TEDxWinnipeg now has two types of ticket available, at two different pricing levels.
Up until 2016, TEDxWinnipeg had never charged a fee to attend. Some years this was very difficult to accomplish, as we needed sponsors who were willing to pitch in and foot the entire bill for the event, as we had no other sources of revenue. For 2016, we needed to start charging a nominal $25 registration fee for the event, which was still growing. Ultimately, last year we had to turn away far more guests than we could accept, simply due to venue capacity.
For 2017, we have a new venue – we’ll be moving to the RBC Convention Centre. This gives us more flexibility and room to grow, but it comes at an increased financial cost. We still have sponsors stepping up to fund a significant part of the cost of presenting the event, but unfortunately we need to increase the ticket price this year to $65. After doing a survey of TEDx events of a similar size, we found that charging for the event is the norm, and that ticket prices of $75-100 USD are most common. Considering the program being presented and comparing with (non-TEDx) events of a similar type as well as various sport and entertainment events, it seems that $65 is considerably less than these events cost, and for a full-day program rather than a few hours or for a single speaker.
New for 2017, we have decided to offer a Patron Ticket. The Patron Ticket allows people to help contribute to the event’s bottom line to ensure its success. The Patron Ticket costs $120 and can be a significant help to us in meeting our budget. Other than our grateful thanks and good karma, what advantages does a Patron Ticket get you? We are making Patron Tickets available immediatelyafter you apply, with no waiting for the selection process. If you want to make certain you’ll be a part of the audience, you can purchase your Patron Ticket, help us pay the bills, and stop having to keep your fingers crossed while you wait for the guest selection process to complete to see whether you’re in.
We’re still using the selection process we’ve devised over the past few years to ensure that we have fairness and randomness mixed with an ounce of merit for everyone who applies through our normal process, and there will be seats available at the lower rate, so nobody is obligated to pay the higher price to attend. In fact, consistent with our philosophy that ideas need to spread as freely as possible, we are making some pay-what-you-can tickets available to anyone for whom financial circumstances impairs their ability to attend. Patron Tickets are one way of helping to fund this commitment.
It’s true that Winnipeggers have a reputation for being cheap, but we’d rather believe that Winnipeggers are value-conscious. In that vein, we’re confident TEDxWinnipeg delivers value far in excess of the admission price. We also think it’s important that you to understand where the cash goes. TEDxWinnipeg is a fully volunteer-run nonprofit group, and we don’t make money from the event. All of the funds we receive from sponsors and from ticket sales go to pay for the cost of running the event. In the past, the people who run the event, after volunteering hundreds of hours of their time, have dipped into their own pockets to fund some of the costs. As the event continues to grow, we must ensure it is sustainable as the high-quality event that we present each year, and increased ticket prices are one of the results. It’s our commitment to sharing ideas worth spreading that has led us here, and our deep desire to spread those ideas as widely as possible has prompted us to grow the event. We believe the TEDx fans that have been with us all along will ultimately welcome these changes, and it’s for this reason that we are exercising a level of transparency in the makeup of our ticket pricing.
While we are not a registered charity, we are able to accept sponsorship donations online. If you or your employer would be interested in helping to sponsor this event, we’d like to hear from you. There are a number of sponsorship opportunities and benefits we’d love to tell you about.