Seattle Photography Group Message Board › No Show's, SPG, and our Organizers
I wanted to touch bases with our members and organizers regarding Alan's note and recent experience of hosting an event with a large number of no-shows. As with most things there are a number of sides to this, and I wanted to explicitly point these out so that everyone is aware of the ripple effects and understands where the other side is coming from.
Having both organized a large number of events as well as having been participant in a large number of events organized by others, I believe I can speak to both sides.
From an organizer's perspective, there is a huge amount of preparation and commitment that goes into setting up each event. Some events might look easily put together, but the fact of the matter is that even the most basic events require significant planning, coordination, and logistics, and the organizer gives up the flexibility he or she would have had if they had just gone out themselves without posting. In short, it's a lot of work, and it's done by volunteers exclusively for the benefit of the members. Each organizer will have a different set of reasons for why they choose to contribute to the group, but one underlying human trait is that people like to be appreciated, respected, and feel as though their efforts have value. When an organizer has invested time into an event and experiences a very high number of no-shows, it implies the message that they are not appreciated, not respected, and that their efforts were not valued by a number of members. In short it's very demotivating for the organizer.
On the flipside, it's easy to understand how these large sets of no-shows occur in some cases. Since Meetup no longer provides the option to RSVP "maybe", you can't always communicate your precise level of commitment to an event. Also some events might be perceived as having attendance which is more "optional" than others, such as when the event is not limited by numbers and missing any one person would not significantly affect the event.
In Alan's case, had only a few people out of a large group not shown up, it likely would not have been a big deal and Alan likely would not have been upset at those few. Had ten people RSVP'ed and none showed up, that would have been even more catastrophic because he would have then completely wasted his time on unappreciative peoples behalves. The problem is that each individual contemplating being a no-show cannot know if others will do the same, and the end result is that being a no-show, even if it seems trivial at the time, creates a lot of hard feelings, damage, and destroys future value for the rest of the group.
In summary, I can understand how a large number of people came to not show up at this event, but it is important for all our members to understand that "No Shows" are considered probably the biggest negative for organizers, and how in aggregate this affect the group.
Moving forward, please please please do not simply not show up to an event that you have RSVP'ed for, your absence will leave a mark, and if others did the same the mark could be quite deep. If you find you can't attend an event for which you have RSVP'ed, make an effort to contact the organizer and let them know. You don't need a doctor's note, but at least let them know that you wanted to attend and could not.
Also, if you appreciate the hard work your volunteer organizers invest in posting events for your benefit, how about dropping them a note telling them so.
p.s. Alan, I appreciate the time you have invested into this group and hope you will consider continuing to post events on SPG.