For Mentors: How to Avoid Seminar No-Shows?

Tired of Seminar Attendees Registering For Your Event … and Then Not Showing Up? Here’s Why They Skip Your Seminar … and 4 Ways to Get Them to Your Event

First the Psychology to carry:

I believe we should not be paranoid about no-shows. I also believe we should not go blaming attendees for not turning up at events. Such approaches just enhances the chance of the same problem again and again.

The worst attitude you may have in tackling no-shows is to think it is not your responsibility to decrease them. You are effectively denying reality. And reality is some people will not turn up.

The right approach to curing your event from the no-show virus is to acknowledge that the problem exists, understand the dynamics that foster the virus and coming up with a plan to repel it.

Just remember that your objective is not to force attendees to show up but to get them to update their RSVP on time so you can take actions to allocate that free space.

The Approach

You’ve gathered your registrations, reserved a meeting room, maybe even sprung for coffee, tea and snacks … only to be disappointed when less than half of your seminar attendees show up for your event. And two questions race through your mind:

1. What went wrong?
2. More importantly, how do I get people to show up?

To gain some perspective on the first question, put yourself in your prospect’s shoes.

You’ve been putting out fires all day at the office. At 5 minutes to 5 p.m., the boss drops off a report that’s due by tomorrow afternoon. Then your spouse calls to see if you’ll make a quick stop at the grocery store, which reminds you that your anniversary is the next day.

By this point, you’ve either forgotten the seminar altogether … or the idea of skipping in favor of vegging on the sofa all evening grows mighty appealing.

No-shows tend to be the biggest problem with free seminars, simply because registrants have little invested beyond the few minutes it took to sign up. Here are 4 ways to boost your attendance:

  1. Remind participants that they’ve signed up. Call them the day, or even a few hours, before your seminar.
  2. Reinforce the benefits of attending. Reiterate what they’ll learn … and how this information will help them achieve their goals.
  3. Offers always last. Give them never before heard innovative offers, and they will never no-show any of your event.
  4. Charge a little. If people know that they’ll lose money by not attending, they’ll be less likely to skip. Instead of offering a free workshop, consider charging $10 to hold a seat and refunding the fee at the door.

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