Since day one here at Wooster Grace, I’ve had to figure out how large group events fit into my schedule. I like them and I liked them while I was in youth group. And I’m not going to debate whether or not to do events. My friend Mark did a great job with that in his post a couple days ago. But instead, I would like to throw around some thoughts about whether or not you should make students pay to come to your events.
How much is the event costing you? As much as you’d love to never spend money on anything ever again, let’s be realistic. Things such as food, decorations, giveaways, and prizes can drain a budget pretty fast. If you’re serving “meal” food like pizza, hot dogs, or lobster (if you ever serve lobster at your event, give me a call), you might want to consider charging because those things cost more than pretzels or Bugles.
The idea is never to make money on an event. That’s what your budget is for. And really, the idea is not even to offset ALL of the costs for your event. The idea is to offset SOME of the costs. Don’t feel like you have to do this every time, because again, that’s what your budget is for. But one of the reasons to charge (or not to charge) is to offset some of the cost of your event.
Just be wise. The more your event costs, the more you might want to think about charging. If it’s not costing you that much, then say “FREE EVENT” every chance you get. Either way, good luck with your events (if you do them) and good luck deciding whether or not to charge for them. And seriously, if you have lobster at your event, call me. I’m not kidding.