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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

user 4574678
Vancouver, BC
Post #: 1
Hi Trish,

I think this point it very valid. And I think it is very much necessary that in a volunteer-based group,
"No show" = "removal from the group".
How many "No Shows"? When I was residing in Toronto, they usually had the 3 now-show policy.

There have been so many hikes that I wanted to join but because of those people (who also seem to have a blackberry and RSVP literally for any event!), the event got full, and I could not attend. AND AFTER ALL, THEY DID NOT SHOW UP TO THE HIKE AT ALL!!!!

If the time and energy that the volunteer organizers spend to provide free work, is not respected, I think the organizer should simply remove these people. This would allow members who honour their RSVP, to have a chance to join the events.


user 8699164
Vancouver, BC
Post #: 3
Hi Trish and all,

just wanted to apologize here I was 1 of the no-shows. I had been really busy and then sick as a dog hadn't been online to check and don't rem I had signed up for this meetup at all! Just got on tonight and realized this. OOPS!!! So sorry I've never missed a meetup before I think it's rude and I understand how frustrating this can be for others. My sincerest apologies.

Vancouver, BC
Post #: 477
Hi Susan, please don't worry! I appreciate your post and I really don't want to make anyone feel bad.

Everyone, thank you so much for taking time to write. Your comments and ideas are really helpful... Please keep them coming!
Peter H
user 11473968
Vancouver, BC
Post #: 16
Hi Trish
It is definitely disappointing when a large number RSVP and then don’t show up.
But I really don’t like the idea of “Zero Tolerance” or any strike system.
We all join these Meet Ups to have a little fun, meet new friends, and perhaps learn a little more Photography.
There is no question that we all should be responsible enough to let you know if we can’t show up for one reason or other.
But stuff does happen.
However, these trips seem to be weather related, and be it either a large group or a small one, they still are fun.
Summer is coming, and that should solve the “no show” problem for a while anyway.
The “Zero Tolerance” rule seems a little “Heavy” and starts to take the fun and adventure out of the events.
Is there some other way that we can all be responsible adults, and keep these going as fun filled adventures?
Peter H
Jack S.
user 9198037
Vancouver, BC
Post #: 73
To be bald, .... "No organizer needs to feel like a cat-herder." If it feels like herding cats, something is wrong and needs to be fixed.


Well, firstly, I am bald(ing)(ish)sad and whilst I'm not happy with it ..... I don't feel there is
any need to ostracise me crying

Secondly, what's cats and getting 'em fixed got to with photography confused

Thirdly and more seriously and to the point; I can understand Trish's being
upset when only 19 of 70something people showing up and that is just plain
nasty. However, I think an "automatic out" for saying you will and don't is
a bit extreme but, to be honest, I, also, don't have an alternative plan for (trying
to) lessen the numbers of the evil no showers ... especially if they say they will.

What I might suggest (if it's possible) is go through the membership list and if there
is folks who have registered (say previous to February 2010) but haven't attended
an event, made a post or comment since .... perhaps send them an email saying that
if they don't participate their membership will be discontinued ??



Vancouver, BC
Post #: 478
Thanks for bringing some perspective into this Peter, and Jack! I love your humour! smile

OK, just to take the heaviness out of this and avoid any anxiety this may be causing, let's put the Zero Tolerance and strikes on the back burner. I would really like to carry on the way this all started with some wiggle room for the "stuff that happens" when "life takes over".

I do believe that I (we) could be doing things differently, and I wonder if we're asking the right questions. But maybe we're doing everything correctly but forgot some basic tenants that we've actually put in place but end up varying. For example, why didn't I post a special event just for the "lunch" part of the Steveston field trip? Was it because there were soooo many people that I couldn't bear to setup accurate lunch reservations? Yes. Was I actually just trying to make sure we had some reservations to fall back on in case the place was buzzing and all the restaurants would be full on that day? Yes. Did it work? No... well, yes. All of us had a great time at the Blue Canoe!

