No money changes hands for food. 🙂
The reasoning behind charging for tickets is threefold:
- To pay for use of the space.
I have yet to find a location big enough that will let us use the space and not charge upwards of several hundred dollars an hour. (If you know of one, please let me know!) The library community room is a compromise, in that we still have to pay a fee, it’s just a set amount because of the fact that we’ll have food (obviously) in the room when we’re using it.
- To cut down on no-shows taking up tickets other people could have used.
I need to know how many people to set up the room for, and I limit the number of tickets available to a swap based on the room capacity for the space we’re using. If someone grabbed a bunch of free tickets for their friends just in case and then didn’t show up, that’s a whole lot of other folks who could have attended that weren’t able to. 🙁 That’s actually been a problem at other swaps, so I’d rather head the issue off at the pass. Also, the sad fact seems to be that people only value what they pay for, so…
- To cover incidental costs.
Besides the room fee, we also need name tags, swap cards, pens, cleaning supplies, website hosting, etc., not to mention the cost of flyers I make to hand out at other events. Eventually, I’d like to get some reusable flannel-backed vinyl tablecloths to use during the swap and a dedicated domain name as well. Sadly, none of those things are free.