My friend Becky Rink wrote a great Facebook note about this about a year ago, but I think this subject is important enough to warrant another discussion.
This weekend, I am judging and demonstrating at the Florida Iced Cake Show. I was going to be traveling and rooming with a few cake friends. When the class numbers were sent out a couple weeks before the event, three of my friends made the tough choice to cancel their trip. In each case, the numbers registered for their demos did not cover even half of the cost of their trip. While there was still time for people to register, they could not bank on late registrations. My husband and I made the decision that I would still make the trip even though I will take a loss on it.
Too often I hear people say “I was going to sign up for that class!”. My thought is…but you didn’t. The teacher cannot possibly know that all of you are waiting until the last minute to sign up. My other favorite comment is…”are you teaching that class again here? I wanted to take it, but I had to take so and so’s class.”. Come on, you made your choice. The teachers cannot possibly come back again to offer the same class in the same area any time soon.
When teachers agree to bring classes to you, they have to book flights, book hotels, book a car, gather class supplies, etc. Money starts to add up quickly. Most set their class fees to cover their travel costs and, hopefully, a little something for their time in teaching you.
Why do we procrastinate so much in signing up for the classes? I know that decorators are last minute kind of folks, but this needs to change. The other day, I left town with two people in a class. I got to my destination only to have people start signing up then! I ended up with 11 in the class. Since I supply everything, this meant I was scrambling to make sure I had everything for the students. Yes, we always plan on a couple last minute additions, but 9?
I beg of you, if you see a class you want, sign up early. Tell your friends. Help promote the classes you are interested in so that the teachers will get enough students to make the trip cost effective. Be understanding when a class is canceled. I promise you that no teacher wants to cancel a class!