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FAQ:Cascadia for newbies
Attendance and Publicity
The total attendance, according to the number of signatures on the waiver forms, was 147. This was down 54 from last year. Last year we seemed to have a lot of local people who were beginners at juggling; beginning workshops regularly drew 5-15 people last year, whereas this year they were getting 1-3 people. I suspect the difference is due to the fact that the Detroit News ran a juggling story on the first page of their Features section a few days before the fest.
As far as I could tell, the slight attendance drop wasn't a problem for anyone; we made back our expenses, the vendors said they made money, and there were lots of great people to juggle with.
However, I'd still appreciate publicity ideas. I did send out press releases to print media, but I think the only result was listings in the two Ann Arbor monthly's calendars. I also got a radio interview on a local radio station (WAAM), but don't know whether anyone heard it. I was pretty lazy about getting flyers out. Everyone I asked said they'd learned about the fest through the web (thanks to the JIS festival listings...) or through word-of-mouth. This is consistent with the fact that we had lots of experienced jugglers and not so many beginners. Several people said they thought the web site was informative and easy-to-use.
We were in the black this year. This is good. Perhaps we should consider lowering the admission fee next year.
It's unclear whether the mailing to the IJA list was a great benefit, so we might be able to save $100 or so by relying mainly on internet advertising. Perhaps we could also do without the insurance. (The sports center does not require it.)
The small figure for donations is deceptive, since a lot of people probably decided to buy t-shirts or raffle tickets to help the fest (thanks!).
Astute readers will note that the admissions income is too high, since 147 people at $2 should total $294. Probably the rest of the money was donations. Sunday's admission money was actually a few dollars short; apparently some folks were let in for free at the end (which is fine; I should have told the registration people to do that anyway).
We did a lot better on the raffle this year. The 6 tickets for $5 deal may have encouraged people to buy more tickets than they otherwise would. Also, the individual raffles may have helped; people seemed to think a lot about picking jars to put their ticket in.
We made a smaller investment on t-shirts this time, and that helped. We bought 31 t-shirts at $305, and sold 27 at $15. Note that someone must have paid for a t-shirt and not taken it.
Anyway, this leaves us with $231.02 to do something with. We decided at the beginning that we'd give half the admissions income to the sports center; they let us use the place for free, as a personal favor, and we couldn't really afford to rent it for the full weekend, but it would seem like a nice gesture to give them what we can.
So that still leaves $71.02. I'd vote for just hanging on to it and spending it on next year's fest; if there isn't a fest next year, we could spend it on a world juggler's day picnic or something. Or we could just hand it all over to the sports center.
I haven't asked Tony yet about using the sports center next year. If it turns out to be possible, then I'm for it. I will probably be in town, though I admit I'd be happiest if I could find someone else to be festival czar.
People like the current location; there's lots of space, the lighting's OK, there are vending machines and concessions on-site, and Ann Arbor is a location people like to visit. It can be a bit hot, though the temperature was fine this year. The vendors might like a place with more foot-traffic. (Cascadia used to be held in the middle of a shopping mall in Jackson. Whatever other disadvantages this may have had, it was great for selling stuff.) We'd probably also get more casual jugglers and beginners in such a place. But until someone finds an air-conditioned gym in downtown Ann Arbor that we can use for free, or close to it, we're going to continue to be extremely thankful for Wide World Sports.
We got great prizes for the raffle from IJA, Dube, Inc., Infinity, Inc., Odd Sports, Jireh (firstname.lastname@example.org), Serious Juggling, Todd Smith, and TheUnit.com. The IJA also provided us with mailing labels from their membership roster for free.
Thanks to John Jessmon for designing and printing the t-shirts.
Lots of volunteers from both the Ann Arbor club and from neighboring clubs endured the tedium of watching over the registration table for an hour or two. This was greatly appreciated.
We had a number of very well-attended workshops; thanks to everyone who lead a workshop.
Besides myself, Dave Brautigam and Larry Dwyer also put up money for the festival expenses.
Thanks to Fred Isaman, Bill Correll, Mattias Jonsson, Dave Brautigam, Paul Southworth, Paul Wolberg, and others for help with the preparations.
Thanks above all to Tony Collard and Wide World Sports! There were lots of compliments on the location.
Thanks a lot to everyone who came, had a good time, and made it all worthwhile.
Last updated 5/12/2002 to correct a couple mistakes and add a t-shirt sold the week after the fest.