Event Etiquette

Sarahs published some guidelines for event etiquette. I have to say I quite like these guidelines and will be publishing them to the geekdinner website in the near future too.

Event Etiquette for Attendees

  1. When attendees sign up, put the details for the event in your diaries and ensure that the date & time is kept available for the event.
  2. If something comes up that clashes with the event, make sure you un-register for the event as your place can go to someone else that does want to attend the event. (this is very important when events are over subscribed)
  3. If something comes up last minute that can't be helped, apologize for not being able to make it to the organizers. (It lets them know that you do actually care that you missed the event and often the organizers can give info about what happened at the event if you missed it and this is the case. No apologies shows lack of care or support for the events and disrespect for those on the waiting lists.)
  4. Give feedback on the events that you attend. This helps make the events better for each subsequent event. You shape how you want your events to be run! (Feedback should be positive, negative and things that should be kept as they are.)
  5. If you think you could help to make an event better in some way then offer your advice, help and support. (especially with community run events, any help is always appreciated)
  6. If you see something wrong (like no glasses for water) don't complain about it, find a solution (or at least help to find a solution) and do let the organizers know.

Event Etiquette for Organizers

  1. Organizers should send out reminders prior to the events reminding attendees of the details of the event including maps, dates, times etc.
  2. Organizers should ensure that attendees know what they are signing up for. No hidden agendas.
  3. Where possible the un-registration for events should be kept as simple as possible.
  4. Changes to the event details should be highlighted and given to attendees as soon as possible.
  5. Announcements of events should be in a timely manner giving people time to arrange their schedules around the events where possible.
  6. Organizers should be able to be contacted by attendees with any questions and queries about the events. (these should not be ignored)

Don't get me wrong, I'm terrible for saying I'm going to be at a event then something else comes up. For example I was meant to be at Wikiwednesday today, but instead I'm on a train to Swansea due to work commitments. I do try my best.

But back to Sarahs guidelines. Geekdinners has moved from commenting in a blog post to using upcoming.org for a signal of how many people are coming. This has the advantage of people being able to change there mind and take themselves off the list. But it has the disadvantage of requiring people to sign in using a Yahoo ID now. This is a real problem and hence why I still check the comments in the blog post just in case someone rejects using upcoming.org.

This is all fine but for example the last event we did had about 30+ people signed up via upcoming, blog comments and emails. But we had almost half as many people actually come, so guess who had to pay for those people who didn't turn up? Yes moi.

So actually before the guidelines were up, I have been thinking about setting up a email list for geekdinners. This has advantages on both sides and to be honest, the geekdinner community is very adhoc right now which is fine but a shame sometimes. For example Tom Morris posted up a question a while back for the geek community. That was the only way to get in touch with the community really.

So yes as promised a while back, theres changes a foot, so look out…. and don't forget your event etiquette.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.