Wedding Woes

You're singing the song of many people.

mrsconn23mrsconn23 member
Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
edited August 4 in Wedding Woes

Dear Prudence,

How do you plan an event when you are unsure how many people will show up? I am an organizer for a public group on an app that is geared for meeting new friends. This often entails hosting events in public spaces where people can show just up. Most publicly accessible spaces are restaurants and businesses, so I often end up calling in a reservation ahead of time so we don’t overrun the restaurant.

The problem is that people are flaky and I feel bad taking up unnecessary space at a business. I recently called in a reservation for 8 people and set a limit on the app for 8 attendees to the event. The attendance starts out promising with 8 people definitely attending and 3 people on the waitlist. As the event gets closer, attendance numbers start dwindling. Day of, I don’t know what the final tally of people will be who actually show.

So what’s the best way to responsibly plan these events? I don’t want to be a blight on local businesses, but I also don’t know how to keep people responsible who I may not even personally know.

— Meeting Madness

Re: You're singing the song of many people.

  • Exactly @STARMOON44

    Unless you're planning a corporate backed/paid for event and people are getting paid to be there, you need to find accessible spaces where people can come and go and it doesn't matter how many actually show up. Don't put your neck out for strangers. 

    Also, if the group(s) become more formal (meaning the day and time becomes standard), that's when you can maybe partner with a local business.  But that's, like, a year or more away.  You're doing too much work, thinking and planning, for an informal and initial meet-up. 
  • Don't plan events at places that will need to bring in help for you.  
  • @CharmedPam, did you write this letter?

    Especially for the first few meetings, the LW needs to keep it more casual and go to places where reservations aren't needed.  Bars are great for that.  Or choose a restaurant that doesn't usually have a wait.  Have everyone who wants to come meet at 6pm.  Maybe wait until 6:10 pm for any stragglers.  Then go in and tell the restaurant the size of the party.

    Once the group is more established, the LW will probably get a feel for who usually comes and who reliably comes when they say they will.  Then they can start expanding to places that take reservations.  
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • LOL @short+sassy, I immediately thought of @CharmedPam too. 
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