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Slowpokes and Humhawers in paying for ticket

Forums: General Discussion
Created on: 08/06/08 03:36 PM Views: 1665 Replies: 13
Wednesday, August 6, 2008 at 3:36 PM

When I first started the website, I had almost 100 people state they were coming to the reunion. Our payment deadline is Aug. 15th and we've only sold 40 tickets.

For those of you who have had your reunion already, did people wait til the last minute to pay?

We implemented Paypal recently and that has helped alot. However, I am getting concerned about the slowpokes and those who are humming and hawing about attending. It's actually quite "high schoolish" because some cannot make a decision on whether they will attend. Since we have committed our own money and to organize the reunion, we expect people to commit to come. We even had someone request we allow tickets to be sold at the door. We had to refute that because after all this organizing, we'd like to enjoy the reunion without having to sit at the table selling tickets.

I have sent reminder emails. I sent a personal email to each and every person on my email list to announce Paypal. That was over 200 separate emails. Included in this Paypal announcement, I sent two different messages - one to the people who have registered on the site and indicated they are coming, but haven't paid yet and one to people who have not registered or have said they are not coming. I also put in the blurb that organizing the reunion required many up front deposits that have come out of the personal pockets of the reunion committee.

I will be sending another reminder email 7 days before the Aug. 15th deadline. Our final deadline is Aug. 29th, but we may be able to extend that to those who pay by paypal, but not to those who pay by cheque since they won't have time to clear.

It gets frustrating at times because people just don't realize all the work that goes into planning an event of this magnitude.

So, am I worried over nothing? Do the payments come in at the last minute?

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Edited 08/06/08 3:37 PM
Wednesday, August 6, 2008 at 4:52 PM - Response #1

My deadline is Sept 1 and I have 2, yes 2 people paid! I am worried so much I am having nightmares.Crying or Very sad

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008 at 5:12 PM - Response #2

I am experiencing the same scenario. Our deadline is also Aug 15th and we've given paypal as an option from the getgo. I've sent reminders via email and I've also mailed a flyer to everyone that said they are coming but that haven't even created a profile. We too must have the money in for headcount purposes and to be sure we can even cover the cost of the reception! I've even stated "there will be no exceptions". I'm about to cold call those who attended the 10 year that have said they will attend the 20 year. After that, I'm not sure what to do if the money doesn't come in.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008 at 8:22 PM - Response #3

I've done 3 reunions and it never fails...people are justed damned flaky. I received money weeks after the deadline from a few. It helps to give alot of leeway with your deadline. I understand your frustration. It's hard to plan and spend until you have that cash in hand.

I think I ended up sending postcard reminders to several towards the end. Snail mail seems to have an affect that email doesn't. Wish I could be more help. Good luck.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008 at 8:36 PM - Response #4

I feel for you. I would get on the phone and start a network of callers. I would be firm yet gentle in letting them know you are not happy. Not to repeat myself but I've done 3 reunions and it happens every time. People don't understand that in order to plan and buy stuff, you need their money, not to mention a firm headcount! Best to you. PS. I would help you if I could Smile

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008 at 9:19 PM - Response #5

I'm in that same boat! My deadline is August 31 and about 5 people have registered and paid. Almost everyone that registered said that they are going to attend but haven't paid. Then I have some that filled out the registration form but stopped short of paying even when it's right in front of them in PayPal!! Mad I don't know what to do. I'm sitting here now trying to price out items for the giveaways and we just don't have the money. Crying or Very sad I have put upfront money for the invitations and supplies and I may not even be able to get that back. Our reunion tickets are $60 per classmate and $90 for the couple. I figure $30 of that is for food and it leaves me $30 to pay the venue, giveaways (tshirt, group pic, etc). I don't know what I'm going to do. Maybe I'm trying to provide too much....Any advice from the seasoned planners is appreciated!

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Friday, August 8, 2008 at 2:18 PM - Response #6

Our reunion was last weekend and we had plenty of last minute responders. We are fortunate to have small class so having a small team to do some calling and emailing to people was helpful. But there were a lot of last minute payments. People were either forgetful or just really indecisive. Hang in there!

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Friday, August 8, 2008 at 3:35 PM - Response #7

I've done 2 reunions and a host of other events, and you'll always have people who don't understand the importance of registering early. I agree with other posters, that calling and reminding never hurts.

