Well thought out answer, ihawk95!
Every event is different, and has had a different group organizing it. I'm guessing that each group had a bit different outlook on the charity angle which is probably reflected in the amount raised.
From my perspective it is just important to record these types of things for the future organizers, so that there are some reference points going forward.
Correct! I was going to include about the organizing groups being different.
Also something to note, the registration fee is not the same fee every year. It's set by the organizing group to, at a minimum, cover their costs of what they intend to be included in the registration fee, yet be affordable so people can attend. Things like the banquet dinner, any other food or dinner, meet and greet event, event shirt, rentals, deposits, music, banners, printing, promotional items, etc. can be included in the cost of registration. That's why if the group doesn't estimate their costs well or they don't know their costs upfront, or those costs change by the time of the event, they are scrambling to cover the expenses or paying them out of their own pocket. Actually, most organizers are paying something out of their own pocket at the beginning because most of the contracts require deposits and those contracts are signed up to 2 years before the event to reserve the dates. Registrations don't start coming in until 6-12 months before the event. OK, let's be realistic, most people don't register until 2-3 months before so there is not much coming in early on in the registration process. The organizers are in a deficit of $1000+ in the early stages of their planning. That out of pocket cost starts to increase if they decide to have promotional items (videos, giveaway items with the event logo, shirts with the logo, etc) to promote the event. You can see they are at a deficit very early on before they see any money.
And that my friends, is a little event planning 101 learned the hard way.