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No-Shows, No-do Business
by Janet Torley on 13/11/2011

I held my head in despair this week at the fourth time in two weeks that some great events (not all by EfB)  have been blighted by No-Shows.  Now No-Shows is not a problem as we all have busy diaries and obviously fee paying work or meetings etc  take precedence….but…..how much time does it take to send a quick apology to the organiser.

I suspect would-be delegates think because an event is free, it doesn’t matter if they turn up or not and it doesn’t matter if they tell anyone after having booked.  It matters – guys’n’gals’ – it matters and let me tell you why.

The easiest way to do this is with a simple example.  So put together a great event with some really great speakers, good venue and really interesting topics / attractions / trials /…..  The event gets posted in the all the usual channels and you – the delegate – thinks “Ha, that’s looks good” and books.  And so do lots of other people.  The organiser is sitting there thinking – great stuff, numbers are really going through the roof so I had better do one or some of the following:-

  • Order more coffee (this costs by the way in case you think because it is free to you it is free to the organiser)
  • Book a bigger room (funnily enough this costs too)
  • Hire more staff to handle registrations (guess what, this costs too)
  • Make up more delegates packs (surprise – this costs too)

 And organisers are even now factoring in for the No-Shows but it is an epidemic of potentially catastrophic proportions for organisers now.  Even emailing booked delegates before an event to remind them of their commitment brings a zero response in most of the cases.  

 The solutions undoubtedly include stop the free events or make a No-Show charge (just like my dentist or indeed well done to Stirling Enterprise for doing this).

 But the crux of this rant is that I believe that the integrity and seriousness of many ‘self-employed’ or ‘small businesses’ is next to zero.  Some of the excuses I have heard recently include

  •  “Booked that but didn’t bother putting it in my diary”
  • “Yeah, booked it but I collect the kids from school anyway so wouldn’t be there”
  • “Yeah, sorry bout that but changed my mind as it was cold/windy/hot/…..”
  • “I forgot”
  • “Went on holiday”

Please tell me that a serious business owner actually keeps a diary and puts stuff in it or is it just me.  So please, please, please – either don’t book unless you really plan to go OR at least send your apologies if cannot make it – whatever the reason.  The organiser doesn’t actually care about the reason, they just need to know reasonably accurate numbers.

 And I post this on behalf of all the event organisers who are tearing their hair out…….