7 Ways No-Show Guests Impact Your Event

May 27, 2019

Ever been to an industry event and seen the guest badges on the entry table that are never collected? It doesn't create a good impression on those no-shows, nor unfortunately on your event itself.

No-show guests are the thorn in the side of most event planners.

In a survey of why people didn't attend the last event they had RSVPed to, almost a third (30%) cancelled at the last minute because they "couldn't be bothered".

Almost as many failed to attend because of illness or death (28%), they had double-booked (12%), forgotten about the event entirely (8%), were "unable to get a car park outside or close by" (6%) or experienced transport delays (4%) which made them turn around and go home.

So what's the impact on an event if you fail to attend after RSPVing?

1. Not enough time to replace no-shows
Corporate event planners dislike guests who cancel at the last minute: 87% of event planners didn't have enough time to replace their no-shows with other guests, let alone change and update their now-obsolete seating plans.

Thinking about their last event, one in four respondents (41%) had up to 10 guests who failed to turn up, 33% had up to 15 missing guests, 18% had up to 20 guests who cancelled at the last minute while 8% had recorded more than 20 no-shows.

2. No-show guests waste money and resources
Companies unfairly waste thousands of dollars on guests who don't show at the last minute: 48% had an event budget of under $100 per head, 43% spent up to $150 per guest while 9% spent $200 and over per guest at their event.

3. No-show guests can sour relationships
When industry guests RSVP to the corporate event planner and then fail to attend, it can sour the relationship moving forward, as it displays a lack of common courtesy and respect. It makes hosts hesitant to invite them again.

4. No-show guests reflect badly on themselves
No-show guests are conspicuous by their absence. Guests who sit down at a table with no-shows feel embarrassed to sit next to an empty seat. It helps to kill the vibe and you can bet the attending guests will examine the name and company of the no-show guest/s and wonder out loud where they are. If their fellow guests know these people, they'll wonder at their lack of professionalism.

5. No-show guests reflect badly on the host
Unfortunately a number of no-shows can also create a mildly negative impression where the actual attendees wonder if there is a good reason the other guests chose not to attend and if they've made a mistake making the effort to attend. Having a swathe of non-attendee badges on display throughout the night can make the event look unsuccessful.

6. No-show guests reflect badly on the venue
If there are too many no-shows, fellow guests might wonder if the venue itself is in some way to blame. Whether it's poor transport options, a reputation for poor catering or some other factor, those who have made the effort to attend may second-guess attending a future event there.

7. No-show guests limit the success of the event
Companies spend a lot of money to delight and entertain guests, sourcing remarkable venues, catering, entertainment and decor to encourage guests to share their event experience with others on Instagram. The more guests that don't attend means less online sharing. The number of no-shows can risk them a) inviting those guests to future events or b) downgrading their efforts and expense to avoid financial loss.

Since it's basically obligatory to attend your company Christmas party, discover how to choose cool corporate Christmas party venues your guests will love.