In efforts to make things better for the future, I wanted to share you my perspective from something that happened last weekend at Tampere Goes Agile 2013 -conference. A lot of people, about 60 that had enrolled did not show up at the conference. In addition, there were about 20 people who cancelled in advance during the last week, when the per participant cost has been fixed to a level regardless of if you let us know or not.
- When you participate actively, you create value that takes our community forward
- When you enroll and don't show up, you become cost that creates no value.
- Critically think about your possibilities to be there over a week in advance, but if you end up sick, don't feel obliged to show up just because you think you promised something
- Stop making free conferences - all conferences cost something and "only money makes people committed to their enrollments"
- Charge money that you give back when you retrieve your badge, like a deposit - but work isn't free either
- Put the no-shows on waitlist for next year when they enroll and confirm their spots only when those without the no-show history have acquired their spots
- Hand out twice the amount of places and hope that the no-show rate remains the same, or give the benefit of food & coffee only to N first people on the registration desk, N being the number we officially announced we would have. If lucky, there is no N+1...
- Use more money on the no-shows so that they create value - give 20 € on their name for a cause that publishes a list of donators, so that they become donators for not showing up. Tell about this in advance.
- Organize only conferences where presenters get in. They tend to be then more committed to showing up, and make good participants too.