Cost (charge) to Use EventCORE
Is there a cost to use EventCORE?
What can I expect to be charged and have to pay for using this tool?
For what type of things is there an expense?
Is There a Cost?
There are three parts that make up the cost of using event core.
- Technical Support: Our hope is that most users can self-manage their site using the inline helps along with this help center. If you need additional support, it is called Tier 3 support and there is a charge.
- Site Service Fee: For events over 50 attendees, you incur a minimal per attendee fee.
- Credit Card Processing: There is no charge if you use your own supported merchant account. There is a one-time charge to set up Stripe. If you use our shared merchant account you'll incur a 4% charge.
History of Cost
The original purpose of the tool back in 2005 was to meet a specific need within Cru and the initial cost of development was covered from within the Office of the President. In those development years all costs were covered by the Global Leadership Office. In 2013, we began passing on some of the support and development costs to an individual event. For sites created after August 2014, we are now charging a minimual server rental fee for events over 50 people. We are simply passing on these shared costs. In 2016 the management of support was moved to a third-party provider.
Something to Keep in Mind
A key thing to keep in mind with using EventCORE is that 1) it is a proven tool that has been used to register as many as 10,000 people in a single year. So it works. 2) We are offering this tool at a very discounted rate. 3) Our development budget is in the thousands not millions. What this means is that EventCORE is not going to have all of the features that some of the big players in the industry have and we can't offer 24/7 support. So if you're willing to work with us, keep reading.
Free Support Option
There is no restriction on who can use the tool provided that you agree to our policies. You simply create your site from the home page. The various screens will walk you through the process of setting up a site. If you want to "test" and play around with site creation, you can go to our test site at https://chloedog.org.
"Free Support' occurs by your using our extensive Help Center that includes answers to nearly 600 questions (You're in the help center right now). You should be able to find answers to nearly 90% of your questions here.
Paid Support Options
If you need assistance to get your site set up or want help in answering questions it is done by what we call Tier 3 support.
Tier 3 is at the programming level and they have access to the database itself. This support level is billed as a part of your event costs as described here. Various packages are offered to allow you to purchase the package that will work best for you. The expecation is that a simple event would need minimal support of $50 or less. Even with a very complex event, we don't anticipate that support would run more than $200 or $300.
Summary: We can save you thousands
The bottom line is that this tool has often saved thousands of dollars on proessing fees. There was one event, for example, that in 2004 had paid over $5000 in registration fees because they had contracted with a well known provider at nearly $4 per attendee. At their next event, the cost for using this tool brought that cost down to under $500.
A Hired Service
If you want to stay away from the whole business of administering a conference registration tool, we offer Arrowhead Conferences and Events who is a division of Cru that helps with conference planning (they do negotiate discounted hotels as well.) They are offering a full-service registration team that works on a different cost model. You can check with them directly to find out what they have to offer. If you would like information about using their services, please submit a support ticket.
Credit Card Processing
The one big cost that needs to be factored in is the credit card processing fees If you already use your own merchant account, you are most likely aware of the fact that these fees can run anywhere from 2% to 5% when you include the additional monthly fees and service adjustments (Don't be fooled by an advertised rate of 1.9%. When you add in the real cost of surcharges for non-bank issued cards, monthly fees, reporting charges, chargebacks, etc., a 1.9% rate can easily jump to well over 3% or 4%). We offer the use of our merchant account (if you don't want to deal with the hassel of setting up your own).
Site Service Fee
In 2014 we moved from a private server to a managed server through Media Temple. We also added a replication server that backs up all database transactions in real time and we run a daily backup through Jungle Disk that saves all information off site. We also added Mandrill Transactional email support and we're doing realtime monitoring through Pingdom. This is all done for the protection of your data and to achieve 99.9% annual uptime. But it isn't free. In 2015 we began site service fee that is based on the size of your conference and it tops out at $250 for a conference over 1000 people. You can get specific pricing in the answer, "Site Service Fees."
Payment of Fees
As of 2016, billing for the service fees and technical support is managed by a third party called "Suggestion Tree." Invoices for payment are sent out after the event through Wave online accounting. You may want to add "firstname.lastname@example.org" to your contacts database to insure that the invoices do not go to your spam folder.
The bottom line is that EventCORE was designed as a service. We here at Cru have a lot to be grateful for and we want to pay forward some of the blessing we received. Keeping prices at a minimum are one way of doing that.