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Yakov Fain

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No shows on the free webinars

Yesterday, I was a No Show at one of the FREE webinars that I registered for. To be honest with you, even when I was registering for this event two weeks ago, I was not sure if I’d be able to attend due to potential scheduling conflicts. I was thinking to myself, “I’m interested in this topic, and if it will be video recorded, the organizers will send the link to the video to all people who registered”. The organizers sent me a reminder a day before the event and the URL for attending right before the event.

Needless to say that one of my meetings at work ran longer than expected and I didn’t attend the webinar. This is not the first time I was a No Show.

Now let’s look at it from the other side of the fence. Periodically, I run free webinars myself, and I noticed the same thing – only a fraction of the registered participants would actually attend the event. For such webinars, I use a paid GoToMeeting subscription that allows up to 50 participants to attend.

So I decided to monitor the numbers to decide at what number of registrants should I close RSVPs. I started closing RSVPs when 55 people would register. About 20 would actually show up. Then I kept increasing the number of allowed RSVPs, and today I believe that with my 50-participant subscription, I can close RSVP when the number of registrants is anywhere between 100 and 150, in other words, 2 to 3 times more than available seats.

I’m not blaming anyone, and I’m not apologizing for my own no shows. It is what it is. On the other hand, I almost never had cancellations or no shows in the events I charged for. Money talks!

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Yakov Fain is a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay. He wrote a thousand blogs ( and several books about software development. Yakov authored and co-authored such books as "Angular 2 Development with TypeScript", "Java 24-Hour Trainer", and "Enterprise Web Development". His Twitter tag is @yfain