use our survey to find out why members RSVP but dont show up

Generally speaking, with every event you host you know there will be a handful of no-shows. And that’s ok! Things happen. But if you want to minimize the number of no-shows, or even start to notice an increase, there are ways to address some reasons for not showing up.

How? Well, it depends on your members. To start, you’ll want to find out exactly why they didn’t make it. And chances are, your RSVP’d-but-didn’t-attend list is made up of members who are engaged enough with your organization that they’d be willing to answer a quick survey:

1. How did you learn about the event?

  1. Your website
  2. Your newsletter
  3. Word of mouth
  4. Email
  5. Facebook
  6. Instagram
  7. LinkedIn
  8. Other: ______________

Asking this first is a good introductory question to get their buy-in for completing the rest of the survey. Plus, knowing where no-shows heard about the event in the first place could uncover a promotional channel that is sending the wrong message.

2. When did you realize that you weren’t going to make the event?

  1. The day of the event
  2. The week before the event
  3. 1 – 3 weeks before the event
  4. 4 – 6 weeks before the event
  5. No intention of attending

This question will help you create a timeline of when no-shows realized they couldn’t attend your event…or, decided they didn’t want to. Based on their answers, you may find there are a couple key points where you should engage your attendee list to maintain their excitement.

3. Which of the following reason(s) best explains why you could not attend? Choose all that apply.

  1. Cost
  2. Location
  3. Date conflict
  4. Content
  5. Awareness
  6. Lack of Interest
  7. Other: _______________

Understanding why your members didn’t make it will help you determine if there’s a pattern, or if it was just a bunch of one-off situations. There isn’t a whole lot you can do about last minute changes, date conflicts, etc. – but there are a lot of elements you CAN control!

4. When is the best time for you to attend events?

  1. Spring
  2. Summer
  3. Autumn
  4. Winter

By directly asking members what season works best for their social and professional calendar, you can pinpoint what works across a variety of groups to achieve the best engagement for signing up. 

5. Did you attend any competing events around this time frame? If so, which event?

  1. No
  2. Yes: _____________

Don’t you want to know if there was another event that caught their eye? Make sure to also include a short answer area to see if they’re willing to admit what event they attended instead. 

Hopefully, the responses you get from this survey help you identify changes that may help attendance. If anything, it’s another great way to engage a specific segment of your membership (RSVP’d-but-didn’t-attend X event) and demonstrate that you operate with them in mind!

And what about the members who do attend? We have a whole guide for that!