Why are you charging £5.00 for the Kaffeeklatsches and Book Clubs and why is it so expensive?
The definitions of a "Kaffeeklatsche" is 1) "An informal social gathering at which coffee is served"
and 2) "Talking or gossip at such an event". This is the experience that we are trying to recreate with our special programming events.
The Hilton is a chain hotel and their corporate rate for coffee and biscuits per person is £5.00 ($8.00). Obviously,
that does not include the cost of hiring the room; refreshments for and the gift gratuity offered to all speakers; the
time of the people who put the programme together and those who will be running it on the day, not to mention the
charge PayPal will deduct from each transaction. So, as you can see, we are making a significant financial
loss on each event. However, we very much wanted to offer something "extra" to the many people who have never
attended a World Fantasy Convention—let alone any convention—before.
As already stated, these are sidebar events that are not part of the main convention programming. And, as we have
also explained, we have to make a small charge to prevent people taking advantage and reserving multiple slots and then
simply not turning up on the day (thus denying other participants the opportunity to be involved). This system has
previously worked very well at World Horror Convention 2010 and the past two British FantasyCons in Brighton.
Unfortunately, we are unable to run a wait list on the day because 1) we have to pre-order the refreshments, 2) we
donít have the staff to manage multiple lists, and 3) people will not want to wait around to see if they can get into
one of these events when they might be missing something else that they want to see. We are, however, offering
attendees the opportunity to check up to an hour before each event if there are any places still remaining.
The reaction to both The Book Clubs and the Kaffeeklatsches has been overwhelmingly positive, and everybody we
approached to participate was made fully aware that we would need to make a minimal charge to cover the refreshments
supplied (which could add up to more than £100 per session). None of this money goes to
the convention. We hope this answers your question.