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No Shows or cancellations (Change to No RSVP)

Effective 2010:
If you are a no show or cancel less than 24 hours before an event that was at full capacity, any or all of the following actions will be taken (at my discretion):

a) $1 per event. Payment of all missed events will be collected at next attended event. Due and payable upon arrival. This will apply to everyone without exception.
b) Reimburse cost of event, if any
In some cases, any monies due may be payable prior to being able to RSVP for another event (cash or via paypal including extra for paypal fees).
c) Prepayment of future events associated with a cost. Estimated deposit will be held for those events without an exact known amount (plus paypal fees if not in cash)
d) Removal from YES RSVP list on any event that is at full capacity to give others first priority to attend
e) Excused from an event
f) Removal from group

All of the above is completely at my discretion and intrepretation. For items a-d, actions will apply for the length of time I deem appropriate.

Those people that act with integrity and responsibility will never have an issue with me.

I really dislike having to enforce this, but because this group is so large now and events are always well attended, I am moving toward weeding out members who are chronic offenders or simply not of the caliber I wish to have in the group.

QUALITY not QUANTITY of members


Being a meetup organizer has many rewards.

Most of them come in the form of the joy of bringing people together-giving them a venue to form new friendships and have fun.

It is an extremely time consuming role. And besides the fees that organizer's pay to host their group ($144 per year), it cost money out of our pocket (little things add up--bracelets, name tags, camera memory cards, computer paper and ink, use of car, etc). True that we get a few perks along the way from the venue (a free drink, maybe a free admission), but for the most part we are outlaying money to attend these events and come out with you.

The time expended is on many things:
-contacting venue owner/manager for introduction and explanation of what we want
-visiting a venue to "scope" it out
-negotiating the terms
-confirming, then reconfirming with venue (adequate staffing, adequate space, employees all informed, etc) -a week out, a day out, same day-just to make sure it's being handled
-creating the event posting (typing it out, posting pictures, etc) and sending out the announcement
-answering the many questions/emails from members regarding an event
-email updates on events
-collecting money (if applicable)
-picture taking
-downloading and editing pictures
-posting pictures

If you are a new member or a non frequently attending member, it will be your responsibility to acknowledge your presence to me at an event.

In the following paragraphs, I will lay a few things out there. Im not necessarily looking for answers or excuses (if you're an offender), but more to give you something to think about.

One of the most frustrating things that a organizer can experience is no shows. Changes to NO RSVP with less than 24 hours rank high up there too.

Most of you do not realize just how many people this affects:
The venue - they are paying staff and buying product (food, etc) to be adequately prepared for us. In the case of limited capacity, they lost on revenue that would have been generated by you plus they could not offer the space to someone else who would have generated revenue.
The venue staff - the servers/wait staff were expecting a greater number of people to generate tips
Organizer credibility -significantly less turnout makes us look bad. It will affect our ability to negotiate favorable terms or even come back at all in the future.
Meetup credibility - we are representing ourselves as part of meetup. We are affecting other organizer's ability to host events at the location (and in the case of a business with multiple locations, all of their locations) as well as those meetup members
Event execution - Sometimes, but not always, the event was organized/planned to execute a certain way. The organizers can be put in a difficult postion of determining at the last moment how to manage people who are not there yet (are they on their way or just not coming??) Do we start the festivities without them? Do we wait?
Some examples:
restaurant - do we get seated at a smaller table or wait for the people and get a bigger table?
bowling alley - how many people do we put on a lane to evenly match it? We all want to finish at roughy the same time. Do we give up the lanes we reserved, or hold on to them for the people that might come? Should we all start playing and exclude people who might come or wait for them?
BriXton - How long should we wait at the front to welcome and greet people? How long do we wait to hand out bracelets so we can identify all our members (returning and new) so we will recognize them? Or do we risk people not finding us or the group and affecting their experience?

Member's morale - Probably the worse of all. This is a "community" These are our friends. What kind of message does it send when one of your meetup friends hoped you were coming, and you decide not to show up? Many people like the energy of larger gatherings. It affects people's mood when others dont think enough of an event to come out. How many times have you walked into a business (restaurant, bar, live music venue, etc.) and walked right out because it was "dead". Not many people want to be somewhere where other people wont go. How about a sports venue or concert where there are more empty seats than filled ones? Get the idea????

