Attendance Number Disapointment - Page 2
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  1. #11

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    I think some people just have problems relating to invites and parties.
    I made a themed birthday party this year, sending invitations two months prior just to be sure that everyone would be free. Of course some people could not tell me if they could come or not (I'm talking about close friends. I chose the date to accomodate everyone!) and I got very mad because we are all friends and we rarely get to met each other alltogether so...

    Everyone gave you AWESOME tips. Mine is... don't get too mad.
    Some people are JUST RUDE.
    Or don't care. Nobody likes themed parties in my circle of friends

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  3. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    San Diego, California
    Posts
    753

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    What is the age range for your crowd? I hate to say it, but if you're in the "everyone is a parent with young children age" (like we are) you are probably in for a few rough years of low RSVPs. People are so reluctant to get a babysitter these days! Once the kids are old enough to stay home by themselves I imagine we'll have a higher attendance rate in the future. I agree with the suggestion that you may want to send out your invites a little later. I usually do a "Save the Date" invite in August followed by a real invite a month out.

  4. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    San Diego, California
    Posts
    753

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    I love the idea of a Facebook page for the party! I will be trying this out next year.

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  6. #14

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    Try to not get to discouraged just yet. We had our party last weekend. I always do a face book invite early we already do it early in the month because another one of our friends does a big party right at halloween. We had 14 people rsvp... Including the plus ones. Really I was still kinda happy since these are the people that I really enjoy. The night of the party we had about 35 show. What did I learn? People hate to RSVP.... We had an awesome time, and the people that came were all really happy and impressed by the place. And everyone kept asking about the theme for next year... So now I kinda have to outdo myself next year...
    Was it fun? Yes. Would it have been fun with only the 14? Yes.

    Enjoy it, and if you are going to do prizes advertise it! Competition seems to be much enjoyed!

  7. #15

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    Nine is enough for a great party! Dim the lights to make it cozy, and play music to create ambiance. With less people coming, maybe you can offer one specialty cocktail. Take photos of the great costumes, and create excitement for next year's party!

  8. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    42

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    Our party is tomorrow and I'm getting disappointed with the attendance also. I have many friends as hunters and this year hunting season has changed and is limited so, many are still going out moose hunting and won't be coming. I invited 24 people and now we are down to 9 including us. The other years have always been a success. Now I'm wondering what to do.
    It's scary time.

  9. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Largo, Florida
    Posts
    1,166

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    I get aggravated with people who cannot be bothered to rsvp. I always ask people to email an rsvp so they don't have to tell me no in person if they are uncomfortable doing so. People don't seem to understand that we just want to know one way or the other! This year I had numerous people who usually come to my party not rsvp this year, I don't know why. People who do this to me twice get removed from the guest list. Having said that, remember it is your first year and you will get good word of mouth and will have more interest next year. Also, we have to remember that not everyone takes Halloween as seriously as we do!

  10. #18

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    We had a low turnout a few years ago too, here are some of the things we've tried/noticed helping get our attendance up:

    1.Invite early/remind often
    We send a paper invitation at the beginning of September, usually to about 50 people. We then set up a Facebook event about two weeks after that, where we invite around 100 total. On the event page we post occasional updates and some teaser pictures to get people excited.

    2. Consistency
    This year was our sixth annual party, and we have a solid 15ish that we can count on being here for sure. Where my wife works it's the party that everyone goes to and gets excited about well before hand.

    3. Model it after a wedding.
    It seems like odd advice, but we started thinking of it like a big wedding reception and it helped a lot. We advertise to invitees that there will be a specific menu (Hawaiian BBQ last year, pulled pork this year) specific themed drinks, dancing, karaoke, a photo booth, games, etc. Stuff we associated with big fun weddings. If people know they will be fed, drunk, and dancing, they know it will be fun.

    4. Don't shame or punish those who can't make it.
    We used to think it was fun/funny to give the people a hard time who RSVP that they can't make it, or who just never respond. But ultimately it's a party and we're all here to have fun. People who don't come aren't likely to feel inclined to come next year if you made them feel bad.

