Some emails are going out about some details about Worlds 2024 that were revealed at the EP summit this past week. I figured it would probably be worth a post here on the forum so the impacts fo these changes can be discussed. Here are the details that were released relevant to worlds:
Registration fee for all teams is increased to $1800 from $1200.
JROTC fee is still undecided
VRC High School: April 25-27
VRC Middle School/JROTC/VEXU: April 28-30
VIQRC Elementary School and Middle school: May 1-3
VRC High School: 800 (unchanged)
VRC Middle School: 480 (unchanged)
JROTC: 160 (unchanged)
VEXU: 100 (unchanged)
VIQRC Elementary School: 420 (Down from 800)
VIQRC Middle School: 420 (Down from 760)
Online Challenges winners will not be announced until March 15, 2024
Top 10 Worlds Skills Standings in MS VRC, HS VRC, and VEX U will receive an invitation to Worlds 2024
Previous Worlds winners do not qualify for the next World Championship
Teams receiving an invitation to the World Championship will have two (2) weeks from receipt of their World Championship invitation to register
The reasons for decreasing the size of VIQRC worlds:
Decision made for several reasons:
Overwhelming feedback indicated that the overlap day between ES and MS needed to be eliminated
Organizations that have Middle and Elementary-level Teams traveling together have requested a shorter overall trip to reduce travel and accommodation costs. Combining the programs accomplishes that objective.
The number of VIQRC organizations that are permitted to travel has reduced in recent years, creating the need for a smaller event
Personally, there are 2 changes that are very surprising:
The increase of registration fees from $1200 to $1800 - I’m pretty sure this is the most drastic increase in registration fees for Worlds ever, both from an absolute dollar amount and proportionally to the previous year. This is especially surprising because the venue isn’t changing and from my understanding, there was a long multi-year deal with Dallas, so it’s not clear why the price would need to suddenly increase 50%.
The drastic reduction in scope of VIQRC worlds. At 840 teams total versus 1560+ before, this is effectively halving the number of teams that get to compete at VIQRC worlds. There will be significant knock-on effects for qualification spots from regional championships from this.
That being said, the halving of IQ worlds seems to have opened up the schedule enough to fully remove the overlap days between all of the different sessions. Maybe this means that the layout for worlds will be significantly modified since two pits areas are no longer necessary?
EP Summit Dan Mantz take on this was their original intent that the past season would be $1,400 per team to soften costs to teams, but did not happen as “return to normal”. This past season Worlds cost more than revenue covered, deficit issue. So $1,800 was something no one really wanted at RECF - but pressures on eliminating overlap days, and no over taxing capability to run events was front and center accelerated implementation of fees which reflect true cost of running Worlds even with great sponsors.
No win situation - I know from our micro versions of events, it is hard. Keep things “affordable” until you can’t.
I’m going to jump to the defense of RECF a bit on the cost increase. Yes, jumping from $1200 to $1800 is a big jump, but in the big picture of what a team spends to go to Worlds, an additional $600 isn’t all that big a piece of the pie. Airline tickets, rental cars, gas, hotel rooms, food at restaurants - all those are more expensive, but we just tend to accept that as the way it is and there is nothing we can do about it, so we pay it. How come it is such an offense when RECF needs to increase the cost to attend the event in order to cover expenses?
The reality is that it costs a lot to put on an event with the production value that Worlds has. All the cool things that people like about Worlds cost money, and those that attend would not be in favor of pulling back on those things to save cost. Dan shared that the total budget for Worlds is about $7mil (IIRC). That means that team registration covers just over half of the total cost for the event. There are a TON of VERY generous sponsors that are making Worlds possible for our students. The number of total teams is going down (smaller VEX IQ), and costs are going up (as they always seem to do).
Is it exciting to have to pay more to go to Worlds? no, but it is also what it costs if we want to experience the event as it is. It doesn’t affect every team in VEX. It affects a very small number - the small percentage that is lucky enough to get the experience to go to Worlds. If you are lucky enough to have a program that sends multiple teams every year to Worlds, then that is great and start planning now on how you can make that possible for your students.
