VIG Program and other options.....
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Posted by fizler

I would suggest to the powers that be at Gencon that you consider expanding the VIG program rather than adding additional limitations such as limiting companion badges, etc.....  Based on the lottery this year the demand is there.

This is free revenue for Gencon.  Yes, there is some limited admin costs but add 500 or even 1000 more VIG's and slap a $600 or $700 price tag on them.  There is at least another $300,00 in revenue and possibly alot more.

I see no reason to not do this?  Some will decry the cost and claim it's not fair but it's nothing more than the free-market and life isn't fair.

Another good option to generate more revenue would be to sell the VIG options a la carte.  Limit the number of available participants of you want.  For example (just numbers I am making up)...

Early Hotel Registration - $200
1 hour early into the Dealer room - $100
Use of the Hospitality room - $100

The people who would never consider the VIG program would never pay this but many of us would.  I will stress again, this is free revenue for Gencon that could be put to good use.

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Posted by generichick

Early Hotel Registration - $200
1 hour early into the Dealer room - $100
Use of the Hospitality room - $100

I would be all over this, and would pay the extra 200 for early hotel registration and know a few of my friends would as well.  I wouldn't use the dealer hall part, but would consider the hospitality room.

Could this be considered?

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Posted by galahadkoa fizler

fizler wrote:
I would suggest to the powers that be at Gencon that you consider expanding the VIG program rather than adding additional limitations such as limiting companion badges, etc.....  Based on the lottery this year the demand is there.
This is free revenue for Gencon.  Yes, there is some limited admin costs but add 500 or even 1000 more VIG's and slap a $600 or $700 price tag on them.  There is at least another $300,00 in revenue and possibly alot more.
I see no reason to not do this?  Some will decry the cost and claim it's not fair but it's nothing more than the free-market and life isn't fair.
Another good option to generate more revenue would be to sell the VIG options a la carte.  Limit the number of available participants of you want.  For example (just numbers I am making up)...
Early Hotel Registration - $200
1 hour early into the Dealer room - $100
Use of the Hospitality room - $100
The people who would never consider the VIG program would never pay this but many of us would.  I will stress again, this is free revenue for Gencon that could be put to good use.
I'm a former VIG that could not attend the last few years and lost the status. I went back to Gen Con on a 4 day pass this year and looked into VIG for 2017 after coming home due to have a good experience at the convention. Reading how to get into the program these days makes me miserable. I would agree with the original poster on most of what was said about adding more VIG's. I also agree with Gen Con limiting the Companions for next year, but they could literally add 500-1000 more VIGs in a convention where 60-70k people are attending. I remember at one point VIG was limited to 500 people, but at that time half the people were attending. Not sure if its limited to the same amount now.

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Posted by watchdog

This question has come up before, and unless there's been a major change in their philosophy, Gen Con won't be doing a la carte VIGs anytime soon.  It would be more complicated to manage the program, and there's considerable risk to them not making any extra money if enough of the current VIGs decide that they want to "downgrade" to just the hotel package, for instance.

 

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Posted by fizler

I disagree Evil Fleet.  There is Zero risk in offering some of these options.  Even just offering the option of "Premium" hotel reservations for a fee (depending on the number available) would generate more additional revenue than the current VIG program. 

I believe I heard (may not be accurate) there were only about 30 or so VIG 's available and there were over 1000 interested enough for the lottery.

I would encourage the Gencon people to strike while the iron is hot.  The fad will pass, probably sooner rather than later, and they should make their money while they can. 

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Posted by nikki

I can see them not wanting to deal with breaking down the perks.

Offering more VIGs, however, seems like a very smart decision.

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Posted by watchdog

There is rarely zero risk in anything, and I think you're overlooking some potential risks in your suggestions.  

