Why didn’t the 40 people you invited to your meeting show up? This happens more often than we’d like to think. People are busy. They forget. Or there’s a show on TV that they don’t want to miss. What’s important is that they may not understand that they were asked to come because they are needed. They can add value. It’s up to the organizer to get that message across.
Publicizing the event by putting up posters, sending e-mails, handing out flyers, or mailing invitations—even having members of the clergy encourage parishioners to attend—is important and raises awareness. However, in our experience, the most effective way to get people to attend a meeting is to issue a personal invitation. Face-to-face is best; a phone call often works.
You don’t have to do it all by yourself. Ask people who have personal relationships with the people you’re inviting to help you out. Aren’t you more likely to go to a meeting or event if a friend calls you and says it’s important for you to be there?
We recommend that you try a combination of these strategies. If you issue written invitations, be sure to follow up with a personal call or a visit to say, “We need your help. If you come, you can make a difference.”
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