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Date Posted: 16:17:27 07/15/08 Tue
Author: Mike
Subject: Re: "Think about it !"
In reply to: Sir Lawrence 's message, ""Think about it !"" on 16:18:36 07/14/08 Mon

Ah, the precarious topic of ren faire finances. So much to chew on.

I have to wonder if the boycotters have taken any steps to inform the faire in question of their actions? Or are they protesting in a vacuum? Most faires aren't even going to notice if a small group isn't there -- you can't miss something if you don't know it's missing -- but if the boycotters, say, wrote a well-crafted letter not only informing the management of their actions, but stating that they plan to take their money elsewhere and perhaps convince their friends to do the same? That will get attention, and perhaps even yield results.

I also hope the boycotters are considering the alleged offense and who it happened to. Every faire has its detractors, and I've learned that for every legitimate gripe, there's someone who's just bemoaning the fact something simply didn't go their way, so they've chosen to lash out and take what amounts to petty revenge. A true, grievous offense should be redressed, but unprofessional and petty whining? Not so much.

All that said, I have to agree with Julie on every point she made, but particularly about the effects of poor management. A badly run faire will eventually die out as patrons -- rennie and mundane alike -- get hip to the fact the show as a total package sucks and they take their money elsewhere. Badly run faires drive away their actors, performers, vendors, etc., leaving patrons with whoever and whatever is left...and considering how quickly word of mouth spreads among and between those communities, that impact would register almost instantly.

I don't at all agree with the idea of simply going to faires and spending money just for the sake of keeping them alive (or perhaps more appropriately, on life support). It's counter-productive on a grander scale.

In order for the ren faire community as a whole to thrive, every show must possess a level of quality. Every faire must be the best possible representative for the entire industry. Those that cannot meet these demands need to go away lest they harm all.

Consider: Faires are still alien territory to many people, and they cannot necessarily separate the message (a specific show) from the messenger (the art form that is the ren faire)...a person can go to a crappy movie and still want to go to the movies, but faires do not have that kind of benefit.

If a guy who has never been to a ren faire attends his first show and sees talented and friendly actors, an exciting scenario, entertaining indie performers, top-notch vendors, etc., he's going to want to go back. He's going to recommend the show to friends. He's going to want to check out other faires.

Conversely, if a virgin patron goes to a ren faire for the first time and it's atrocious on all levels, he is very likely to instantly condemn the entire industry sight unseen, and will dissuade others from sharing his experience.

And, again, Julie is dead-on: it's not the hardcore rennies who make or break faires, it's the significantly larger number of regular Joes and Janes who bring the big bucks, so they are the ones most ren faires do (and should) concern themselves with satisfying.

I think I've hammered the point more than enough.

Mike

PS: Yeah, use your articles! (But hey, as long as no one resorts to annoying Internet-speak...)

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Replies:

[> [> Re: "Think about it !" -- Michael Paolucci, 19:52:20 07/15/08 Tue

>Ah, the precarious topic of ren faire finances. So
>much to chew on.
>
>I have to wonder if the boycotters have taken any
>steps to inform the faire in question of their

