Brainstorming Your Pricing Needs

Before you begin configuring pricing for Series25, it's best to have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish. The primary factors you'll be working with are the Basic Components of Series25 Pricing:

  • Rate groups represent the types of organizations that might pay for an event. You can charge different rates for different types of organizations. (e.g. Internal vs External)
  • Tax schedules are used to calculate any applicable taxes. You can apply different taxes (e.g. food taxes, room taxes) based on the items reserved by the event.
  • Rate schedules determine an event’s price based on its locations, resources, requirements, and event type. Each line item on an event's invoice is calculated by its own rate schedule.

Chances are that you already have all the knowledge you need on these, but this page will help you walk through the task of putting it all together.

Gather Your Resources

Think about how you're currently charging your clients on campus and how you keep track of your rates. Do you have a binder full of printed price sheets? Is there a page on your website? You may need to gather your schedulers for a meeting of the minds.

Ask yourself the following: 

  • What do you charge for small spaces on campus, conference spaces, stadiums, or athletic spaces? What about the use of resources like sound systems, stages, AV equipment, personnel, and catering items?
  • Do you charge groups based on the type of event they are having (meetings, weddings, conferences, etc.)? 
  • Do you have taxes or special fees for unique circumstances?
  • Do any of these charges vary based on who is sponsoring the event? 

Before you move on, you should feel confident that you have enough resources to determine the total charge for any event on campus, regardless of who reserves it.

Define Your Rate Groups

Chances are you already have your rate groups defined and just don't know it yet. Think about the different rates you charge different groups on campus. For example, when it comes to specific rooms you may charge your internal folks (faculty, staff, and students) nothing while external groups get charged a dollar amount per hour. 

Chances are you're going to find that the same types of groups come up each time and can easily be defined with just a few outliers. For example:

  • Internal (or internal groups)
  • For-Profit (or business/for-profit group)
  • Non-Profit (or non-profit/community group)

Your structure may include a few more, but the goal is to define the groups you charge as clearly as possible. You'll use these when setting up rate groups.

Define Your Tax Schedules

Tax schedules allow you to charge taxes or service charges to certain rate groups for different aspects of your event.  During your brainstorming sessions, good questions to ask are:

  • Do you charge taxes on food and beverage?
  • Are you required to charge any state taxes?
  • Do you have service charges for the use of your spaces or resources?
  • Will these rates change in the future?
  • Are there groups that have to pay taxes and groups that don't?

If the taxes or fees for certain items are represented as a percentage of a line item on a receipt, then you can use tax schedules to apply them. Use these values when setting up tax schedules.

Taxes Are Optional

Some schools don't charge any taxes on their events, so they don't utilize this functionality.  That's completely fine! This is where it is beneficial to involve your Accounting Office or Controller's Office to help identify what taxes are required by your City, County, or State for the goods and services provided for events. 

Define Your Rate Schedules

Rate schedules are a set of pricing rules for a group of objects. In other words: every location, resource, event type, or requirement in the rate schedule gets charged the same rate. This gives you a campus-wide consistency in billing.

When you're brainstorming your rate schedules, here are a few things to ask yourself:

  • How do you charge for spaces on campus? Is it by capacity? Type of space?
  • Are there spaces that are charged differently than the rest? Performance spaces? Athletic Spaces?
  • Can your resources be grouped logically based on charge? Beverages? Catering? Personnel?
  • Do you charge differently during business hours? On weekends? During breaks?
  • Are there certain event types that should incur a fee? Weddings? Ceremonies? Parties?
  • Can you associate rates with event requirements to cover miscellaneous fees?
  • Do you have different rates based on the group sponsoring the event?

Before you implement these rates with precise formulas, write them down in plain language that includes all the exceptions and special cases. This will make them easy to work with in the future. Here are some examples:

  • Conference rooms are charged $30 per hour when rented between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm, and $40 per hour otherwise
  • Every event with the "Party" event type has a cleaning fee of $50
  • Rooms with a capacity over 50 are charged $25 per hour with a minimum charge of $100
  • Personnel assigned to an event are paid $20 per hour with 150% overtime after 5:00 pm
  • Chairs assigned to an event are charged $1 apiece, regardless of how long the event last
  • Any event with catering resources is charged a flat $30 beverage fee
  • If the event requires an alcohol permit, there is a $10 permit fee

If different groups are charged different rates for the same object, make sure to note that. Also determine whether there is a specific relationship between the rates you charge, such as "non-profits and partner schools are charged 50% of the rate for commercial clients." This will make them easier and more consistent to enter later on.

Once you have an idea of the rates you'll be building in Series25, you can begin setting up rate schedules.