Don’t think anyone is saying it is an offense (or offence).
But don’t think it is an offence for us to feel that a 50% jump (which btw, is many times more than the year-to-year inflation rate of 8.3% Current US Inflation Rates: 2000-2023) is steep as well.
We are not unreasonable or some clueless people that has no sensing of how prices are increasing everywhere. So don’t think RECF needs any defending. I don’t see any angry reactions so far. Just some old men (i.e. me) whining about the increased in the cost of living.
End of the day, knowing the community, we will still suck it up, tighten the belt and find the additional $600 for our kids to attend worlds.
I don’t get how you can even make this statement. No matter what, 600 dollars is HUGE. For smaller private teams, $600 is a higher proportion of the total cost to attend worlds. For larger organization that send multiple teams to worlds, that means that the cost of attending has now just increased by $1200 or $1800 or even more.
Thanks for repeating this here Pascal. @DanMantz would you be able to expand on the points listed above? It would be nice to have some kind of official announcement or explanation of the significant cost increase that is available to teams (those who ultimately have to pay this increased price), rather than just a select subset of EPs. With the increase in secrecy of the EP summit there needs to be a corresponding increase in official communication once decisions are reached.
Mischaracterization - there is no “secrecy” or NDA clause for EP Summit attendees. Moreover, our RECF reps sent out info to all the teams in our region this week, which is the official announcement. Slide decks used for discussions at EP Summit should be out shortly.
It’s rather perplexing to see that despite making an additional $60,000 from the World’s fee, they have audaciously decided to increase the price to an unjustifiable amount. One would assume that by utilizing the convention center less, the fee would remain reasonable, but alas, that’s not the case. It’s hard to fathom why they insist on demanding more money when they already have all the necessary supplies within their grasp. Shipping the required items from Greenville to Dallas shouldn’t be a substantial financial burden, yet they seem to overlook that fact. It’s a shame that they are putting their desire for more money above the interests of those attending the event.
From my perspective, the recent changes to the Vex Worlds have truly thrown a wrench into our carefully laid-out plans. It’s disheartening to find ourselves in this predicament, especially considering that I had already assured parents that the estimated registration fee per child, per team, for Worlds would be around $250. Now, with the changes, I feel caught in a difficult position, unsure of what to communicate to the parents who were counting on this information. The RECF should start communicating these changes at least 5 months before the season starts.
A little harsh - did you know last year Worlds lost money? Virtually everyone wanted no more overlap days? They decreased numbers of teams participating VIQRC by half? Seems to me the RECF has a lot of justifications for increasing fee.
It costs over 7 million dollars to run Worlds - a sizable chunk is AV production cost, and other costs is the venue.
I would say RECF is weighing all the different desires of teams, volunteers, spectators, staff … into consideration. It is not about bringing in more money - it is about having an event format that is sustainable.
You should apply to the student advisory board (I think you are now in HS) - they do want a good cross section of voices in their discussions.
I wish they would live stream the event like they did in the past, but it’s been pretty clear that live streaming isn’t in their skill set and it’s probably best this way. They are always slower to get this stuff out than I would like, but that’s not keeping a “secret,” they just have a small staff and it’s not going to happen when I want it to. If I really wanted to I would just go and watch it for myself. I’ve done so in the past but it’s just a function of time and money…
EP Summit = spend money, run summer camp = make money.
Was there a corresponding coaches meeting at the same time? Last year they kind of ran at the same time and they seemed to get to a bigger audience quicker.
My take on this RECF is a little stuck between the ever rising costs of things (transportation has been a huge sticker shock for me in the last 8 months). They have trimmed the event down to save costs, but with last years short fall and seeing another one in May, there isn’t a lot of good choices.
I’m happy to know now, in July so fundraising can start in advance. Teams should be fundraising all the time if they think they have even the slightest idea they will be going to worlds.
I will guess that teams will also be facing higher hotel and travel costs, and their daily food budgets will also go up.