A new year, a new way of RSVP’ing to an event.
As you may probably not know is that we, the Dutch chapter of Cococaheads, are doing all this in our spare time. Some of us have kids, all of us demanding jobs and we still make time to get together and do this. Because we believe this community is important and it shapes us as people and as coders. It is also very fulfilling that we can add value to this community. This is the very essence why we organise Cocoaheads. This is the craft we love.
Last year we have organized a number of events. Great sponsors, tasty food and amazing speakers. We try to talk to most of the people that visit our events. And they always tell us the same thing. Over and over again. “Luckily I was able to be here tonight because last time I was to slow with my RSVP. Even the waitlist was full.” Too slow? Waitlist? On one hand that’s a good thing, on the other it’s the reason for this post.
Testing our assumptions
We’ve been analyzing the data from meetup.com and we saw a recurring pattern on almost every event. Within minutes of announcing a new event people hit the RSVP button. Most of the time it’s the same people. But isn’t this a good thing? Well… not really. We want to give people a fair chance of attending. And people who RSVP and do not show up, is even a bigger problem.
This is not only a problem for us, but also for you. And last but certainly not least, our sponsor - who is kind enough to share his knowledge, office space, food an drink with us.
Oh and by the way - we also tested updating our own RSVP via the meetup web / native app. It literally takes a few seconds.
Starting from May 2017 on we have a different strategy, one we think will give everyone a fair chance of attending our events.
- We always announce an event at least a month before the actual event.
- We will open the RSVP two weeks prior to the event on Monday.
- We will close the RSVP the Monday before the event. This should give you plenty of time to plan your week and update your RSVP in case you cannot make it - because that is the decent thing to do.
But wait a minute there… you only open the list for a short amount of time?
So I have to plan it?
Yes, that is the plan. We figure this way we get people who really want to attend, and everyone gets a fair chance attending. We might see a decline in attendees but we don’t mind. We like out waitlists short and our attendees happy :smiley:
Can I still RSVP via meetup.com (web / native app)?
Of course, only now within a certain time frame.
So nothing really changes?
Nah. Not really.
And you will announce from when to when I can RSVP?
What is the reason you are closing the RSVP the Monday before the event?
Because a lot of our sponsors want to plan for all the drinks and food they are sharing with you. And they want to know what to expect and want to know an accurate number of people who are attending.
So you are still organizing those awesome, awesome events?
Why this change in strategy?
It’s always good to start something with a why. Or end in this case. Why are we doing this? We love organising events for you and we want to keep on doing this for a long time to come. But to be quite frank with you - we are sick and tired of those ‘no shows’.
Have you ever been stood up by a date? Or by a friend? You made an appointment to grab a bite to eat and catch-up and he/she just doesn’t show up. No call, no text, no nothing. Not a really nice feeling right?
We believe this strategy will change that.
Let’s make a deal
It’s a “Let me make you an offer you can’t refuse” kinda deal.
If you promise to check your calendar before RSVP’ing, we promise to do our best trying to fit as many of you in our venues and upscaling when necessary and thus keeping the waiting list as short as possible so everyone can attend. Because we like everybody to have a fair chance attending.
How does that sound?