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Erin
ciannait81
Beaumont, TX
Yesterday, the group had a lovely dinner at Nidda Thai.  Thanks to all who came!!  

The numbers:

30 attendees + 23 waiting list = 53 people interested in attending this meetup

30 minutes before the meetup, there were 30 people signed up, with 5 on the waiting list

The group had a reservation for 25 people.

Only 18 people came for dinner.

 

I talked with pretty much everyone at the event last night, and we all agreed that this level of attendance is poor and reflects negatively on our group as a whole when trying to coordinate events with restaurants and planning for the attendees.  Restaurants are less willing to hold tables for a group where only half the people actually attend.  In fact, several folks told me specifically they thought some type of "no show" policy should be put into place to minimize this occurrence for future meetups.

Therefore, starting with our next meetup, there will now be a "no show" policy.  If you RSVP "yes" for an event and don't show up, you will be marked as a no show.  After three times, you will be eligible for dismissal from the group.

I always provide my phone number, and you are welcome to call or text me to let me know you can't make it as well.  This action will save you from being designated as a "no show".

Because of these considerations, I have created a poll for the members to have input on how they think the "no show" policy should be enforced.  I will keep this poll open until August 20th.

http://www.meetup.com/diningout-834/polls/606272/­
A former member
Post #: 115
I've talked to Carl concerning a recent sign up for the Sushi club where 3 people reserved half the seats to an event, resulting with the event filled in less than 3min. There should be a link to paypal, for people to pay up front. This would stop the "maybe's" from reserving space from legitimate people who really want to attend. I've been in meetup a long time and a 50% no show rate is very common and has been a problem for many groups, especially the dinner meetups. Some of the wine tasting groups purposely overbook their events, knowing there will be alot of "no shows".
The meal price is usually set for the sushi club. Since this can vary with the Asian club, there should be a minimum, nonrefundable charge, added to the reservation. Start with $5, if the problem continues, raise it to $10. A discount would be credited to the bill of the "shows", which could include the money from the "no shows". Meetup used to have a "maybe" option, but many times the maybe list was bigger than the attending list and it caused a huge problem, since you could never estimate how many would show. Obviously, just removing the "maybe" option hasn't resolved the problem. Most people will show to an event that they have already put money down on, and if they didn't put any money down they find it very easy to blow off.
Now if you don't go with the above option, then I would suggest that a "no show" be restricted from attending the next event or just automatically put on the waiting list to that event.
Erin
ciannait81
Beaumont, TX
Post #: 6
I'm not the main organizer, so Carl would have to collect the payments. I'm not sure how that would work out.
Spencer
user 49954552
Houston, TX
Post #: 1
Erin -

Agree...Lots of people are RSVP 'whores' and RSVP to everything and show up to nothing. Those people need to be weeded out and possibly dismissed from the group. They waste space and room on the RSVP list for people who truly want to attend but can't.

However, to be fair, you often schedule events way far in advance when most people don't know what they're doing the next day or next week, let alone in 1 or 2 months. People feel an urgency to RSVP and secure a potential spot, even if they aren't serious about attending, because a 30-person RSVP list for a Meetup group of 500+ people is tiny.

Also, there is a flaw to your new proposed policy. When someone on the RSVP list drops off, the people on the Waiting List, by the order in which they joined it, get queued up onto the RSVP list. Some people don't check their phones and e-mail every 30 seconds to realize when this happens, so they shouldn't get punished. In reality, Waiting List people make alternate plans in the interim when they can't make it to the main RSVP list but then forget to change their status to Not Attending.

Therefore, you may need some restrictions on who joins the waiting list as well. There are also Waiting List 'whores' who see a Meetup is full and say, ooh, let me join the list because this Meetup is popular but also have zero intention of attending if they get bumped into the RSVP list. These people also need to be screened out and potentially dismissed from the group. People on the Waiting List should only consist of people who are truly serious about attending and can join an event on short notice.

Another option is to enforce an unofficial backing out deadline of 2 hours or 90 minutes before an event because backing out shortly before the event is just as bad as being a no-show and these people also deserve a slap on the wrist. If you use the message board for an event for acknowledging attendance or cancellation, that can keep track of timestamps there.

The ultimate last resort is to invoke a periodic or annual membership fee to limit the Meetup group to people who are serious about attending events and as cost recovery when restaurants charge a fee when insufficient people show up. Otherwise, I agree that some form of pre-payment or advance payment may be a way to curb people from just registering and not showing up, but your far-in-advance event schedule is problematic.

Your trials and frustrations in general are commonplace to the Meetup community and website but exacerbated because all the Meetups in this group cost money for attendance. Thanks for trying to run a tighter ship.
A former member
Post #: 3
I think the no show needs to be addressed. When meeting at restaurants
There has to be some consideration to other members.
I cancelled my RSVP one time the morning of the event in hopes that someone on the waiting
List could fill my spot. Things do arise that can't be avoided. But to RSVP and not show up is disrespectful to
The members on the waiting list and to the restaurant
I could suggest that yes RSVP need to confirm there yes 24 hours prior to dinners
I have only been to three dinners and enjoyed the members at each one
This is one of my favorite groups of people
Julie
user 12685712
Houston, TX
Post #: 2
I also think this group is great and thank you Erin for trying to remedy a situation that is common among meetup groups. You are a great organizer. I like the idea of confirming your rsvp at least 24 hrs before the event, but I don't think pple should get 3 chances, that's too much and would cause a someone to have to keep track of all that. If you don't show you are removed from the group. Be considerate or be removed, plain and simple.
Erin
ciannait81
Beaumont, TX
Post #: 7
Thanks to everyone who came to the Korean dinner on Sunday... sounds like y'all had a great time!

Due to popular demand, the no show policy is being revised. If you RSVP "yes" for an event and don't show up, you will be marked as a no show. After being marked as a no show, when you RSVP for a future event that has a limited number of attendees, you will be moved to the waiting list to allow others the opportunity to attend an event. After two no shows, you will be eligible for dismissal from the group.

I always provide my phone number, and you are welcome to call or text (or email) me to let me know you can't make it as well. This action will save you from being designated as a "no show" if performed at least 12 hours prior to the event - please be courteous to the host and those on the waiting list, if one exists...

Just a reminder about the poll for how the "no show" policy should be enforced. I will keep this poll open until August 20th. However, the current winner is to mark your name off the RSVP list at the venue. All event hosts will now be expected to print out the RSVP list prior to the meetup to verify attendance. This will allow the event hosts to enforce the no show policy more easily.

http://www.meetup.com...­

I will also try and post events no more than 4 weeks in advance. Hopefully this practice will also help.

Thanks!

Erin

PS: You guys are awesome! Thanks for being such a great group!!
Erin
ciannait81
Beaumont, TX
Post #: 8
FYI, cancelling less than an hour before an event is just as bad as not showing up. Please be courteous and think of your plans for the evening in advance of the meetup. I will print out the RSVP list when I leave home, within an hour or less of the meetup. Whoever is on that list and isn't at the meetup will be considered a "no show".
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Houston, TX

Founded Aug 11, 2008

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