Another thought occurred to me last night... when I send an email announcement because of a change or request to update RSVP's, is everyone getting that email? -- and if so, are we reading it? Are we getting tooooo many emails from Meetup that we just can't keep up so, the important ones get ignored as well?

Anyway, I don't want this to carry on and on, so I'm ready to summarize and pick out what I'd like to do:
1. I hear that when people sign up for an event and then that event date changes, it's best to cancel it and start again fresh.
2. I also hear that if there are tickets involved, then make it mandatory to pay in order to sign up.
3. We can avoid frustration by posting a separate "event" for the "apres-shoot" activities that involve "commitments" for restaurant reservations.
4. And if there are room bookings, instead of collecting the small fee on-site, it's best to make it mandatory to pay that fee when signing up to ensure those people will show.
5. In terms of limiting the numbers for an event -- I hear you Russ that large numbers doesn't work when the Meetup involves "coaching" on new techniques, so limits on numbers will be at the discretion of the Event Host based on what type of activities are involved.

If anyone disagrees, or has any further comments -- great, please post them here. But for my part, I think I'm satisfied that we have enough to carry on without any drastic "changes" or "limitations". OK?

Thank you all for your thoughtful attention and input. I know there are some conflicting ideas and many new ideas that I haven't addressed, but let's keep this post alive for posterity and to mark what we've said and if necessary we can come back to some of the newest ideas and address them in future.

Thanks again everyone!

Jack S.
user 9198037
Vancouver, BC
Post #: 74
Thanks Trish and your solution sounds tickety-boo to me smile


jim h.
user 13156069
Langley, BC
Post #: 1
I've RSVP'd for five meet-ups and atteded all of them but only checked in on two occasions. In one case, I didn't check-in because I was a a few minutes late and couldn't find anyone. However, even if I had been on time, I'm not sure I would have found the check-in spot. I looked for it while I was shooting but never did see it. In another, at the Christmas festival, you had to line-up to get tickets which made any kind of timely check-in pretty hard. I'm not even sure if there was a check-in at the Lantern Festival but, by the time I got off work and got down there I was half an hour late.

To be honest, I didn't realize that check-in was an issue except when it came to dinner/lunch reservations. That I can see being a problem but I think it's a bit drastic turfing people just because they don't show-up or are late for a photo-shoot. Courtesy, would dictate you should change your RSVP but I can see occasions, like Saturday, when I didn't really decide until the last minute whether or not to brave the weather where I wouldn't have thought to change it. Life/weather/parking happen and sometimes it's just not practical to be at the appointed place at the appointed time.

My own feeling is that enforcing attendance at the photo-shoots themselves should be rather lax. After all, except for a few minutes at the beginning, everybody is off doing their own thing anyway. But there should be some sort of penalty for not attending dinners, etc. when you have said you will be there.

A former member
Post #: 1
It seems that the problem occurs when there are reservations at coffee shops, etc., regarding payments/money spent on food/drinks. A solution could be to just to not make reservations, and have informal get-togethers when/and if people come?

At the photo shoot people will fan out in different directions and areas, so there is a good possibility that you don't actually see anyone the whole time ...

My take on these themes and events is that it establishes a them and place, and a great opportunity to focus on that theme. Also, whoever is there is most likely to want to talk about the theme/place/how and what they shot. I have relied on just chance meetings and simultaneous talks after the shoot.

A former member
Post #: 1
I am new to this group and have (I think) always kept my RSVP up to date.

I agree that if there is a lunch or coffee meet up after the photo shoot, then somehow post that separately and then members can decide whether or not they will attend the lunch. I don't see how it's the responsibility of the organizer to make reservations at restaurants. As another member stated, this is a photography meetup group.

I have been a member of other groups and the 'no show' will always happen especially in a large group.

I find this group to be fun and that's what I was looking for. So far I haven't been able to meet in person but plan to do so when the weather warms up a bit. I also live in the suburbs and sometimes the event is too far away for me to attend.

Thank you to Trish and the other organizers for your hard work.

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