How often do we RSVP to an event and because it’s free to attend, we think its not a problem to pull out at the last minute or not turn up at all?
It didn’t cost me anything, so it’s no drama.
There will be so many people there, they won’t miss me.
Oh I am just too tired to get in the car and go to that thing tonight…..next time, I promise.
What just happened there is you’ve denied yourself an opportunity to make a new contact, learn a new skill or get some business you wouldn’t have found any other way.
What you’ve also done is denied the organiser the opportunity to introduce you to that person who’s been so keen to meet you because they’ve never had the chance to get past your gatekeeper.
But the cardinal sin is that you cost that event organiser money and compromised the event and their reputation. They probably catered for you, paid venue hire, advertised it was sold out and told others they couldn’t attend. You may have been one of 20 people who didn’t show for the same reasons as you so there is only ten seats taken – making the event look a bit lame. People think that they won’t attend next time, because they only had nine other people to talk to and none of them were in the right target market.
By not turning up (or not giving adequate notice about your failure to show) you have been really disrespectful of someone who wanted to have you at their event.
Feeling a bit annoyed at this post because I don’t get it? You weren’t feeling well, you got held up at work, you just plain forgot, one of the kids got sick – what is the big deal anyway? Well, it IS a big deal. None of us likes to be stood up by a friend, a colleague, an attendee.
We all work hard and as women in business, we often have to work just that little bit harder to gain acceptance, credibility and a “seat at the table”. We women tend to judge each other far more harshly than men do (a whole other rant to be had!) so we need to ensure that we are just that little bit better than we think we ought to be.
Next time you go to press accept, book, yes or ok, promise yourself you’re going to turn up. That event that you think you just can’t get to could be the one that changes your life, makes you money, or perhaps just makes you laugh.
And if you don’t turn up, make sure you communicate with the event organiser the next day to apologise. Don’t assume its no big deal. That’s just good manners!