I dont have the answers.
Every option seems to put additional stress, create additonal work (MORE time!) and/or take some of the fun out of it. I dont want to take a hard line on this-its supposed to be fun. I dont want to police people. Most of the time, us organizers just dont care. We know to expect some no-shows because we understand things do happen. We already plan for that.

Its the carelessness that we know is happening. I have tried to contact some people after events, especially those that had a financial commitment, in an effort to gain some insight.

Some of the excuses-- (Im not making this up!)
-the cute girl I wanted to meet changed her RSVP and I didnt notice (can you say STALKER?)
-I forgot my show was on that night (thats why we have VCR, TiVO, DVD)
-I had another meetup event to go to (now who is the idiot who RSVPs for more than one event at the same time?)
-I had to work (ok, I understand this happens (work should come before play)-but this one came from someone who in the same email said he gets his work schedule one month in advance and the event was halfway in to the month)
-I didnt check my email (HUH? Were you waiting for a personal invitation? Or do you wait for the reminder emails and didnt get it in time?)

Most people will never provide a reason, and thats ok, we dont need one. The people who are conscientious will usually provide a reason, and will provide one within a reasonable timeframe BEFORE the event. And in some cases when some of you cant get to a computer and something happened unexpected just before the event, we receive an email after the event. Thats okay too-much better than no explanation and at least it shows you have character and a conscience. I am talking about the people who RSVP and dont think about it again. They dont have a daytimer, they dont keep track of their commitments, whatever it is. They wait for the one day auto meetup reminder to come in and then when they receive it (not everyone checks their email frequently enough) they will back out-or maybe that reminder came after the event-OH WELL!!!

The easy answer is to just delete people from a group when they do this. Its not so easy to just "delete" people from a group if they dont demonstrate they are of the caliber we wish. At many venues, there are always new people. If an event has more than 30 people, it is hard to match every face with every meetup profile --and forget about it if the picture doesnt look like the person, is not of a person (your dog, a sunset, whatever) or no picture at all or the profile uses a pseudonym (fake name). I have never gone to a party and not greeted the host and said goodbye. Some people come in and leave without making a mention of their presence. That's okay-but again, it makes it hard to keep track of attendees. Not to mention the extra work to try to match up who I (or other organizers) can remember who was actually there against our RSVP list.

Hopefully this gives you some things to think about. The organizers do what we do because we want to. It's a labor of love for we do not receive any compensation for this (no "kickbacks" as most of you assume). We do not owe any members anything and some people lose sight of that and complain needlessly or create extra work (multiple emails asking questions that were answered in the event posting) I believe that if I post an event, I want to deliver an experience as expected and want you to have fun.

And dont get me started on EXPECTATIONS? LOL
It was too noisy--well, you were in a nightclub with live music!!
I really didnt meet anyone interesting--well I saw you sitting in the corner not talking to anyone. You didnt accept the offer of multiple people who were willing to introduce you around.

Please think about all the things before you RSVP.
-As soon as you know of circumstances that will affect your plans, change your RSVP accordingly.
-Write things down in a calendar.
-Check your email 1-2 days before an event for any pertinent updates
-Check your home page. You can view your calendar of meetup events. Check ahead at least one week in advance just to be sure.

If you are not sure you can make it, indicate that in your comments. The organizers pay attention to YES and NO RSVP. We can tell you if a no show will impact this event.

And by all means, if there was a financial obligation, verify that someone didnt have to pay to cover you. No one should have to pay for your carelessness--or if you had something come up, wouldnt it be the sensible thing to do to honor your obligation and offer to make it right?

Table of Contents

Page title Most recent update Last edited by
IDEA TAB guidelines of use June 9, 2010 5:40 PM Maria
People of this group March 20, 2010 3:30 PM Maria
Common Courtesy Policies May 6, 2010 4:25 PM Maria
No Shows or cancellations (Change to No RSVP) February 10, 2010 6:01 AM Maria
About LIVELY FRIENDS of South Bay/LA January 7, 2017 5:44 PM Maria

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