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Re: [houston-php] Problem with group meeting attendance

From: Noel
Sent on: Thursday, April 12, 2012 2:45 PM
Hello All,
I have never attended a PHP meeting and I am guilty of RSVP'ing to one and not showing up.
It was honestly a last minute change.

However here is what I think and what has prevented me from going to others.

I am an entry level PHP programmer. I started using dreamweaver and have recently moved over to NetBeans. One way or another I have managed to create an entire application that is making me money. Whether its done the way it should be or to "best practices" i dont know. I am self taught. 

 I searched for this group thinking we would meet up and be able to discuss, ask questions, casually. Share my project with others and learn from those true PHP developers.

After a while it looked to me as it if the meetups were more presentation based on technologies that i was not familiar with. Its far for me to drive (live in the Woodlands) to not be able to learn about general PHP programming as opposed to listen to a speaker sell their product related to one technology.

Correct me if I am wrong please! I would love to attend a meeting or happy hour.

Thanks,
Noel

On Tue, Apr 10, 2012 at 9:57 AM, Joao Prado Maia <[address removed]> wrote:
Guys,

This is a sort of tough email to have to write, but I feel this is needed in light of recent meetings. I have been organizing the group for the past 7 years or so (maybe even more?), and this issue has never happened to the extent that it is happening over the past few months.

We have a problem in our group: there are always a good number of people who RSVP to meetings, and then never show up. In some ways this is kind of what comes from doing public free meetings like we do, in that anyone can join us, or not. Nothing wrong with it, and from my time running the group I have seen this happen many times before.

However, what seems to be happening more is that an average of 60% of people that RSVP to an event never actually come to the meetings. I would understand if this number was around 20%, but 60% (or more) is just a sign that there is something very wrong going on.

For the past two months we had 18-25 people RSVP'ing to the meeting, but we only got around 8-10 people show up for the actual event. This past meeting where we had the MySQL presenter fly in from Atlanta, only 8 people showed up (including myself and the speaker). There were 25 people RSVP'ed to the meeting.

I understand that some unexpected thing might happen that would require some people to change their plans, but this type of thing is happening every month, and it's slowly destroying the group's reputation.

In the future I might actually have to turn down presentation offers because I can't be sure if more than 10 people will show up for the event. It wouldn't make financial sense for a company to send someone over to Houston, when fewer than 10 people come to the event.

My only recourse in this situation is the obvious one -- ask you to not RSVP if you don't plan to come. If you initially responded with an RSVP, and later changed your mind, please update your status on meetup.com.

Again, I have lots and lots of meetings under my time here with the group, and I have seen all kinds of problems crop up. Weather being nasty, getting lost on the way over, etc. You have my cell phone number if you need help getting to the meeting location.

I understand that this stuff happens, but 60% (or even 75% at the last meeting) of people that RSVP'ed not showing up seems to me to be a different problem altogether. If this type of thing continues, there won't be much of a point to keep the group running.

I'm asking for your help to get this issue corrected immediately, or we won't be able to continue much longer.

Regards,
--Joao


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