Now that Punctuation’s payments have all gone through, we can do the end-of-convention financial report. Stripe, our payment processor, keeps some payments for up to 60 days to hedge against us needing to issue refunds etc., so our last payment was received in mid-January.
As plotted in the figure below (left), we took a total of £985 in GBP, £940 of which came from WordPress/Stripe directly and the rest of which came through bank transfers made directly to our Transferwise account. We also took A$20 which is not shown.
Our total outgoings were £307.51, and the reasons for that expenditure are also shown above (right). By far our largest expenditure was payment processing, accounting for 40% of our spending. Part of this is because WordPress charges more than Stripe would on their own on the version of their payment plan we were using, which was our second smallest expenditure: £36 covering our domain name and hosting for the year.
Our second largest expenditure was PollEverywhere, which we used for some programme items on Zoom; these items were well-received and among the more interactive programming available at Punctuation. However, they were a relatively small percentage of the programme which cost £60 to run, as opposed to the sum total of the rest of the programme which cost £80 to run through Zoom and Streamyard. Given the large surplus we made while charging a relatively small amount, this is probably not a problem.
The spend on Discord Nitro was £8. This let us have better audio quality in our voice chats, and let us have 100 custom emoji instead of 50. However, given that the voice chats were the part of the convention ranked the least useful by our members in the after-con evaluation, and we only used 35 custom emoji, this £8 may not have been worth spending. On the other hand, we derived significantly more value from Discord than the £8 we spent, so giving them some contribution seems appropriate.
All in all, however, we were able to deliver a good convention for a relatively small amount of money, and easily covered our costs by charging a small amount compared to other online conventions. In our post-con evaluation, members clearly indicated that they felt the convention was excellent value for money, and we had income which was roughly triple what we needed to cover our costs. We will be able to consider alternative pricing models for any follow-up convention we run.
We have £676.53 and A$20 remaining in our Transferwise account. Of the money in GBP, half will be kept for potential running of Punctuation Two. The other half will be disbursed to the four convention charities, and this will occur according to the numbers of votes in the Discord server at the end of the convention. The totals are as follows:
- Good Things Foundation: £80.85
- Shelter: £171.81
- Blueprint for All (previously the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust): £65.69
- Swan Lifeline: £25.27
If we don’t run a follow-up convention by mid-2022, the remaining monies will be disbursed to the above charities in the same ratios.