    5. Theme your party.
    We just started themes last year. It was simple, a red/black gothic theme, but the consistency in the visual stuff got people excited. The pictures that appear on the invitation are also on the Facebook event, in the decorations, and in the teaser images we post in the days leading up to the party. This year we went more specific with a witches and wizards theme, relying heavily on Harry Potter and Blair Witch, and people got really excited, like this was an event they couldn't replicate anywhere else. (It should be noted that I am a digital artist by trade, so making consistent graphics and decorations are a bit easier for me.)

    6. Don't be picky; invite everyone you think will have fun.
    We didn't invite family members for several years. We were in our early 20s and maybe didn't want Aunts and Uncles seeing us drunk. When we got over that we found our family appreciated being invited, even if they weren't all able to make it. There is something kind of nice about having a curated guest list, but after a few drinks you will just wish everyone was there.

    I hope these are helpful! We focused heavy on #3 after only having about 10 people in 2014. Last year we counted at least 50, this year we were around 35. I don't know how big you're shooting for, but this is what has worked for us.

  11. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    528

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    There's a lot of good advice already given, so I'll just add my two cents.

    This was the 3rd year we had a Halloween party and it was the biggest yet, but not by much. The previous two years, I think we had about 60-65 people attend, but this year we had about 80. Half of the people were kids (under 21) and I think this is part of why we had a big turnout. As someone already mentioned, babysitters are expensive and most people seem to enjoy bringing their entire family.

    We're not a young couple and our list of friends, family, and acquaintance is long. I think we invited about 125 people, which translates into, at least, 250-300 with the +1's. And yet, we only had 80 or so. Some people went to a concert, some had other parties, some just didn't bother to show - but most of who didn't show never bothered to RSVP. When we would see or talk to people, we'd politely encourage them to RSVP, telling them it helps us know how many people to plan for. We don't expect everyone to show up, and in fact, we couldn't easily handle much over 100 in our house, as it would get pretty crowded (even though most of the seating is in the backyard).

    Our HW party is a costume party and we ask people to being a snack to share. We also let them know we will provide some drinks, but feel free to bring their own "spirits" with them. The first year, we had a lot of creative food and our entire kitchen was filled. Last year, it seemed most people elected to either bring alcohol or some pre-made food tray. To counter that this year, we added a new award category of "Spookiest Snack."

    Which is another thing we advertise: Awards. Best Adult Costume, Best Child Costume, Most Creative, Scariest, and Spookiest Snack. Adding the snack award worked, and we got a lot of food again that people took time to make. It really makes the difference in the "party appeal." We have custom awards made up at the local trophy shop, they're like $8 or so to get made, but people like getting awards, so it really gets people to work on their costumes.

    The first year, no one knew what to expect. We really hyper-decorated the house and people were thrilled. Then we did it again last year and again this year. People are now starting to look forward to our costume party, and the costumes this year were really good. When we announced the winners, every one was excited to hear the results.

    So, even though this is only the first party, if it was good, people will talk and word will spread and you might have a better turnout next year. My wife and I figured it would take about 5 years for our costume party to catch on, so we were thrilled when this year turned out so well.

  12. #20

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    I agree with Kwll2112, it might take a few parties before more guests become interested.

    We've been hosting parties for a few years now and we've seen attendance grow every year. First party we had maybe 6 people, the year after around 10-12 people, the year after that 16-18 people, and this year we had a little over 30. Word of mouth seems to be the winner for us. The friends that have been coming to our annual parties hyped up our party so much that their friends wanted to come as well

    The tricky part for us is trying to top the last party so that nobody gets bored of stuff they saw last year. We just had our party on Saturday and we were very pleased with everybody's reactions which means we'll likely get an even bigger crowd next time around.

    We also avoid themed parties. It's hard enough to get some people to wear a costume as it is, there's no need to force it down their throats :P

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