>actions? Or are they protesting in a vacuum? Most
>faires aren't even going to notice if a small group
>isn't there -- you can't miss something if you don't>know it's missing -- but if the boycotters, say, wrote
>a well-crafted letter not only informing the
>management of their actions, but stating that they
>plan to take their money elsewhere and perhaps
>convince their friends to do the same? That will get
>attention, and perhaps even yield results.
>
>I also hope the boycotters are considering the alleged
>offense and who it happened to. Every faire has its
>detractors, and I've learned that for every legitimate
>gripe, there's someone who's just bemoaning the fact
>something simply didn't go their way, so they've
>chosen to lash out and take what amounts to petty
>revenge. A true, grievous offense should be redressed,
>but unprofessional and petty whining? Not so much.
>
>All that said, I have to agree with Julie on every
>point she made, but particularly about the effects of
>poor management. A badly run faire will eventually die
>out as patrons -- Rennie and mundane alike -- get hip
>to the fact the show as a total package sucks and they
>take their money elsewhere. Badly run faires drive
>away their actors, performers, vendors, etc., leaving
>patrons with whoever and whatever is left...and
>considering how quickly word of mouth spreads among
>and between those communities, that impact would
>register almost instantly.
>
>I don't at all agree with the idea of simply going to
>faires and spending money just for the sake of keeping
>them alive (or perhaps more appropriately, on life
>support). It's counter-productive on a grander scale.
>
>In order for the ren faire community as a whole to
>thrive, every show must possess a level of quality.
>Every faire must be the best possible representative
>for the entire industry. Those that cannot meet these
>demands need to go away lest they harm all.
>
>Consider: Faires are still alien territory to many
>people, and they cannot necessarily separate the
>message (a specific show) from the messenger (the art
>form that is the ren faire)...a person can go to a
>crappy movie and still want to go to the movies, but
>faires do not have that kind of benefit.
>
>If a guy who has never been to a ren faire attends his
>first show and sees talented and friendly actors, an
>exciting scenario, entertaining indie performers,
>top-notch vendors, etc., he's going to want to go
>back. He's going to recommend the show to friends.
>He's going to want to check out other faires.
>
>Conversely, if a virgin patron goes to a ren faire for
>the first time and it's atrocious on all levels, he is
>very likely to instantly condemn the entire industry
>sight unseen, and will dissuade others from sharing
>his experience.
>
>And, again, Julie is dead-on: it's not the hardcore
>rennies who make or break faires, it's the
>significantly larger number of regular Joes and Janes
>who bring the big bucks, so they are the ones most ren
>faires do (and should) concern themselves with
>satisfying.
>
>I think I've hammered the point more than enough.
>
>Mike
>
>PS: Yeah, use your articles! (But hey, as long as no
>one resorts to annoying Internet-speak...)

I would concur with both Mike and Julie , and add only
this , The underlying factor
is that you have to know who to direct your problem to .
Every Faire has an "enforcer", who handles in house drama .
Find that person , plead your case and present
your concerns . I have found that valid problems are addressed quickly , and usually disappear overnight , so as not to get the reputation of a dysfunctional family , bad word of mouth is the assassin of any show ,(kRF being an exception to this rule !lol),it appears to me that other than the immediate problem , you enjoy this faire. Diplomacy , for what it's worth , goes a long way .

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[> [> Re: "Think about it !" -- Keith, 21:47:11 07/15/08 Tue

I am not aware of anyone boycotting any particular faire this year. As a mater of fact I think alot of people went to various faires in an attempt to show that there were no hard feelings from any actions in the past.

I agree with Juli that while Rennies are not the core audience of any faire, I do wonder if Rennies make up a larger percentage of a vendors customer base though. So Rennies boycotting a faire may affect the vendors more so than a faire, so a boycott would more than likely affect our friends. Most of the folks I know would not intentional hurt their friends.

I am sure I had a point here... Basically I don't think anyone has attempted to organize any sort of boycott against any particular faire.

Oh, and I agree that Rennies have been bad mouthing KRF (justifiably or not) and that seems to have done little or nothing to impact it financially.

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[> [> [> Re: "Think about it !" -- jan, Kid's Cove, King Richard's Faire, 05:42:09 07/17/08 Thu

>Oh, and I agree that Rennies have been bad mouthing
>KRF (justifiably or not) and that seems to have done
>little or nothing to impact it financially.

It may do little to nothing to impact it financially, but it makes those of us who work our tails off there feel like crap.

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[> [> [> [> Re: "Think about it !" -- Katey, 16:57:01 07/17/08 Thu

I dunno. I honestly could care less whether or not the rennies want to bad-mouth KRF and its management. If anything, I think the futility of it all is kinda funny.

Like Frank's jokes.

Kinda funny. ;)

>>Oh, and I agree that Rennies have been bad mouthing
>>KRF (justifiably or not) and that seems to have done
>>little or nothing to impact it financially.
>
>It may do little to nothing to impact it financially,
>but it makes those of us who work our tails off there
>feel like crap.

