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| Article Specs|
Article ID: 2788
Age Group: Adult
Posted: May 8th. 2000
by Patricia Telesco
All festivals, lectures, workshops, and similar events have a point person who handles reservations. One of the things that's really sad, however, is that very few pagans are good about making advance reservations for just about anything! No matter where I travel I hear comments like this one: "well we have 15 people signed up, only 2 have paid, but we'll have dozens show up at the gate or door." This reflects very badly on our community especially when events get cancelled due to low levels of pre-event inquiries.
Would you expect to go to a wedding without RSVPing? Would you expect to get into a popular concert without paying for a ticket in advance? Of course not! So why is it that so many people in the neo-pagan community think that the event will simply be there when they haven't shown their support in advance of the scheduled date?
Bear in mind that event coordinators have to pay for advertising, space, speakers and dozens of other items long before the event takes place. This money often has to come out of personal or business funds. If you were in that person's or groups shoes, would you risk hundreds or thousands of dollars on a "maybe?" Probably not, yet we expect our event coordinators to do this all the time simply by not making and paying for our reservations in a timely manner.
The best ways to change this state of affairs is by making reservations with payment at least four weeks in advance of the event, and encourage other people to do likewise. Above and beyond this being a courtesy, remember:
If there aren't enough people signed on by that time, some events are doomed to cancellation or the event might have to be downsized to avoid financial ruin. Also, when you make reservations follow this guideline to make this process as easy and painless for everyone as is possible:
If you wait too long you could get shut out of more popular events that have cut-off points for attendance numbers.
Some events offer discounts for advance reservations and increase the "at the gate" price.
Include any paperwork required for the event (if the group or store has provided a form to fill out, do so neatly). Remember that all events are a cooperative effort between a group/coordinator, speakers, merchants, and the community. You don't have the right to gripe unless you participate! If we care about having on-going opportunities for spiritual education, it's necessary to support events in every way we can. So get involved, and make your reservation early!
Enclose the correct amount of money.
Provide your REAL name and a contact email, phone number and/or address in case problems arise (do you have any idea how many merlins, marians, and lady or lord so-in-so there are in the US alone?).
Use a money order so that your reservation clears immediately.
If there's no specific paperwork required for reservations, make a note as to what event and the dates for which you're sending money. Remember many event coordinators do MANY of these a year.
Keep a copy of any correspondence sent along with your check number or money order receipt together and take it with you to the event. This will speed check in.
If you have any questions to ask the coordinators, send a SASE for a reply.
Follow up on your reservations about two weeks after mailing it to confirm receipt (you can usually do this by email), or minimally two weeks prior to the event so there are no problems with check in.
If you have any special needs that the coordinators should know about, please send a letter stating these (like wheelchair access).
The Witches' Voice
May 8th., 2000
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Location: Amherst, New York
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