many of us.

Cost to test and vet games. YES there is a cost, how many new games did you see? Do you think we paraded all the local gamers in to see all the new "mystery" games before the tournament to test them? No Funspot staff had that job and yes they get paid.

Cost to move the 20 games? Yep again Funspot staff has to be there to secure the building, clear the parking lot of gamers trying to gain an advantage by cheating and sneaking a peek at the games before the tournament begins and of course move games. All of this happens after hours by Funspot staff and yes they get paid. There is some volunteers that do help but again our numbers are few.

In all though you're right about putting $20 in a token machine does make money for Funspot. But think about it how many gamers actually use a full $20 in tokens those 4 days? Funspot sells you $60 in tokens as it is now by the entry fee. Why would Funspot want to change that. Think of it as a cover charge. Yes you can make money selling the tokens but some people will always need less. The entry fee makes sure everyone gets a minimum.





 
Rob Ross
Member

Posts: 196
RE: No Entry Fee?
on 6/18/2013 7:54:04 PM
Well Rob you can come down to Funspot and spend your money any day and I'll be happy to give you a gold star each time you get a score. Does that sound like a fun time for you to travel? Do you think someone would come 1000's of mile for a trophy? If there was no prizes this event would become a very locals only event.

Your gold star comment does sound like fun. I'll be back down in the fall for just that reason and not for the lust of prize money. Are you implying its no fun to drive to Funspot to play the games and get scores? I think thats the main business strategy behind Funspot....get scores to get redemption tickets (ie gold stars). And isn't this exactly what 3 guys from Chicago did? They travelled thousands of miles to put up scores and meet new friends, etc.

Yes Funspot Ref's get paid, ACAM volunteers do not but that being said there isn't many of us.

I'll be a volunteer or ref next year.

Cost to test and vet games. YES there is a cost, how many new games did you see? Do you think we paraded all the local gamers in to see all the new "mystery" games before the tournament to test them? No Funspot staff had that job and yes they get paid.

This flies against what I've been told in the past. Go to the link below to see how local gamers do indeed test all the games on the 3rd floor minus any games hidden away. You guys need to get your story straight on this.

http://www.aurcade.com/forums/default.aspx?a=top&id=2299

Cost to move the 20 games? Yep again Funspot staff has to be there to secure the building, clear the parking lot of gamers trying to gain an advantage by cheating and sneaking a peek at the games before the tournament begins and of course move games. All of this happens after hours by Funspot staff and yes they get paid. There is some volunteers that do help but again our numbers are few.

My offer to volunteer to help with this stands. And who are the douchebag gamers trying to sneak a peek the night before causing you to need a parking lot sweep? They should be disqualified for even trying that...or be given $5000 to buy a new life.


 
lakeman421
Member

Posts: 157
RE: No Entry Fee?
on 6/18/2013 9:27:32 PM
I hide in the ceiling every year, just so I can get a sneak peek at the games giving me the upper hand.


 
Robert
Member

Posts: 116
RE: No Entry Fee?
on 6/19/2013 2:14:03 AM
Good one about hiding in the ceiling :)

A few more thoughts.

There is nothing sinister about local gamers testing games on the floor. This was, from what little I know, non-specific. If they happened to notice anything prior to the event, just write down what they encountered...jammed coin slot, button/joystick not working, display issues, etc. A few of us do that every November on our own just to help out Randy.

The cost to David/Aurcade may actually be entirely borne by David...I have no idea to be sure, so I'd like to say let's exclude that one from the mix I suggested just to keep matters focused and not go off on tangents.

All other costs do pretty much exist to some measure. Additionally, a lot of behind the scenes efforts take place before an event, often at the personal expense of a few longtime and dedicated ACAM supporters, both in terms of personal time and out-of-pocket expense.

It's hard to put a price tag on dedication, but as a loyal ACAM supporter myself I always kick in a little extra at every event and also during each November trip. Every dollar helps.


 
Rob Ross
Member

Posts: 196
RE: No Entry Fee?
on 6/19/2013 8:04:18 PM
What Robbie didn't say was that he's hiding in the ceiling above the bathrooms to sneak peeks. He calls that game Cheeky Tinkle.

Seriously though, if the tourney organizers require setup, scoring or tear down help, they should put out the word cuz some of us would be more than happy.

The Bicknells and myself were out front this year first thing in the morning (as we always are with our coffees and tall tales) and we lent a hand bringing in the stage for the chip tunes bands.

And don't forget my movie Pacific Rim comes out in less than a month. You all better go see it, support it and love it on July 12.


 
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