7 Replies Latest reply on Apr 11, 2018 1:23 AM by Siraj Samsudeen

    The 40% Attendance Rule

    William Aubrey

      On Feb 13, 2018, the Charlotte Tableau User Group will have two Tableau Zen Masters speaking.  We're very excited, but as the organizer, I'm nervous that we're going to end up with a standing room only situation; or worse, have to turn people away.  I went back through all of the attendance data to see just how accurate the "40% rule" was and if i had anything to be concerned about.



      Overall, 40% or fewer is a very consistent benchmark for setting ticket counts given your room size and assuming that only 40% of registrants will show up.

        • 1. Re: The 40% Attendance Rule
          Lee Feinberg

          Hey William, one thing I do is email the attendees about a week in advance, and then a few days in advance, with something like this:


          'Very excited for the upcoming event ....  We have a big wait list of folks that want to attend.  If your plans have changed, please open your seat so someone else can jump in (provide the link).'


          Hope this helps.

          • 2. Re: The 40% Attendance Rule
            William Aubrey

            Thanks for your thoughts, Lee!


            I've thought about trying to manage it at a very detailed level like that, but every touch point is more noise for your group members.  The funny thing is that you can depend on the unreliable nature of people.   It turns out that 60% of the people who sign up for your event are always going to have something that stops them from showing up (at least that's what I've seen over the last two years).


            Are you setting your ticket count to exactly the number of seats you have in your room?  The data suggests Ticket Count = Room Size / 0.4.


            It would be interesting to hear if other user group leaders have found this to be a reliable rule.

            • 3. Re: The 40% Attendance Rule
              William Aubrey

              Updated viz with the impact of having of two Tableau Zen Masters as speakers:



              • 4. Re: The 40% Attendance Rule
                Siraj Samsudeen

                Hi William, I am relative new to the User groups - just 2 years and 6 meetings. But your rule is so true . Just finished a meeting yesterday where attendance percentage was about 50%, after doing many detailed things like Lee Feinberg was suggesting. So, from the next TUG meeting onwards, I am gonna take your approach to keep it simple. Thanks for sharing your thoughts...

                • 5. Re: The 40% Attendance Rule
                  William Aubrey

                  Hi Siraj,


                  Glad that this was useful to you.  I think it was Lauren Rogers or her successor, Jordan Scott who taught me this planning trick with the 40% rule. 



                  • 6. Re: The 40% Attendance Rule
                    Lee Feinberg

                    I'm glad you are seeing the 40% rule.  I'm going to track my meetings this year as well.


                    The other thing is that I want to know who isn't coming and taking up someone's slot.


                    The thing I don't have a plan for is dealing with 'repeat no-shows,' like they can't register for the next two meetings.



                    • 7. Re: The 40% Attendance Rule
                      Siraj Samsudeen

                      Hi Lee,


                      I also face the 2 problems you face -

                      1. people who register but don't deregister and hence occupying others's slots and

                      2. people who are repeat no-shows.


                      For the first problem, I have decided to get rid of waiting list and increasing the ticket capacity based on 40% rule - I have done this after a lot of experimentation using waiting list, sending reminders, etc. - at least, this reduces the burden on me in following up. And on the day of attendance, if ever the actual number of attendees exceed hall capacity, I would go for 'first come first serve' (which is a problem that has not happened yet )


                      For the second problem, I wanted to do some data analysis to see who these people and which companies they represent - if I see a pattern, then I can think of some solutions. As of now, cleaning up the attendee list to make meaningful sense of the registration and check-in data is a big task - I plan to use Maestro to some data wrangling when I find time.