Répondez s’il vous plaît! – RSVP

R.S.V.P. is derived from the French phrase répondez s’il vous plaît, meaning “Please respond.” It doesn’t mean, respond if you feel like it, or take your sweet loving time and maybe respond if you’re bored. It simply means, please respond. So why haven’t you?

Each week I deal with a new set of RSVPs for Meetup events. Years ago I added it as part of the rules of membership for my groups that all members respond when an event is posted. Unfortunately, less than 50% do, and after years of this, it’s hard for me to muster the effort to push much for people to participate.

I penalize them if they RSVP with a Yes and fail to attend without any communication up to 24 hours AFTER the Meetup event has occurred. I have yet to do anything regarding those who simply disregard the requirement to RSVP at all. I do send reminder emails to those who have not responded, but that’s about all.

There’s also a “penalty” if people attend without submitting a Yes RSVP for the event.  They have to sing, tell a joke, tell a story, but do something that will entertain the Meetup group for a couple of minutes. People rarely do this, and some members have done it intentionally to do something silly, clowns that they are.

Chris sees my utter frustration when I’m uncertain how many people to plan for with regards to reserving seating, location space, obtaining supplies, dealing with a caterer, or personally providing food for whichever event this is for.

He’s witnessed me go through this process time and time again with Meetups, large scale parties, and classes that I teach. It’s frustrating when people essentially ignore the request until the last minute and think that it’s acceptable.

Worse yet, they’ve had a month to ponder the request and call the day of. When the host is likely busy and rushing around putting everything together for a big event, they choose to call an hour beforehand looking for directions (to a place they’ve likely been a number of times) or asking for a food suggestion for the potluck. When I host events I’m thorough. All of that information is already posted on the website to which they need to RSVP. In fact, it was likely up there all month, but they not only never bothered to respond, they didn’t even bother to look at the post,read my email with any pertinent details, and waited to call me directly instead… one hour beforehand.

Well, finally, he has come to see exactly how frustrating all of this can be, first-hand, with our Wedding Shower and Civil Ceremony invitations.

It sucks!

Often, the people who are the last to respond, the least considerate with last minute phone calls demanding attention in a time when you’re deep into pulling everything together, are the ones who never host events of this nature. They tend to have zero clue and understanding exactly how much work it takes to put an event together.

An example, thus far the RSVP deadline for the Wedding Shower (not quite as big as the wedding) is this Saturday and we’ve only heard back from a handful of people. My own father hadn’t RSVPed yet! Granted, he’s been a bit distracted and often out of town. I asked him directly and added his response to the spreadsheet. But technically he should have contacted the person actually hosting the event. Oh well.

I’m not sure how stressed I will or will not be regarding next year’s BIG wedding event. We’re talking about 260 people (I’m constantly remembering people I need to add to the list) and getting them to respond.

*deep breath*

So please, if you received an email, an Evite, or an actual mailed paper invitation, do your host the courtesy of responding, preferably sooner than later.

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