Imagine you’re 10 years old, it’s your birthday, and you don’t quite know how many of your friends will come to your party

There’s always a bit of fuss about who’s coming to your event, but when you’re ten it’s probably because you want to know who’ll you’ll be able to play with. These days it’s for more practical reasons:

You want to make sure that the venue you’ve chosen is an appropriate size for the number of attendees

You need to confirm catering requirements with the kitchen

You need to budget.


Just what you want to hear: Not everyone who RSVP’s will make it

And the percentage of no-shows depends on the type of event you’re organising, and when it is. Do you want to know how many people will actually show up at my event?

Great, but how does that help you prepare and know what percentage of guests attend a party? Try these rules of thumb:


For any event

  • Expect 10% of people who have RSVP’d not to show up.


For a weekday corporate event

  • Plan for 15% no shows
  • Plan for another 10% to visit briefly and then leave


For free events

  • 20% of people who have RSVP’d won’t show up
  • Another 10% will visit briefly


What’s your experience? Would you agree with these rules of thumb?