This page was updated by Ralph Kenyon on 2007/09/24 at 09:30 and has been accessed 1668 times at 55 hits per month.
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2007 11:14:04 -0400
Subject: ... Suggestions!

Hi Ralph,


I expect/hope this will become a well attended dance. It's a big place - 75% the size of the Masonic Hall.

And, at $12 with BYOB it really is a bargain dinner dance. At least the food is much better then the food in Dalton, Chicopee, ... etc. This is a very inexpensive evening out - $24 + BYOB per couple.

I haven't decided how to market the later yet. One does not have to eat before coming. It is more then snacks when there is hot soup and sandwiches and free beverages which are at most of our dances.

USA Dance charges $1 per drink.

We don't want to compare our regular dances with our Dinner Dances but we do need to somehow express the Value.

Any Suggestions would be appreciated.

Here's something to think about. This is obviously self serving - but realistic. Please consider it.

You've worked hard to present a good rating system and your web site is used by almost everyone. It does take into account snacks - but not drinks or hot food. For drinks the average (dance after dance) almost comes out like clock work - 1.5 - 2 drinks per person (soft drink or bottled water). And, this makes sense since everyone has at least one drink. The lowest cost drinks are at the USA Dance in Pittsfield - $1.00 per drink. Other places they are double or triple or ... that.

My 2 cents - I think it would be more realistic if free drinks were part of the formula at $1.50 per person - that's the low end. Even at the PNA people spend more then that - even you spend a dollar plus tip & you're value conscious.

Also, snacks are difficult to use an average of $2. Esther does a nice job. Northampton only puts out a few factory made cookies. USA Dance is getting better. It is difficult to put Mary's cakes on the same par with Northampton and USA Dance also offers a store bought veggi platter.

Again, my two cents - soup should have a value (at least $1.50 or $2.00? - mine are worth more then that) and so should sandwiches (at least $1.50?) - we don't use cheap cold cuts - we use deli meat.

Some people will say they don't care about the food - but then they make a meal out of what we put out. Sue Schwartz does this all the time. The majority of people have soup & sandwiches & fruit (almost all) sweets and beverages (ALL)!

Some people come primarily to dance. But they are a very small minority. Most come for a social evening out. The L'Allegero people who came brought wine and spent most of the evening socializing (more then half) and all ate and drank our soup, beverages, fruit, AND sandwiches and ...

With what we put out one really does not need to eat before coming. It is a very inexpensive evening out.

But our "Snack" value is the same as Northampton's factory made cookies. This is not realistic.

As Quintessential Dance continues to raise the bar I think your rating system should evolve up with it :) & continue to show realistic values.

At the Masonic Hall a USA Dance with 100 people is not the same value as a Quintessential Dance there with 50.

Many people come to our dances there who do not go to the USA Dance.

They come for the value they receive.

You might consider:

Fresh Fruit $1
Veggies $0.50
Sweets $0.50
Beverages - Tap water? Tap water plus cool-aid? $0.50
Beverages - Bottled water, soft drinks, ... $1.50 (This is what USA Dance charges)
Soups $1.50 - at least
Sandwiches $1.50

And have a food value as well.

Also, it turns out that BYOB is a very big value - at least half bring wine. And, this is not without cost. Even Petersburg will not allow this unless I have at least a $2,000,000 insurance policy & that cost big bucks - thousands.

A BYOB should carry a value of at least $1 and maybe higher. You do the math - half bring a bottle of wine - at the PNA, Lois Brown's, ... at least half buy alcoholic beverages. So, $1 is very conservative.

People currently perceive Petersburg as out of the way. But, this will change. And, when you factor in that you don't need to eat before (time and money) Petersburg really becomes a very big bargain that your current rating system does not show.

The above food value is $7.50 per person on the low end. This would compare to Northampton's $0.50, Esther's would be $2.50, Berkshire USA Dance  $2.00, Crooked Lake $0.00, and Albany USA Dance a big ZERO!

These are realistic numbers!

Please think about it. These are pretty realistic and really level the playing field. They are based on hard numbers not just guesses - we've done this now for over a year.

If you compare QD at the Masonic with USA Non member at the same place QD is a better value and most would agree. But, the current rating system shows the opposite.

Members of course pay much more but I don't know how one would demonstrate that without making waves.