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The Vancouver Photography Meetup Group Message Board Messages from the Organizer › Attendance problems - we need a solution

Attendance problems - we need a solution

Bonnie W
user 11713001
Vancouver, BC
Post #: 12
I, for one, would not belong to a group that threatens to boot me out for an oversight or for something obvious like "it's pouring today, it's obvious nobody will attend". That is way too stressful for me. Life does get in the way. And not everyone has the convenience of a cellphone that can update commitments on the internet. So there will always be some no shows and heaven help my insecurities should I be the one who simply forgot about it or because I have so many things planned for the weekend that the timing, weather, and traffic did not work out for me. Maybe my in-laws dropped in or I ended up in emergency for a gall bladder attack.

If a meetup is postponed, in effect it is actually canceled, is it not? So why not re-post the meetup for fresh commitments since the new date affects everyone involved. According to precipitation charts Jan & Feb are the 3rd & 4th highest rainfall months... I am sure many people have this in the back of their minds when committing to an outing in these months, expecting it to be canceled and that organizers would expect no-shows even if the outing was on.

As far as being fed and watered, restaurant arrangements for such a large number of people should not be attempted without a firm commitment. The meetup was for photography, not for food. One cannot expect the entire group to attend for food intake. Pre-events are not necessary. Should an apres-event food destination be made into a separate meetup attendees could determine their financial obligation and dietary needs ahead of time. I like to check the menu and prices before I decide on attendance.

Re limiting the number of people, I don't agree unless it is a small venue. The more the merrier, especially in a meetup area as spread out as Steveston.

I certainly appreciate the time and effort you put into this event, Trish, and I can see why you think it is disrespectful... in fact I do agree that it is... but giving them the boot is plain not right. This is not a business, it's a fun event, a place to meet people and a place to learn. People do not read rules, as is obvious from the large amount of members posting an overly amount of photos in the meetup albums and monthly albums. Some problems will never go away so my opinion is to be accepting and work around it.
A former member
Post #: 1
Thanks to all who have been organizing. I'm new to this and haven't made it to an event yet. I did RSVP to one event and got stuck in a meeting an hour past start time so couldn't get there. I can imagine this is a difficulty for organizers, especially when it happens on such a large scale. One suggestion is to let people arrange for their own reservations. Perhaps I'm not fully understanding the problem but it DOESN'T seem like a huge inconvenience if a number of people don't show up to a parade or something. it's more of an issue if there are meal reservations. So reduce your stress and suggest a place to eat and let people arrange for it.
Zero tolerance? No, I wouldn't be in favour. There's enough stuff in our society where people are trying to 'police' people and vote people off the island and get everybody's ducks in a row. I'm for making things inclusive and not exclusive.
Trevor G.
user 12146819
Calgary, AB
Post #: 6
I feel bad just for RSVP'ing no, the night before. I really wanted to go to this one, and was watching the weather reports. I can handle light rain, but reports said that it was going to "rain" not light rain. So I apologize for RSVP'ing late. I was hoping the weather would turn around as it sometimes does. Like it did today. (On Friday, it said it was going to be heavy rain on Sunday, and it turned out that it was sunny in the morning)

As for no-shows, without warning. I agree it is bad. If there's going to be strikes I say only 2 strikes (if any). After the first strike, it is totally fair they should have to pay a $5-$10 no show fee (or more) if they want to continue with the group, payable at the next outing. If not - they're gone. As for group discount outings like freeman patterson, I think the fee should be paid in full, BEFORE you are able to RSVP. With a 24-48 hour cancellation policy, unless the business in question doesn't have a refund policy, therefore non-refundable. Up front payment policy would ensure only the people serious will RSVP, it might deter people from RSVP'ing at all, but i believe that is an acceptable risk.

To offset the cost of a Paypal account I would be willing to increase the "dues" if necessary.
Chris K.
user 11021465
Coquitlam, BC
Post #: 3
Hi Trish
In my case for the Steveston meetup i waited untill the last minute to decide not to go , due to the weather and then i didnt realize i needed to update my rsvp so close to the meetup start time , I know now . My only failed attendance out of 21 meetups .

