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FAQ for Wharton Club of Northern California's Gold Ticket Membership

FAQ for Wharton Club of Northern California Gold Ticket Membership

1. So how does this deal work?

"Gold Ticket" members of the WCNC will automatically have one complimentary ticket that they can use for any non-premium event that is held during the term of their membership.

2. What is a "non-premium" event? And how many of those does the Club have each year?

A non-premium event is any event where the pre-registration price for Club members is $20 or less. In 2008, we hosted 25 speaker and networking events that would have fallen into this category. Of course, this is 25 out of about 70 events the Club hosted last year, including happy hours, faculty conference calls, and other events that your Gold Ticket membership would have also entitled you to admission to (paid or otherwise) as a member anyway. (By the way, we hope you've noticed that we've worked really hard this past few years to keep the cost of events down to as reasonable a level as possible.)

3. What events wouldn't qualify?

Well, if we're running, say, a golf tournament where the per person cost might be around $100, you won't have a complimentary ticket to something like this. Food/wine tasting events where our prices are usually in the $30 to $70 per person range also will require you to buy a regular ticket. That said, there likely will be some extra discount even for these other events for Gold Ticket members (exact amounts to be determined on an event-by-event basis.)

4. Are there strings attached or other things to watch out for?

Yes, there are a few:

1. First this ticket is only for you to use. It's not transferrable to anyone else, Wharton alum or not, Club member or not.

2. If you want to bring one or more guests with you to an event where you'll be using a Gold Ticket, you're more than welcome to. Same as always, just purchase the appropriate number of tickets for your guest(s), and you'll be set. Remember, too, that in most cases, Club members can and should purchase member tickets for their accompanied guests--it's generally not necessary for you to purchase tickets for your guests at the non-member rates.

3. If you can't attend an event after you've signed up for a complimentary Gold Ticket registration, we want you to let us know in time for us to plan for it.

We understand that schedules can change at the last minute, but we will ask that any cancellations happen by our pre-registration date. This is usually when we place our food orders for an event and make any special venue arrangements that are dependent on the size of our audience. If a Gold Ticket member has three last-minute cancellations/no-shows during their membership term for events they sign up for, they will lose their Gold Ticket status for the remainder of their membership term, and their membership will revert to "regular member" status. (Again, we're not trying to make this a high hurdle for people -- we just want you to understand and respect our constraints. If you need to cancel, just make sure you do it by our pre-registration date, which is usually 2 to 4 days before the actual event date. Then it's no problem as far as we're concerned.)

4. The Gold Ticket option will generally be open only until an event's pre-registration deadline (i.e., the date on which we typically have to give a final attendance count/estimate to the venue, place the food order with the caterer, etc.) You generally won't be able to sign up for a Gold Ticket on the day of the event -- you will have to plan out at least a few days in advance so that we can do our planning.

5. What if I'm already a member? Do I have to wait until my current membership expires to sign up for this new membership option?

No, we can handle that, too. We'll apply the dollar value you currently have on your (soon-to-be) old membership to your new membership and add on an appropriate number of days to your one-year Gold Membership. Here's how we'll do it.

Let's say that you're currently a Regular 1-Year member; you have 6 months to go on your membership; and the last time you renewed, you paid $50. That means you have $25 worth of membership remaining. Go ahead and sign up for a Gold Ticket membership. If you've paid $160 for your Gold Ticket membership (see FAQ #7 below), then $25 is about 15% of the 1-Year Gold Ticket membership you just purchased. 15% of a year is about 8 weeks, so we'll go ahead and manually adjust your membership so that you have an extra 8 weeks or so added to your new Gold Ticket membership.

Note: it may take us a few days to do that manual adjustment, but this won't affect your ability to start using your Gold Ticket status immediately.

6. So why _is_ the Club offering this new membership option?

Pure and simple, our goal here is to get more alumni engaged more often. We already have one of the most active Wharton alumni communities in the world. This is just one of the ways we're taking it to the next level.

We want to make it as easy as possible for our Club members to make that "yes, I'd like to go to this event" decision. We believe that everyone wins here. If you come to more than 5 or 6 events per year, you'll pay for the cost of your membership right there. And after that, you'll basically be coming to each event for free. We're really just trying to make it a no-brainer for you to engage with your local Wharton community and get as much value as possible out of your Wharton affiliation.

By the way, the rest of our Club members win, too, because we'll have more alumni engaged and coming to events. There is a "network effect" that will kick in. The more Wharton alumni who are at each event, the more value there should be for each additional Club member who comes.

7. How much does it cost?

Introductory offer time: For our first 100 signups, it's $150 per year if you're already a member; $175 if you're a first-time member or if you've let your membership lapse.

After the first 100 Gold Ticket members sign up, we're going to move the pricing up to what will be the regular levels of $175 for current members and $200 for first-time/expired members.

So, yes, there is an incentive to sign up now.

8. Wow, this is great. How do I sign up?

That's easy.

First, log in to your Wharton Club account; this way, we'll know what your membership status is and be able to give you the correct membership price.

Second, go to the Become a Member menu tab, scroll down the page, select the Gold Ticket membership, and proceed from there.

Third, go ahead and make plans now to join us for some upcoming events!

And thanks as always for your support of the Club and our local Wharton alumni community!

The Wharton Club of Northern California
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