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From: Charles G. G.
Sent on: Saturday, December 22, 2012 2:56 AM

I need to draw the group's attention to some unacceptable RSVP and Attendance behavior that has been transpiring lately.  This is particularly in reference to the last two events, the Newport Harbor Boat Parade, and the End of the World Night Hike.

All meetup organizers are accustomed to some degree of flaking and last minute RSVP changes, and make allowances for this.  However, when this behavior is so egregious and extreme that it leads to:

(a)the organizer sacrificing significant time, and money, in order to accommodate a group  that doesn't show up,

(b)an extremely busy restaurant jumping through hoops to setup tables for a party that never comes, and damaging the organizer's reputation with that establishment

(c)the hike leader and assistant hike leader carefully and thoughtfully creating additional and alternate plans a day before the hike in order to make the hike easier and more accommodating for people, without people even changing their RSVP when they can't go

something needs to be said and done about this.

To be specific:

(a)For the Newport Harbor Boat Parade, 15 people RSVP'd that would come for dinner.  I told BJs restaurant we would have a table of 15.  They scrambled to put together such a table, but only 7 people showed up. The restaurant was full, and people were waiting for tables. I gave my cellphone number, but none of the people who didn't show up called me to let me know they weren't going to be there.

(b)For the End of the World Night Hike, we had 38 people sign up.   In order to ensure everybody could park at the trailhead, I went to Sport Chalet and purchased four Forest Adventure Passes.   This was not an easy nor convenient thing to do on the Friday before Christmas. We didn't use any of them.  We had a total of six people on the hike, one of which was the guest of the coleader.  As of 8:00pm Friday, the hike start time, we still had 26 people signed up.  Less than 20% turnout.

(c)After I sent an e-mail to those signed up for the End of the World Night hike with details about the hike, a bunch of people immediately started dropping off.   The details of the hike were causing people to change their RSVP, but there was nothing in the e-mail that was not in the hike description on meetup.  People are not reading the meetup descriptions when they sign up.  They see a title they think they like and sign up, without bothering to read when it will be over, how long it is, how difficult it will be, or what they need to bring.   I closed the RSVPs on this hike several days before the event.  Many people who wanted to go were not able to go.

Here is what I need from the participants of 20s30s40s events:

(1)READ THE ENTIRE WRITEUP DESCRIPTION BEFORE YOU SIGN UP.  Don't assume a hike will only be a couple hours.  Many of our hikes are all day hikes, or in this case, night hikes slated to last until 2am.  Don't assume a hike will not require equipment, experience, or some driving distance.  Not all of our hikes are easy local hikes.  If you sign up for a hike without reading, then cancel when you find out what the hike is about, you are depriving other people who really want to do that hike and creating inconvenience for the leader and the group.

(2)DINNER EVENTS REQUIRE EITHER A CHANGE IN RSVP OR  A CALL TO THE HOST  as soon as you know you can't make it.  I always e-mail my telephone number to participants before a dinner event.  Failure to do this puts the establishment in jeopardy and deprives others a chance to attend.


-> Don't just sign up for a bunch of events you're not sure you will attend

-> Remember which events you are signed up for, and change your RSVP as soon as you know you can't make it

(4)PLEASE DO NOT ASK US TO CHANGE A HIKE after you arrive at the trailhead because you didn't know it would last until a certain time because you didn't read the description.  This has happened, more than once.   We follow what is stated in the writeup.


Thank You

Charles G. Geller, Organizer


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