Re: [arthouse-133] be nice

From: Joe N.
Sent on: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 5:26 PM
Love your e-mail address David :-)

I used to be assistant organizer for the biggest organizer on all of Meetup (20s and 30s Going Out Group). I've thrown a houseparty with 80 RSVPs where 40 people showed up. Pretty much what I thought- like a 50% flake rate. The next time I did it, I had 100 RSVPs and maybe 90 people showed up. Guess they saw the pics and didn't want to miss out. We overflowed the apartment complex's parking lot and people were getting towed. It's a delicate balance- not easy at all. I still haven't charged even $1 for a Meetup, just something I thought about in frustration. Flakers make life really hard- food, drinks, parking, what you tell your venue to expect- all depend on headcounts from people simply clicking a button. It can be really rough at times. And yes, it looks like Ronn's admonishment worked. Hopefully people will be more courteous and update their RSVPs as they see the 1 week and 1 day notifications.

From: David <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Wednesday, November 16,[masked]:08 PM
Subject: Re: [arthouse-133] be nice

Some years ago, the Studio Theatre did a study of no-shows for their
productions.  They found that, on the average, 20% of those who
purchased tickets for Studio Theatre performances didn't attend the
performances for which they had purchased tickets (& Studio Theatre
tickets are not cheap).  So they started overselling their theater by
20%, & designed new theater spaces to accommodate extra chairs just in
case.  (Not all ticketbuyers know in advance exactly which seats they
have.)  The Studio Theatre's approach won't work for a MeetUp, but the
Studio's experience suggests that it doesn't ensure 100% attendance to
charge something in advance.  But it sure would discourage
attendance--not just by those who don't show up, but by some of those
who would.  Each organizer needs to make the trade-off.  Would you
rather insist on advance payment of something, get 20 RSVPs, & get 16
people actually attending?  And that assumes an 80% turnout; it surely
would be a lot lower unless the advance charge was unsually high.  Or
would you rather not insist on advance payment, get 100 RSVPs, but get
only 20 showing up?  20 is more than 16.  And more often, no doubt,
the turnout is higher.  100 RSVPs with only 20 actually attending is
probably an outlier.  It surely would reduce the chances of such an
extreme outcome to have fewer events.  That's basic statistics.  But
there's a downside to reducing the number of events.

A "three-no-shows-&-you're-out" approach sounds great until you
realize it requires administration.  For example, someone would have
to take attendance at each event.  With RSVPs totalling 100, that
wouldn't be a trivial chore. This approach almost requires a
relatively low RSVP maximum (consider the RSVP maximum for those
MeetUps that have a "some-number-of-no-shows-&-you're-out" rule).  And
you'd better get that attendance right; you don't want to mark someone
as a "no show" who actually attended.  Who's volunteering to help Ronn
at each of his MeetUps by helping him take attendance--let alone work
out problems when someone claims he or she showed up & was marked
"absent," or decide case-by-case if someone who didn't show up has a
"good" excuse?  If we think the group would work better with more
administration, someone should offer to help with the adminstration
instead of just assuming Ronn will do it.  He already does a lot.

If it were me, I would do exactly what Ronn has done: not add to my
administrative burdens, but occasionally remind everyone to take RSVPs
seriously, & figure people will do the right thing.

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