1) I dont think this was booked too far in advance , perhaps when a meetup is rescheduled like this one was make everyone resign up again for the new date , it makes everyone recommit.

2) Personally i dont like a "Zero Tolerance policy for no shows " , three strikes might work , hopefully there is a simple way to implement this.

3) i think the best way to handle resaurant/dinner is for each person to note in the rsvp or have a seperate rsvp that they will be staying for dinner , like was done in previous meetup before steveston .

4)No limits to meetup size , unless it is required for another reason

Gr8 meetup group

Chris

Trevor G.
user 12146819
Calgary, AB
Post #: 7
I re-iterate a "No show fee" If you don't want to pay the fee, then you can leave the group. Simple. No pay = no play.

I think that would be the best and easiest solution.
Trish
TrishR
Vancouver, BC
Post #: 475
Wow, great to see your thoughts and ideas. It's very helpful to know what everyone is thinking so thanks for taking time out to respond so candidly!

I don't want to make anyone feel bad or seem like I'm blaming. Your experiences and ideas are all very interesting and helpful. Please keep 'em coming!
A former member
Post #: 8
I like the idea of limiting numbers, a no show three times and you're out, a deadline for rsvp's, a wait list and you are notified your status has changed to going by email (the brunch club does this) and keeping the social aspect. I've been off work for sometime due to a work injury and have mobility and driving issues, however I took the time to let Trish know. It only takes a matter of seconds for someone to send the organizer an email to update your rsvp and gives the respect due Trish for all the time and effort expended by her.
Diane G.
user 11823443
Burnaby, BC
Post #: 6
I believe that there should be a separate "dinner box" to check, so if one is attending the event but not the dinner, then it would not impact the reservations - if one checks the "dinner box" and does not show, perhaps once can be tolerated, however, if it happens even once more, then they should be be banned from the group.

I think changing the RSVP to "not attending" re the dinner should be done no more than 3 days prior in order for the final count to be given to an establishment. The RSVP for the actual outing should make not too much difference unless it is in a confined space.

All the work that goes into organizing these events should be appreciated and the organizers respected, so it goes without saying that advising them of your participation is a must.

Thank you for allowing our feedback.

Holly V.
HollyVipond
North Vancouver, BC
Post #: 6
I agree with Chris' four points:

1) I dont think this was booked too far in advance , perhaps when a meetup is rescheduled like this one was make everyone resign up again for the new date , it makes everyone recommit.

2) Personally i dont like a "Zero Tolerance policy for no shows " , three strikes might work , hopefully there is a simple way to implement this.

3) i think the best way to handle resaurant/dinner is for each person to note in the rsvp or have a seperate rsvp that they will be staying for dinner , like was done in previous meetup before steveston .

4)No limits to meetup size , unless it is required for another reason


(And with that said, I'm racking my brains... did I change my RSVP? I'm pretty sure I did right after it was rescheduled.)
FlashJ
user 13551563
Vancouver, BC
Post #: 1
Focus on what the group is about before booting people for not showing. Booting individuals from any group should be done with restraint and under extreme circumstance. Booting/banning is very harsh and creates excessive negativity.

I am looking for a casual group that does free photo walks together for fun. By casual I mean a group that doesn't get upset when people don't show up. Specific events such as lectures and rentals are very understandable, but otherwise I am looking for something very casual. I am not looking for a coffee/lunch meetup however, it was mentioned that "ALL" the participants of the group wish to do this. If that's the case this is not the group for me and you should redefine what this group is. Its not a photo group, its a photo lunch group.

I hope to make some friends when i start getting out (better weather) and hope to go for coffee and or lunch with them, but that's our thing, not the groups, and can be organized on our own where/how we see fit.

In my opinion 20 or more people at the same place for lunch is not "getting together after" its a meetup. You can't have a conversation with that many people so you are going for food together getting to know each other... aka meetup.

So define the group.

If this group is not for me, you don't need to boot me. Everyone here wants to be because they thought it was the right group for them. At worst, someone misunderstood what this groups expectations where.

FlashJ
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