RSVPs are wonderful but what happens when people say they’ll be there and then don’t show up? Sure, things happen but how do you do react when a quarter of those signed up to attend aren’t there? That number is way too high to sit idly by and just accept it. No-shows are costing you, and (possibly) your sponsors, money.
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3 Things to Do About Chamber Event No-Shows
No-shows are frustrating. Here are three ways to handle them professionally that won’t land you in a lot of trouble.
- Analyze the data. Take a look at who’s not showing up. Is it the same people who always say they’ll be there and then change their minds at the last minute? What member tier are they a part of? Are free events more likely to have no-shows? Dig deep and find those commonalities so you can put a plan in place to stop it from happening in the future.
- Don’t get stuck in the Facebook event trap. The Facebook event trap is when every event sounds great on Facebook and we agree to things we have no intention of going to. After all, there’s a good portion of Facebook that never really feels like real life anyway, right? Make sure all of your communications, whether on Facebook or elsewhere, indicate that an RSVP is for caterer headcount. Saying you’ll be there is a promise that you will, not a mention that you might. A few days before the event double back with everyone that has RSVP’d and tell them you’re doing a final count and formalizing your numbers. Add a quick “Something came up” button in the email so that people can turn you down without the time of calling you or sending a message. This makes it easy for your members. Many people don’t want to make something up. This way they can cancel their RSVP without a reason or guilt. They can let you down easily but in enough time that you can change your headcount.
- Use alternative forms of communication. The one problem with the RSVP verification email above is that you can only get responses from those who open your email. For the other 70+% who don’t open it, it doesn’t help. If you move to a form of push notification (text message) or Facebook messenger where something like 98% of the messages are seen, you’re more likely to get a response.
How do you handle chamber event no-shows? Join the conversation here.
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