How to make sure RSVPs attend

How to make sure RSVPs attend

The biggest pet-peeve of them all – people that register for the event yet fail to show up. For event organisers this has a knock on effect causing consequences. The dreaded empty seats leave a poor impression and can also negatively impact the networking opportunities of your event.

It is impossible to ensure the attendance of every single registrant. The following guide will however provide you with a much better chance of decreasing your no-show percentage.

Communicate with those who have registered

It is an easy trap to fall into – too many organisers focus their priorities on increasing event registrations. Whilst this is important, there is no set up of a proper line of communication with those that have already signed up.

The importance of doing this increases with the length of time between registering and the event. With longer time frames comes a decreases in enthusiasm as time goes on – creating excitement and intrigue is therefore essential.

The best way to do this is to create a separate email list for individuals who have registered. Emails can then be developed which distribute useful and relevant content. This will help to develop trust whilst reminding individuals.

Give them the option to drop out

Yes you read that right. It may seem nonsensical – giving your respondents an easy way out – but doing so gives you time to react and find somebody else to fill the seat with.

Making it clear that you would rather be told than have no-shows will make it less likely that issues will arise. One of the best ways to do this is to introduce an easy-to-navigate page on your website where attendees can go to make you aware of changes to their plans.

Make last minute tickets available

If the worst comes to the worst and you are left in a situation where you know people will not showing up shortly before the event then you need a plan to help fill the spaces.

An online check in portal which opens around two days before the event can give you a head start and gauge the number of no-shows to expect.

If you have a strong social media following one of the best ways of find an interested party is to offer them through social media. For paid events you can offer these at a discounted price. Using your email list of attendees, reach out to them making them aware that there are still a few tickets remaining. As they are attending, they will most likely have a network which will be interested too.


Rosie Priestley is a Director of Toolshed Communications.