Hi Claire yes I’ve done this! I work in the NHS and we were requested to become self-funding by Department of Health and so started to charge for some of the training events we ran, to cover costs. In addition we ran a “free” to attend conference but asked that everyone brought £10 on the day to cover their refreshments.
Learning points from me would be:
*If it’s repeat customers communicate clearly what’s behind the change and how you came to the amount to charge - especially important if there are competitors who are not charging, ensure you promote your unique selling points
*Speak to your finance team for advice - how best to receive the money so they can pay into the account, how to complete audit trails, how it will fit with the systems they use, is this going to require additional people resource
*Plan ahead if you are collecting money on the day of how you will do this - we had around 700 people trying to register over an hour period in the morning and support staff who hadn’t had to take money before. We needed to ensure everyone had a float, money was closely counted and kept securely. It was frequently emptied and taken to someone in our finance team who attended on the day to manage the overall cash, money had to add up at the end of the day or else we’d need to investigate what went wrong
*Brief support staff so they know how to deal with enquiries/issues/complaints - they need to know the corporate line on the situation
*We use eventbrite which was been really really good; they take a percentage of the amount we charge but the system is so slick it more than made up for the work hours we were putting in chasing payments/issuing invoices/dealing with confused customers who just wanted to pay etc
If you want to know anything more do get in touch.