First, the more people you offer VIG benefits to, the less valuable they become.  To paraphrase Syndrome in The Incredibles, when everyone's a VIG, then no one is. VIGs used to be guaranteed one of their top three hotel choices. While they still get priority hotel choice, top three is no longer guaranteed.  Increase the VIG program - especially with an "a la carte" when priority hotel choice is by far the most popular feature of the program - and you risk flooding it to the point where people decide it's not worth spending the money to be in the program. 

Is there room for Gen Con to expand the program without jeopardizing the current VIG base?  Quite possibly, but it's easy to say it's "no risk" when you don't have skin in the game. And coming off the first year of flat attendance after years of growth, Gen Con might feel that this is the wrong time to roll the dice. 

I would expect a price increase on the VIG package at some point, because you're right about the waiting list indicating a strong demand. But I'd be surprised if they do more than that.

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Posted by galahadkoa watchdog

watchdog wrote:
There is rarely zero risk in anything, and I think you're overlooking some potential risks in your suggestions.  
First, the more people you offer VIG benefits to, the less valuable they become.  To paraphrase Syndrome in The Incredibles, when everyone's a VIG, then no one is. VIGs used to be guaranteed one of their top three hotel choices. While they still get priority hotel choice, top three is no longer guaranteed.  Increase the VIG program - especially with an "a la carte" when priority hotel choice is by far the most popular feature of the program - and you risk flooding it to the point where people decide it's not worth spending the money to be in the program. 
Is there room for Gen Con to expand the program without jeopardizing the current VIG base?  Quite possibly, but it's easy to say it's "no risk" when you don't have skin in the game. And coming off the first year of flat attendance after years of growth, Gen Con might feel that this is the wrong time to roll the dice. 
I would expect a price increase on the VIG package at some point, because you're right about the waiting list indicating a strong demand. But I'd be surprised if they do more than that.
I'm not a fan of the a la carte idea, but even if 1000 people were VIGs under the current system that would only be be 1.6% of the total unique visitors to this years convention.

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Posted by monkeyknifefight

Start adding more VIGs and you might as well not even offer downtown rooms through the housing portal for regular guests. That is the entire reason VIGs are scarce and in such demand.

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Posted by watchdog

Galahadkoa:  True, but again, the biggest, most popular feature of the VIG program is the hotel room access. The more people in the VIG system, the less valuable that perk comes.  I doubt anyone can say for sure where the tipping point is, but i don't think you can say "just add X number of VIG slots" for risk free revenue.  From Gen Con's perspective, they'd probably rather just raise the cost of the VIG program to get the revenue increase without increasing the administration burden.

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Posted by fizler

It's easier to get 10 people to pay $100 than to get 1 person to pay $1000.  

I am basing my assessment on the current market and last year's demand for VIG perks.  
Let's say the trend repeats itself and we have 30 or so VIG's available and 1000 people request the lottery.  If you add 970 VIG's at $600 per you have $582,000 in additional revenue.  That buys alot of soda for the hospitality room.

Even if you offer those 970 people preferred room choice for $200 that is $194,000.  Almost $200,000 for a bit of additional overhead/administration.  

If it does not prove out over the next 3 years simple scale it back to where it was before and no harm/no foul.

What's the downside?  Some people complain it's not fair on the housing side.  Compared to the train wreck that downtown housing has become this would be a wonderful thing.  

I see no downside which means they certainly will not do it, based on my experience with Gencon  =) 

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Posted by austicke

What you're missing is what's stipulated in the contract between Gen Con and Visit Indy (whom I'm guessing is the interface to the hotels, but that's total speculation on my part). I'm sure the hotels would prefer any additional housing revenue themselves rather than Gen Con collecting it, so I imagine there are significant restrictions on how the VIG program may be expanded.
 

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Posted by watchdog fizler

fizler wrote:
If it does not prove out over the next 3 years simple scale it back to where it was before and no harm/no foul.
 
VIG currently gives members automatic renewal privileges from year to year. The only way to 'scale back" would be if the expanded VIG slots were given a different, lesser status that did not have the same privilege as the current VIG holders, which means it's questionable whether they could sell them at the same price as the current VIGs.

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