The official STWC website has gone public with the new information about the next STWC.
There are some changes and one of the obvious ones is the team registration fee of 40 Euro per Team (10 Euro per team member).
While the reasoning can also be found on that site, I want to explain some more about it.
As stated there are basically two major reasons, why we decided for that.
1. No Shows
Anyone who has ever organized an event, a user group or even a dinner table booking for people, who are not direct friends, might have experienced it.
There is most often a quota of “no shows”. Meaning people who said, they would come, but then don’t.
And I mean, without informing the organizer upfront; they just don’t show up.
Btw. that might be a reason, why sometimes e.g. airlines or hotels are overbooked. They expect, that a certain percentage of people are not showing up.
Why is this a problem for STWC?
Since each STWC continental round has a limit how many teams can participate, the teams who register, but then don’t show up, are blocking slots for teams, who are really interested and would love to play.
Why do we have limits on how many can particpate, its online anyway?
Well, one main concept of STWC is the evaluation of the teams deliverables by (as we call them) judges.
Each team is evaluated at least by two judges to get two opinions.If they are close to each other, fine. If not we bring in 1-2 more judges.
This takes a lot of time and commitment of the judges.
Most (if not all) are doing this as a voluntary, unpaid task next to their main jobs and private life.
With a round limit of 250 teams one can do the maths….
Often a judge has to evaluate around 20 teams in a period of one month.
Depending of course, that we get that many volunteers who want to participate as judges.
2. Raising money to realize the unique points of STWC
A lot of people invest their own, unpaid time for STWC. Be it the players, the volunteering judges from all over the world and also the organizers.
One of the awesome aspects of STWC is, that we want to fly in the winner team from each continent and pay their flight and accomodation. And also the professional live recording and video streaming.
I personally think, that is a great incentive to participate, cause a) it gives the event something unique and elevates it from a pure online event and b) it gives the team members a chance to participate in a good conference, make contacts with other testers from around the world and exchange with other known, public names.
This of course comes with a price tag.
While we were lucky to ask at the right time and place and could convince HP to be the global tool sponsor, it is not running so smoothly every time.
So we decided to take some money from the teams.
We could not realize the intial idea which we had, which was to charge each member 10 units of their local currency (peso, euro, dollar, yuan, rupees, etc.) to balance out the conversion differences and we thought to mirror the Big Mac Index .
Sadly it was too complicated, cause Diaz & Hilterscheid would collect the money (since they paid the tickets, etc.) and the tax issues involved were too much a headache and complicated, that we scrapped that idea.
This team fee will pay forward to the costs involved.
And, on a personal note, I think, some investment intoa testers learning should be worth to each of us. For some, 10 Euro is still something, but for a lot of folks that money is equivalent to 2-3 beer or other beverages of choice.