From the Bahamas, thanks for coming to my event.

As I sit from my beach chair in the Bahamas I want to write to you about the event you paid for and what I did with the money.

I paid $650 for use of the venue.
I paid $250 for a second security guard since there was more than 100 of you
I paid $100 for a second janitor
I fed my judges, refs, queue managers, DJ, field reset, etc. About $7 per person, 40 people total = $280
I had to rent a sound system, but I got a huge discount, so I only paid $150.
I spent money on additional and trophy kits for the event = $150
Total cost is 1580

I charged you $50 and 24 people came, and paid a theoretical $1200.

But I didn’t charge my teams to come, and I didn’t charge the the two set of teams that brought fields and volunteers.

So I lost about $500.


So how does that work in the real world?
– STEMRobotics helps events with the awards, we get grant money to help run events.

– Teams are excited to generate excitement on robotics, so a few hundred expense dollars isn’t a big deal to hold an event.

– Well what about the fields? Why pay for them? In the real worlds you need 4 fields per events (2-game, 1 skills, 1 practice). RECF/VEX rocks, if you agree to hold an event they GIVE YOU A $600 set of game elements. We goad/guilt those people to bringing those elements to lots of events.

– Well food should make up the difference. It can, but $9 beers have not appeared at any of our events. The food is priced for family pocketbooks, not ball park costs. On average teams make about $100, 5 motors worth of profit. :confused:

So why are you bringing this up? In other threads people expect professional judges and refs. So I’m going to use Andrew and Karthik as my examples.

(Made up numbers) So lets say Karthik makes $220K (TCO) per year, and that works out to an even $100 per hour. (TCO includes, salary, office space taxes, benefits, management overheard, etc) I want Karthik at my event, so its $800 for him for the day. But I need to fly, house, pay, and fly him home. Ouch another $1000. Total is $1800.

Andrew is cheaper, but wait, his judging crew is on the same caliber as Karthik. No travel, so let’s assume 8 judges at $800 per day is $6,400.

Foster and Steve run the event. Our real world billing rates are reasonable, but in our environments it’s a low cost item, in what we do we are Karthiks level of comp. So we will go with $800 per day per person.

1800+(8*800)+(2+800)+1200=11,000 / 24 teams = 450 per team for a 24 team event.

Hey Acme, want to bring your 12 teams to my event? $5,400.
Hey Downingtown, want to bring your 18 teams? $8,100 want to go to 5 events? $40,500 please.

Too long;didn’t read Summary

We (RECF, or anyone else) CAN NOT run events and pay people past the venue charges. it’s the community of people (Dave, Jenny, Bill, Foster, Andew, Steve, ManicMecanic, etc) that makes this happen.

I go to an event to volunteer it “costs me $800” Money and time I can spend elsewhere.

You want professional refs and judges. No problem, pay for them.


The last time I was billed out as a consultant the rate was $225 an hour. I’d accept that to be a tournament director. Give me a call! (My normal rate today is two slices of pizza, unlimited water, a cup of coffee, and sore feet.)

Event planning fees start at $2,500 and doesn’t include my presence at the day of the event that starts at $75 an hour to make sure all the vendors are present and volunteers are organized and so an and so forth.

I’ll go anywhere to judge, just pay for me to get there! The rest is free. Can’t beat my rate. :cool:

Jokes aside, very good points made. The amateur nature of Robotics makes it difficult to have payed professionals, especially at every event.

Ok people, I’m selling seats for a “Whine at Rick” session. One hour, all the comments you want to deliver. Limited seating for only 50 people at $20 per person.

(( lets see 50 * 20 = $1000, less $225 + foot massage at $75 and I clear $700. )) another day on the beach. :rolleyes:

Haha sign me up!! :stuck_out_tongue:

Gosh Foster, my head is spinning with all these details. Math was never my strength. Robots either. But I do love the Bahamas. Junkanoo!

There is a lot of data out there on the value of volunteers’ time. And just a reminder to all to keep track of your volunteer expenses - many are deductible.

But I think you might be on to something. A realistic run down of how much it actually does cost to run a competition and the value of what I term in this area “the usual suspects”. The people who are there in their sweaty shirts, sharing fields, equipment, volunteers, passing on the best practices. The people who are crazy enough to pitch in and help each other. The ones who, in the big picture, “show up”. We all need each other.

I don’t know what a professional judge or ref would look like. I see a difference between professionalism and professional, between giving people the tools they need to understand and do their job, and just throwing them in the pool.

So now we know how Foster can afford his Bahamas Junkets… :wink:

Just think… By Volunteering, what Value you are providing… And Experience is Experience, paid or not… You can put it on you Resume` as well as take Home a Good Feeling… :wink:

If your just an attendee, Don’t Forget to Thank the Volunteers!!! You might want to Encourage them to return for your next event…

We had 52, yes 52 volunteers at our National Event this weekend who helped Johan, Maurice and I make it all happen!

All it took was a free t-shirt and food :slight_smile:

Thanks guys and gals you made it all so easy!

Dr. Johan Potgieter
Maurice Tipene
Hayden Wilson
Richy Paul
Cameron Edwards
Scott Goodhew
Andrew Chen
Monika Baumann
Nathan Allen
Thomas Paulin
Michele Lee
Matt Dyer
Chris Stanton
Previn Nair
Nick Mabey
Nick Lim
Oliver Wilson
Giselle Keenleyside
Vincent Ardern
Eu-Lee Teh
Steph Bickerstaff
Tim Sutcliffe
David Graham
Stefan vee Dub
Lester Pinto
Vincent Tulleners
Ethan Wang
Karsten Hojberg - Autodesk - Design Award Judge
Kal Balu - SMC - Design Award Judge
Phil Brownlie - Rakon - Design Award Judge
Nik Kare-Ariki
Julien Powell
Steph Crossley
Jake Symes
Nick Falconer
Charles Tsui
The Duggernaut
Gail Royston
Jake Symes
Peter-Kyle Jackson
Cameron Butler
James Davis
Lise Bakker
Catalina Ramirez
Marty Pike
Jim Bob
Yosh Royston
Paul Williams
Dion Mansfield
Nip Yan Tsui
Christopher Moir

Recognizing people for the hard work they have done as a volunteer is important. Maybe we should have a “wall of thanks” in the forum.
Event Partners need to keep track of the volunteer hours at their events. These hours can be used for various recognition activities within your community.
Last year I tried my best to collect the names of the volunteers who helped throughout Maryland. It was hard work, and I know I missed a lot of people, but I tried.’s
I had forgotten about this until last week while I was visiting a very large office in a very large school system - full of cubicles. Just walking to my appointment I spotted 3 of these being displayed.