After our experiment with a home-grown registration system in 2018, the BGF Board decided we wanted something we wouldn’t have to personally maintain and that provided as great an experience as we could for all our attendees. We looked around at several options and finally decided on tabletop.events, a trusted system used by hundreds of conventions annually. The features are robust, technical support is quick and helpful, and it has great tools for vendors. We felt this was the best option for all our attendees, vendors and guests, and still believe it is.
We knew there would be an additional fee when using an outside service to manage the registration portion of the convention. We debated for some time whether we could afford to hide the fees and reduce the effective rates we would incur. We already had realized a small increase in week-long registration would be necessary to bring guests like Rodney Smith to the convention. Eventually we decided a (what we were told was) small fee could be passed through, which would help us continue to spend on what matters: programming, guests and improving the convention.
Unfortunately, this is where things went wrong. The first problem was we didn’t adequately discuss this with the people that mattered most: you, our attendees. We should have mentioned up front there would be processing fees added by our new registration managers and what those fees would be. The second is that we underestimated how significant those fees would be. Not only does tabletop.events charge a convenience fee for their time, they also pass along credit card fees to the attendee. We had presumed it would only be a 2-3% overall charge, but it turned out to be more.
With all of this, the BGF Board has decided to remove the pass-through option for credit card and convenience fees for the remainder of 2019. In addition, anyone who has already paid those fees will be receiving BGF Cash to be used with any vendor at the convention or as a donation to Extra Life: whichever each attendee chooses. The charged fees will be rounded up to the next $5 increment and be refunded as part of the registration packet. As we’re able, individuals affected by this will be directly contacted with information in the coming days.
We thank you for your patience and understanding as we move through this new system; we promise to communicate the need to pass through fees like this and other major changes in the future in advance, and we hope that your convention experience will be a positive one moving forward.
If you have any questions or further comments, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the BGF Board. Our contact information can be found here.