Taking a Chance and Building Goodwill
Strategy: Balance Your Budget, Emphasize Value, Focus on Customer Potential
Type of attraction: Arts Organization
Summary: The annual Haystack Weekend Workshop, 3½ days of classes with master craftsmen, is one of the Maine Crafts Association’s most popular educational programs.
The annual Haystack Weekend Workshop, 3½ days of classes with master craftsmen, is one of the Maine Crafts Association’s most popular educational programs. In recent years the program, which had a fee of $400-500, was losing money as not enough participants signed up.
Then organizers decided to take a different approach. The brochure announcing the workshop now reads “Understanding the hard economic times we are in, the MCA is offering this year’s workshop on a sliding scale so that everyone can afford to attend!” The fee scale now ranges from $150 to $750. The brochure further notes “Please be thoughtful when you consider where you fit on the scale and use integrity in setting your own fee for the workshop. It costs MCA $550 per person to run this workshop. Any fee you pay above this amount will help fund others to attend.”
The results were exactly what organizers had hoped for. People who could afford to pay more did, and the opportunity to come at a reduced cost meant more people could attend. “We filled the place and actually made money this year (2010),” says executive director Tracy Michaud Stutzman. “We also generated long-term good will which is just as important.”