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[> [> [> [> Re: "Think about it !" -- Keith, 20:43:54 07/17/08 Thu

>>Oh, and I agree that Rennies have been bad mouthing
>>KRF (justifiably or not) and that seems to have done
>>little or nothing to impact it financially.
>
>It may do little to nothing to impact it financially,
>but it makes those of us who work our tails off there
>feel like crap.

I can certainly understand that people bad mouthing something you work hard to create can make you feel like crap. In this case taking Katey's attitude would probably be helpful.

Certainly it is the attitude that management has towards Rennies. :p

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[> [> [> [> [> Re: "Think about it !" -- Katey, 07:23:08 07/19/08 Sat

>Certainly it is the attitude that management has
>towards Rennies. :p

Whatever drives the business without driving the business owner insane is a good management attitude. That and pleasing the greatest number of customers possible, which will end up meaning you lose some who thought your place was better before you changed it.

That's any business. Why should an entertainment business be asked to run differently?

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[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: "Think about it !" -- Keith, 22:46:09 07/19/08 Sat

>>Certainly it is the attitude that management has
>>towards Rennies. :p
>
>Whatever drives the business without driving the
>business owner insane is a good management attitude.
>That and pleasing the greatest number of customers
>possible, which will end up meaning you lose some who
>thought your place was better before you changed it.
>
>That's any business. Why should an
>entertainment business be asked to run differently?

I think trouble here stems from folks thinking that it should be run less as a business and more as something that is cherished and loved. While this is a wonderful idea in theory, I will admit it does not make the best business practice. Most Rennies in this area cut their teeth on KRF and as with most things they think it was better "back in the day" they feel a special connection to the faire and they don't always feel like that is reciprocated by the faire.

As for myself, well KRF is where I started out. I don't really think it has changed that much in the time I have been going. If I can point out one major problem I have with KRF it is the no readmittance policy. I see no need for this policy and I believe it loses vendors sales. See if this theory makes sense to you: Someone sees this great sworld/cloak/bodice but they don't want to carry it around all day, so they put off buying that sword/cloak/bodice till the end of the day. By the end of the day they have either forgotten where the hell they saw the stuff they wanted and/or have come to their senses and decided dropping that much cash on something they don't "need" is foolish. And so they vendor misses out on that sale.

Perhaps you have a different point of view that can explain the need for this policy?

Also, some how this has turned into another KRF bashing thread, which honestly no one really needs. So why don't we just leave it at this; KRF runs a very good business.

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[> [> Re: "Think about it !" -- Dina (The Dancing Gypsy), 13:26:48 07/17/08 Thu


I will concur with what Mike has said here. Essentially, a bad show will not attract a good crowd, as word will get around both in the Ren community and in general. Yes, the audience most faire producers are aiming for (and this comes from experience) is the general populace, particularly families with kids who will spend all that much more money per person. Basically, the management of a big show (meaning multiple thousands of customers each weekend) will not care if a handful of Rennies boycotts and/or badmouths it. Been going on for years at a number of places, and it hasn't shut anybody down. Faires shut down because they go over budget, plain and simple. If you can't pay the rent you can't open the doors.

I will say this: I have personally boycotted a faire or two in my time, mostly having to do with bad or unfair business practices. I have even made those reasons known to people who ask "why aren't you dancing at such-and-such faire this year"? But I'm not going to go organize a group to boycott or protest at this or that faire in an attempt to shut it down. That is not only a waste of time but creates a larger problem within the community of those who feel they must "choose sides" instead of making their living or enjoying their free time the way they like. Faire is a social thing, a commercial venture, and a way of life for many of us... so please folks, don't poop where you eat so to speak. We are all at the same table here.

If you're unhappy with the way things are being done at a certain faire, stop going. Tell your friends why. Complain to the faire management in writing as Mike suggested ~ believe me a businessperson will sit up and take notice of something that a patron has bothered to sit down and write. If you are a disgruntled Rennie and/or employee of said faire, then do the economy a favor and start up your own faire! We could certainly use the business nowadays. And if you end up doing well, then as they say, living well is the best revenge.