For my 10 year reunion, I actually went to people's houses, and reminded them about the reunion and to collect their money. I had more people come to that reunion because I made house calls. This time, I've started leaving CHS business cards with them when I see them out, and if I know where they work, I drop off a business card with the site's info, etc.

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Friday, August 8, 2008 at 4:44 PM - Response #8

We just started planning this year for our reunion next year and see already that we needed to institute a payment plan and insure the classmates that if paid after the deadline there will be a $25 fee... We expect to cut the deadline 2 to 3 weeks before the reunion and have the volunteer clubs at the high school work the doors and anything else we need, so they can get credit....

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Friday, August 8, 2008 at 4:46 PM - Response #9

I'm on my second reunion, and I have no solution.

For our 58th reunion in August, I sent out flyers on
June 1, 2008 with a deadline of July 15,2008 for a reunion of August 15-16, 2008.

The go/no go decision was at 30 people. As for all the late comers, we followed up with phone calls with some success. I suspect you had better plan for some last minute attendees.

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Saturday, August 9, 2008 at 11:16 PM - Response #10

I'm glad we're not the only ones! I thought only my classmates were flaky.

I have tried to balance not bombarding them with emails and sending enough info and reminders. I sent an email two weeks ago to each person for whom I have an email address when we implemented paypal. One set went to people who registered at the site, but haven't paid, the other set went to people who haven't registered or said they weren't coming. This was not a blast the class one time email. I sent a personal message to each person in our class - over 200 emails.

I sent a final reminder yesterday since our payment deadline is a week away. About 5 people paid by Paypal immediately after I sent the message and then .... nothing.

Well, it's not entirely our final deadline. What we did is set the payment deadline of $45 up to Aug. 15th that hopefully would encourage people to pay early. Then, from Aug. 15th -29th, the price goes up to $55. Ticket sales close completely on Aug. 29th, which we set intentionally to allow room for last minute people before we have to give our final count to the venue.

We have said from the beginnig that no tickets will be available at the door. Quite honestly, after all this organizing and work, why should we have to sit at the door selling last minute tix when we want to enjoy the reunion we organized?

In every email I have sent, I have stated no tix at the door, yada yada yada. Don't people get an f'g clue?

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at 4:40 PM - Response #11

Well, it certainly happens in spurts. I sent out a notice on Friday, got about 10 payments, then nada, zip, zilch. The deadline is Friday.

The girl who received all the cheques is away until Friday, so hopefully there will be a pile in her mailbox when she gets back.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008 at 11:36 PM - Response #12

Well, now i don't feel so bad! Our reunion is October 11th. We set up an early deadline so anyone who paid by July 31st got a $10 per ticket break. We have 166 classmates who say they are attending, and based on past reunions 1/2 will bring a spouse/guest. As of today we have total of 130 (85 classmates) registered and 125 paid. I just put up an announcement ( see our homepage) saying you must pre-register and reminding people we will not be taking registrations at the event. You can see it on our website. The year before us just had their reunion (late) and they had a lot of people register just 4 days before the event and were expecting about 20 at the door. If I did it again i would make late registration at least $25 p/p higher.

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Edited 08/17/08 11:40 PM
Monday, August 18, 2008 at 12:36 AM - Response #13

Thana Fineman wrote:

Well, now i don't feel so bad! Our reunion is October 11th. We set up an early deadline so anyone who paid by July 31st got a $10 per ticket break. We have 166 classmates who say they are attending, and based on past reunions 1/2 will bring a spouse/guest. As of today we have total of 130 (85 classmates) registered and 125 paid. I just put up an announcement ( see our homepage) saying you must pre-register and reminding people we will not be taking registrations at the event. You can see it on our website. The year before us just had their reunion (late) and they had a lot of people register just 4 days before the event and were expecting about 20 at the door. If I did it again i would make late registration at least $25 p/p higher.

Our early bird deadline was Friday. I extended it til Monday and sent a notification to everyone letting them know that the price goes up Monday noon.

We have put all over our website that tix won't be at the door too. We don't want to have to sit there selling tix after we've worked so hard to plan it.

We have to think of a contingency plan, though, if people do show up at the door. Although, we didn't have that happen at the 10 year, we do expect people to try to buy tix a few days before. We have to give our numbers to the venue a week prior, so we don't have much room for error. Of course, we'll add on a few just in case, but we don't want to have to add on too many for cost reasons.

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