We promised transparency as part of moving forward and, as promised, we are presenting the detailed accounts for Gaelcon 2023. We feel that it is important that we share these as it is our biggest event of the year and the biggest financial risk.
The headlines are that Gaelcon in 2023 cost more to run, but earned more income than previously. There was some growth in the sales of weekend tickets, with many being pre-sales at early bird discounts. There were also a good number of day tickets sold.
Digging in, we had a bigger venue but the cost was also pushed up by a VAT increase, hire of extra tables, GOH accommodation and PA Hire; some of these were not anticipated – the venue said they had enough tables, but a review determined that they would have to hire in extra, a cost they passed on to us. Merch – dice and tee shirts – and printing were the next big costs. Dice for prizes and staff and writer tees as well as programmes are expenses which it is hard to cut back on. We had a lower uptake of merch sales this year, which is a surprising change that will be taken into consideration for next year.
On the plus side, attendance was up, and the number of weekend tickets was good. We were hoping that numbers would recover, and they did. Trade income was also up. Last year our venue cost about €12k, so if we had the same venue cost and this year’s attendance, our loss on the con would have been significantly lower.
The number of people playing RPGs and LARPs compared to the number of attendees shows that there is room for improvement there. While the majority of tables filled, with the usual opening of second tables, the number of games played is lower compared to attendee numbers. This shows we have room for optimisation and increased utlisation of space. We are also looking to improve on our social spaces next year, offering more demo table variety and interactive spaces for both the experienced and casual attendees.
Overall Profit and Loss Figures for Gaelcon 2023
|Cash Income from Merch Sales
|Cash Income from Game Sales
|Cash Income from Door Entry Tickets
|Cash Income from Pub Quiz
|Paypal Partner Fees
|Cash Income from Trade Table Rental
|Sticker Mule for Stickers/Badges
|Income from Pre-sale of Merch and Entry Tickets
|Sum-up Income (ex. Charity)
|Budget Event Hire for Table Rental
|Paypal Income (ex. Charity)
|Sound Hire for PA Rental
|Tifco Ltd. for Venue Hire
|Musgraves for GM Food
|Chessex for Dice
|The T-Shirt Company for T-shirts
|Grehans for Posted Media
|Reads for DCC Fliers
|Grehans for Programme & Badges
|Underworld for Prize Support
|Special Guest Travel Cost
|Total Weekend Tickets
|Total Day Tickets
|Cash Weekend Tickets
|Cash Day Tickets
|Card Weekend Tickets
|Card Day Tickets
|Pre-booked Weekend Tickets
|Pre-booked Day Tickets
|Pre-booked 40K Weekend Tickets
|Pre-booked Lord of the Rings Weekend Tickets
|Total RPG Tickets
|Cash RPG Tickets
|Card RPG Tickets
|Total LARP Tickets
|Cash LARP Tickets
|Card LARP Tickets
|Total Pathfinder Society Tickets
|Cash Pathfinder Society Tickets
|Card Pathfinder Society Tickets
To put it bluntly, Gaelcon is currently struggling to cover cost; more work is needed in future to balance expense and profit to ensure that we can continue to run Gaelcon for many more years to come. With that in mind, we need to be sourcing venues with sufficient space within reasonable cost ranges to ensure that we can deliver a quality con without compromising on our key features or passing additional cost on to attendees. We also need volunteers to help us run other events through the year that will enable us to cover the up-front costs associated with the convention, including deposits, designs and advertising.
To cut a long story short, we need your help.
If you have any venue suggestions or want to volunteer to assist us with additional events, including idea generation, venue hunting, and resourcing, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us through our social media channels, our Discord, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.