Help, where did everyone go!?

Having a quiet meet up can be scary, especially after a few months of meetings with a high turnout. Try not to be feel too worried. Your group is probably not fading into non-existence!

Here are several possible reasons why it wasn’t as busy as usual:

  • The weather was too bad, so people wanted to stay in.
  • The weather was too good, so people wanted to stay out!
  • It was too close to Christmas/New Year/Easter/a bank holiday, and people were away, were too tired or didn’t have enough money to come.
  • It happened on the same day as, or a few days from another bi event.
  • It was during the school holidays.
  • There were roadworks or problems with public transport.
  • Some people were ill/busy/feeling lazy/couldn’t find childcare/ had work the next day/didn’t feel the need to come/ didn’t have enough spoons etc. etc.
image

Stock photo of empty tables and chairs.

Chances are if your group usually runs without any problems then this is just a quiet month. They happen from time to time and there’s not much you can do about any of the above. If you think that your next meet up might be a quiet one, you could always bring something like a few board games, or change the format of your event to cater to a lower number.

If you are noticing that your event has become quiet for several months in a row, why not take a look at your current advertising strategy? Is there anywhere new you could promote your event? Could you re-design your flyers and social media sites? Are you displaying the event information clearly enough? Is it easy to find out what’s on when? If your blogs and websites are rarely updated and it’s difficult to find out information, people will soon stop looking and forget about you. If you use sites such as Facebook and Twitter, try to post bi related news, links and resources in addition to any information about events. Give people a reason to revisit and get involved!

Have you been reminding people enough? I hold my pub social on the second Thursday of the month, every month. I find that if I don’t remind people about it a few weeks before, a few days before and on the day of the event only half the people show up!

If you feel you’ve got that side of things sorted, ask around and see how people feel about what you’re organising. Do they enjoy it? Would they like something to change? Does it clash with another event? Do you hold it just before payday; the time of the month when people are least likely to be able to afford to come?  Perhaps your venue is too inaccessible or your event too expensive?

Another thing to consider is that something might have happened that you weren’t aware of, such as a falling out between attendees or an incident of discrimination from an attendee, that has put people off coming back.

If any unacceptable behaviour has occurred, you will need to speak to the relevant person(s) and explain why it wasnt acceptable and that it mustn’t happen again. If it does, you may need to ask them to leave the group. Depending on the incident, telling someone to leave may be your first point of action. Once an incident has been dealt with, you may need to explain to other attendees what action you’ve taken, and invite them to come back to a future event. You might also need to review your group guidelines and  anti- harassment & anti- discrimination policy and make sure it’s visiable on all your sites.

Whatever the reason, I wish you the best of luck in overcoming it!

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