This is a tough conversation. When I first started playing in 2002, I went to lilies every year, religiously. After I graduated grad school in 2012  my life changed, and I have missed several. This past year, I had to choose, and I went with 50 year. The equestrian activities were amazing, and are something Lilies can't have. There are lots of reasons people do or do not, make lilies. 

It is hard to discuss changes without knowing the actual numbers (port-a-potties, day trippers, week long users, cost of tents, cost of set up/clean up days, ice truck, etc etc etc) it is difficult to make decisions. It does seem as though a huge cost is in the tent rentals. I feel that the "court" tent is an absolute must. The weather is too iffy for there to be no large tent. But what about the rest of them? Could they be replaced with a "private" tent? What are the logistics of that? (making, transporting, storage, maintenance, etc). One thing with rentals, all the "incidental" costs of owning and storing large tents is taken up by the company. I know some of the classes can't happen without a  good tent (glass classes need walls to cut wind for instance) and no one wants to sit out in the sun all day teaching. I now of several groups/individuals who own larger sized tents (Wayne of the Heights has his "barracks" tents, the Bards have one). While these tents are already in use at Lilies perhaps their owners  could weigh in on some of the expenses? (tent itself, the wood for uprights, storage, transportation needs, etc).

How many A and S tents  or shade flies do we use at Lilies? Would it be feasible for different groups to provide one tent or shade fly each? Making it group property would head off any issues of "that's my tent and I won't let X use it/be done there. Would this be saving Lilies money overall or just shifting (higher) costs to different Calontir groups? What happens if a tent/shade fly doesn't make it? I think it would be interesting to see what it would take for say, the large baronies to each sponsor one Tent or Shade fly (make or buy, transport to and from lilies, preform needed maintenance). This would also give a "standing" set of extra large tents and shade flies that could be loaned out for smaller  events during the year. Thoughts?

Do we use the same companies every year for port-a-potty and tent rentals? Are there others in the region that the Lilies Committee gets quotes from? Do we have any bargaining power there? Is there obviously higher usage of the site at the second weekend, such as would justify having a midweek delivery of additional port-a-johns?

Preregistration would be great. I hope we can set this up. I think Preregistration is a the first step to day rates, as it will make it easier to preform data collection.

Is there any information on how many people fail to pay site fee? Are we too lax in our gate policies? Or is this a non-issue/red herring?

I think that the fees are very low, if you are going the whole week. They are high if you are only going on the weekends. I could see the site fees going up another $5-10/person, with it having little if any effect on most attendees.

Finally, how to do we spur more interest? Advertise. Frankly, I rarely know if there is anything interesting or unusual happening at Lilies until I get there. What is this years theme? Are there any interesting parties or A and S contests? I know the details won't be known until much closer (class lists, etc). But overall theme's could be promoted through out the year with a simple letter to the e-mail list. Think about the events that have gotten you most interested. What did they have that attracted you? William the Marshal event required 2 years of work to be what it was, but it sticks in my memories as one of my best events ever. Lilies is every year, and I feel like most of the time I can expect exactly what was there the previous year. This is okay, but the status quo isn't inspiring. How do we, as Calontiri, make Lilies inspiring? Make it worth the weather and the drive and the costs?

I know this turned into a long, rambling email. Hopefully if you've read to this point I've said at least something that made you think.


Amba allrasystir

On Thu, Dec 22, 2016 at 2:42 PM, Jeremy Slick <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Don't factor the OoK guests into the equation. Those who travel, will travel. What may help or hurt is what other events are happening that same weekend. Uprising, Northern Realms and SCA 50 Year all happened in the same timeframe as Lilies last year...but still had little impact on the OoK numbers in attendance.

As for site fees, what could draw more people in? What's the thought of a daytrip or weekend fee? There are many who would love to get to Lilies, but don't want to pay $40-$50 just to be on site for 1 or 2 days...but would probably be willing to come and contribute $20 to the cause for a weekend rate.

That aside, the travel costs and general economic factor will always play a roll in who can afford to make the trip. And as those fluctuate, attendance fluctuates with it.

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