Conference Pricing

By Harshad Oak Views

In case you haven’t noticed, the registration rates for conference 09 have crashed as compared to previous years. While we would be spending just as much as previous years on ensuring that we get top notch content for the conference, all expenses that don’t directly contribute to the content have been slashed. We are making every paisa go a long way and resultantly are able to pass on our savings to the registrant.

I recently was at proto.in, an event for startups in India, and one of the discussions there centered around how one should price a product. You essentially have three options.

  1. Price it really cheap so as to make it easily accessible and capable of opening the market. The Tata Nano car is obviously the first example that comes to mind.
  2. Price it at the normally accepted rate. A glucose biscuit pack forRs 4 or 5 would be accepted without any discussion.
  3. Price it really high such that it seems like a niche & elite product. Branded perfumes, watches, etc.

Although this isn’t really new gyan, listing the options does simplify decision making.

Ok, so while deciding the pricing for the conference, we considered the three alternatives and here’s how we came up with the pricing that you see. Option 3 was quickly ruled out as it goes against the the core philosoply of the conference. We want as many developers participating, discussing and debating on new technologies as we possibly can. We want the conference to be such that a developer can choose to register by paying money from his own pocket rather than that of his employer.

The conference is now in it’s fourth year and one of the things that I am a bit bothered by, is the fact that except for a select few, all others register with company money. I don’t know if this is an India specific phenomenon, but it does seem like investing in learning, networking and innovation isn’t common in our industry. The early bird rate this year is such that anyone in the software industry can easily afford it on his/her personal money. I am very curious to see if we do get lots of personal registrations this year, as we have pretty much eliminated cost as a reason for not participating. Ask your boss to give you Fri – Sat off for the conference, but why wait for your company to fund your learning?

So we feel that conference 09 is priced such that it is in ‘Option1’ in the early bird stage and almost touches ‘Option 2’ by the time we come to “At The Venue” registrations.

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