What to Do When No One Shows

Planning ahead can ensure that you're not the only one who shows up for the meeting.

Have you ever held a small-group meeting where no one showed up? Rather than feeling resentment, try these steps to help avoid this situation in the future.

Develop a core group. Include a leader, apprentice leader, and a host or hostess (any of these roles could be held by couples). The core leadership group is expected to be at every meeting. Also, if you are hosting the meeting at someone else's home, you are guaranteed of at least one other person being there!

Invite more than you expect to come. If you want the group to consist of about 10 people, invite about 20. Fewer people will attend than you invite. That's a rule. (Of course, rules are made to be broken, and if this one is, what a good problem to have!)

Be sure the time and place are convenient. If the meeting is too early in the evening, for instance, some people may be so rushed after work that they can't make it on time or at all. If it is too late, they may not come because they need to get up early in the morning. If you or the host live too far away from the others you've invited, they're less likely to come. Make it as easy as possible for those you've invited to attend.

Plan for the little things and little ones. Think through all the reasons a person might find it difficult to attend. For instance, does someone need transportation?

Child care is another big issue. Do people know where their children will be and what they will be doing during the meeting? Lack of child care may be one of the biggest reasons some people do not attend small-group meetings.

Be certain participants have not been unintentionally offended in a previous meeting. Sometimes people do not come back because of something said in a meeting, or because of the way they perceived others reacting ...

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