As hosts, we can control most everything about our party like the food, the music and the atmosphere, but the one thing we can’t control is the behavior of our guests. With the right invitation list, this could prove disastrous for a host with even the best intentions. How we, as Hosts On The Run, deal with these tricky situations is very important There are six identifiable types of “Good Guests Gone Bad”, and we will cover each one, along with what to do with them, in our 6-part series entitled: “When Good Guests Go Bad”.

In this issue we take a look at The No-Show.

In Shot In The Dark Mysteries‘ 2007 survey of our loyal ezine subscribers, you told us that the no-show guest is the biggest stress factor in hosting a party. In fact, most who listed the no-show guest as a stress also credited this non-committal entity with being the reason they do not host parties at all!

The no-show guest scenario happens one of two ways, the first beginning with an RSVP that they will make it and ending with a strategically-timed phone call. The conversation could continue the following way:

ring ring

Host On The Run: “Hello?”

No Show Guest: “Hello Host On The Run. About tonight – unfortunately I will not be able to make it. Tomorrow morning I have to help my grandmother move her living room furniture to the old folks home, and I can’t find my watch. Without my watch, I won’t know what time I need to leave tonight, so I need to stay close to home so I know what time it is.”

Host On The Run: “You know, we have clocks here – wait, there’s the door, the other guests are arriving, just hold on-“

No Show Guest: “I see your busy. I’ll talk to you next week!”

It’s not necessarily that No Show Guest has something better to do. In fact, most no-shows are well-intentioned when they RSVP, but at the last second just don’t feel like going out.

Fortunately, there are three very effective ways to deal with a potential no-show guest.

1. Don’t Invite Them

The first way is to not invite them at all. Sure, you want them there, but in the case of a murder mystery game, when you need your guests to be reliable for the game to work properly, they can’t be trusted. The side-benefit to this strategy is that No-Show may realize they no longer receive invitations and realize the reason – their unreliability.

2. Bribe Them With Shiny Gifts

The second way to get these guests to show up is with bribery. This may sound ridiculous, but it’s incredibly effective. As you are inviting them, mention that on the evening of the party you will give them their birthday or Christmas present. Alternatively, you could have party favors for your entire guest list, and make sure that you make mention of this upon inviting the no-show.

3. Confront Them

The third method is to speak with the no-show ahead of time and explain to them that you would love to invite the No Show-er, but you need them to show up to keep your murder mystery game balanced, the dinner table in line or the Christmas gift exchange numbers even. Usually, the no-show’s intentions are not mean-spirited and an expression of how truly important they are to the dynamic of the party will make them realize they need to make the gathering a priority.

There are five more “Good Guests Gone Bad” in our 6-part series, including The Surprise Show, The Lush, The Never-Ending Guest, The Can’t-Be-Wrong and The Destructo-Guest, and Shot In The Dark Mysteries has solutions for each and every one of them!

You can watch the videos and read the rest of the articles at the links below:

Part 1: The No-Show Guest Video

Part 2: The Surprise-Show Article

Part 2: The Surprise-Show Video

Part 3: The Lush Article

Part 3: The Lush Video

Part 4: The Never-Ending Guest Article

Part 4: The Never-Ending Guest Video

Part 5: The Can’t-Be-Wrong Article

Part 5: The Can’t-Be-Wrong Video

Part 6: The Destructo-Guest Article

Part 6: The Destructo-Guest Video