I am organizing a small workshop which is over subscribed. We will have to reject a few applications. The worst applicants are easy to spot, but there are a few borderline cases, and I'm afraid that a few unfair decisions will necessarily have to be made.
To minimize the damage, I would like to know how many of the registered participants who we accept will actually show up, so that if I am aiming at X actual participants, could I safely accept X + dX?
I have noticed that several name tags always are left unclaimed at small meetings, because of people not showing up. I would like to know how to estimate how many people I can expect not to show up.
I am looking for answers from people who have organized (preferably small) meetings and have first-hand knowledge about the typical numbers.
So the week of the workshop came and I can give you attendance numbers. It is good that I didn't overbook since we got 100% attendance (49/49 registered participants). This is despite the event being free of charge (some people suggested the attendance would be lower for free events). Some of the things that we did that may have helped secure such good numbers are thorough screening of applications and asking for confirmation upon acceptance of the applicant. For instance, we weeded out a few applicants who were unlikely to show up unless we paid for their travelling and a couple of accepted applicants told us that they would not be able to attend, a couple of months in advance of the workshop.