Me, I decided after all these years of being a performer, producer, and promoter of faires that it was time to start my own business. Not a faire, but a shop and studio that will offer a lot of what faire offers, year-round and indoors. You can bet that I will be hosting events, selling wares, and teaching classes that dancers and drummers look for at SCA and Medieval events. Smaller scale but you get the idea: sustainable. Thus, I get to do things exactly my own way, and I also know who to complain to if things are not going well. So I am putting my money where my mouth is!

(No comment on that one please.)

Anyhow, there's my $.02, and if you want to see what I'm doing about the current no-faire problem in New England, come see me at The Dancing Gypsy:

You KNEW I'd get some shameless self-promotion in there, didn't you???

:D





>Ah, the precarious topic of ren faire finances. So
>much to chew on.
>
>I have to wonder if the boycotters have taken any
>steps to inform the faire in question of their
>actions? Or are they protesting in a vacuum? Most
>faires aren't even going to notice if a small group
>isn't there -- you can't miss something if you don't
>know it's missing -- but if the boycotters, say, wrote
>a well-crafted letter not only informing the
>management of their actions, but stating that they
>plan to take their money elsewhere and perhaps
>convince their friends to do the same? That will get
>attention, and perhaps even yield results.
>
>I also hope the boycotters are considering the alleged
>offense and who it happened to. Every faire has its
>detractors, and I've learned that for every legitimate
>gripe, there's someone who's just bemoaning the fact
>something simply didn't go their way, so they've
>chosen to lash out and take what amounts to petty
>revenge. A true, grievous offense should be redressed,
>but unprofessional and petty whining? Not so much.
>
>All that said, I have to agree with Julie on every
>point she made, but particularly about the effects of
>poor management. A badly run faire will eventually die
>out as patrons -- rennie and mundane alike -- get hip
>to the fact the show as a total package sucks and they
>take their money elsewhere. Badly run faires drive
>away their actors, performers, vendors, etc., leaving
>patrons with whoever and whatever is left...and
>considering how quickly word of mouth spreads among
>and between those communities, that impact would
>register almost instantly.
>

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[> [> [> Re: "Think about it !" -- Mongo, 22:46:00 07/18/08 Fri

>Anyhow, there's my $.02, and if you want to see what
>I'm doing about the current no-faire problem in New
>England, come see me at The Dancing Gypsy:
>
>
>You KNEW I'd get some shameless self-promotion in
>there, didn't you???

There is something wrong with your coding in your shameless promotion. I was about to ask for a link when it showed up in the quoted text of the reply. It should look like: (less than) a href="the website you want to link including the quotes" (greater than) Text you want people to see (less than)/a(greater than)

It should look something like this

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[> [> [> [> Re: "Think about it !" -- Mongo, 22:49:42 07/18/08 Fri

figures I would mess it up too... the website should include "http://"

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[> [> [> Re: "Think about it !" -- Mongo, 22:47:30 07/18/08 Fri

>Anyhow, there's my $.02, and if you want to see what
>I'm doing about the current no-faire problem in New
>England, come see me at The Dancing Gypsy:
>
>
>You KNEW I'd get some shameless self-promotion in
>there, didn't you???

There is something wrong with your coding in your shameless promotion. I was about to ask for a link when it showed up in the quoted text of the reply. It should look like: (less than) a href="the website you want to link including the quotes" (greater than) Text you want people to see (less than)/a(greater than)

It should look something like this

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[> [> [> [> Re: "Think about it !" -- Dina (The Dancing Gypsy), 10:51:32 07/19/08 Sat

Thank you for clarifying my shameless plug! Hope this works when I post it... anyhow, for us technically deficient types the URL is: geocities dot com slash the dancing dot gypsy.

Whew.

>>Anyhow, there's my $.02, and if you want to see what
>>I'm doing about the current no-faire problem in New
>>England, come see me at The Dancing Gypsy:
>>
>>
>>You KNEW I'd get some shameless self-promotion in
>>there, didn't you???
>
>There is something wrong with your coding in your
>shameless promotion. I was about to ask for a link
>when it showed up in the quoted text of the reply. It
>should look like: (less than) a href="the website you
>want to link including the quotes" (greater than) Text
>you want people to see (less than)/a(greater than)
>
> >href="http://www.geocities.com/thedancing.gypsy">See The Dancing Gypsy Here

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