A no-show is not only frustrating for the meeting planner, but also a major source of waste. If 10-30% of registered attendees no-show at a given event, that means 10-30% of food and meeting materials are thrown away.
Player #8 on the Green Squad is indispensable in helping to eliminate waste and in giving your attendees an option to cancel rather than no-show. With some very simple tricks and good communications, here are some ideas for reducing no-shows.
As the event draws near, change your event registration page include an 'I need to cancel' option that alerts you, the planner, with an email.
In the days leading up to your event, use your final reminder/confirmation email to attendees as an opportunity to alert participants to the consequences of no-show and give them the option to cancel. For example: "We are busy with preparations for [the meeting] and look forward to your participation. Has your schedule changed? Please let us know as soon as possible! We are committed to organizing our event in the most sustainable way, and no-shows create waste. Please call [phone number] or email [address] if you are no longer able to attend."
Play on emotion with this awesome Food Waste clip
For illustration, you can add this video clip to your communications. Check out 'Don’t Spoil the Party'.
Planners should not feel guilty about pushing attendees to cancel rather than no-show. Protecting yourself against the unwelcome surprise of no-shows gives you the opportunity to reduce final guarantee numbers, which in turn saves money on F&B and helps to reduce one of the biggest issues in our industry: food waste.