Mulligan Management Group, LLC

3 Tips to Limit No-Shows at Your Event

no shows, Kalahari Resort & Convention, Mulligan Management Group, LLC

No-shows and last minute cancelations are one of the biggest worries event planners have because they can have a significant impact on the food and beverage budget, as well as, the overall profitability of the conference.

The average no-show rate for paid events is 10%, while free events can have no-show rates in the 50% range.

The main reason attendees drop out is because something or someone of greater value takes precedence over your event.

While this information probably doesn’t make you feel any better, there are certain things you can do to minimize the impact on your budget and fill the room at your next conference.


3 Ways to Minimize No-Shows


  1. Spend a Lot of Time Determining the Right Date, Time and Location.

    This is where a lot of planners fall short; they don’t take into consideration that attendees have busy lives outside the office that can influence their decision to attend or not.

    Here are the things you need to address:
    1. Determine when other events that compete for your prospect’s attention are being held. Don’t hold your event during the same month as your competition because it will force your potential attendee to choose between them or you.
    2. Find the day of the week that works best for your audience. Will they be bringing their family to the conference? If the answer is yes, you need to plan for a Friday, Monday or the day just before or after a public holiday.
    3. The time of year your event is held can be crucial to its success.  If you hold the event in the winter, you need to give attendees plenty of time to get to the location and make certain it is a location that is visibly marked from the road.
    4. Figure out the timeframe. If it is a one-day conference that is going to attract attendees from distances up to 100 miles away, start the conference at 9 am and end at 4 PM. If it is a local networking event, hold it on a weekday evening starting at 5 PM.
    5. Hold your event at a unique venue. Having your conference at a location that attendees might not normally visit or have access to, can be a huge incentive for them to attend.
  2. Make it easy for them to register, and if need be, to cancel.

    I love the site Meetup because it is just as easy to register as it is to cancel. They send you a reminder several times before the event; thus allowing you to cancel out of it if something comes up.

    You want to do the same thing – but have a cancelation policy. For example, if they cancel up to 5 business days before the event, they can receive 100% of their registration fee back; 3 days before 50% and one day before or not at all, there will be no refund.

If you communicate the refund policy ahead of time with your drip campaign, you may find attendees will let you know that things have changed, especially if it is easy for them to do so.

  1. Make the Registration Fee Equal to Their Time

Many event organizers feel a free or low-cost event will draw more attendees.  While you may receive a lot of registrants, the truth of the matter is at least 50% of those registrants will drop out of your event for one reason or another.

Having a value-based fee will make them think twice about canceling; especially if it is an event full of great speakers and attendees they want to connect with.

However, there is a tipping point to this methodology. Charging too much can drive attendees away, especially if the content and speakers are lukewarm, the agenda is not fully developed or the location is not desirable.



Kalahari Resorts & Conventions is The Place to Hold Your Next Event


It’s not every day you find venue staff that understands the unique pressures involved in planning your events - continually increasing attendance, maintaining costs, and exceeding sponsor expectations. We at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions definitely do.

Check out some of our testimonials to see why Kalahari Resorts & Conventions is the perfect place for your next event! 

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