"Any showcase is going to charge what the market will bear. Headfirst is owned/operated by a Stanford grad, I would bet he has figured this out long ago. I don't feel anyone's entry fee into that event is "subsidized" in any way by the volume of kids there. In fact, the higher the demand for their product, the more camps they will try to host...that is business 101."
Why don't showcases publicize the number or percentage of attendees who actually end up playing at a program where they were seen at the showcase....or playing in college at all? Where is the consumer QA part of this? Are you saying that if the attendance were 50% less, your cost would be the same and the profit margins the same for the showcase? I don't think that would be true. Camps and showcases are certainly responding to demand but the demand, in my view, is artificially driven by parents with $$$$$ and with rose colored views.
I have seen this site transition from threads which started about the Stanford Camp in November or the prior year with another thread in the weeks before about everyone attending (and those disappointed they did not get it.) I have no problem with assessment of Camps.
I have also heard and read the angst flowing from posts of parents feeling a college coach didn't "appreciate" their son.
I am not sure I agree that when we introduce dollars spent between the above options it will lead to objective, verifiable and helpful perspectives.