Post Con

Cutting Down on No-Shows

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners began charging a nominal fee for an annual luncheon — and cut down on no-shows and food waste.


Event Details

Nov. 13–16, 2016
La Quinta Resort and Club La Quinta, California


This was the 128th Annual Meeting of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), which brings 1,200-plus federal-utility staff members and com-missioners together with consumer advocates, lobbyists, and nonprofit representatives.


The La Quinta Resort and Club, outside Palm Springs, is a sprawling property—it has 41 pools, for example—that sits far from a major airport. (Read our Pre Con profile here.) To keep attendees on site until NARUC 2016 closed, Director of Meetings Michelle A. Malloy, CMP, CAE, moved up the last day’s start time from 9 to 8:30 a.m., so the program could wrap by 11 a.m. She also corralled luggage into a baggage-holding area outside of the closing general session, so attendees could make a quick getaway to catch their flights home. “We had a very strong showing our last day,” Malloy said.


NARUC has suffered persistent no-shows for the volunteer leadership’s Installation Luncheon. To combat that, Malloy instituted a nominal fee of $45. The result? “Last year, out of 890 [who said they’d come], we guaranteed 600, and 470 showed up,” Malloy said. “This year, 530 said they were coming, I had 450 guarantees, and 400 showed up. It was less wasted food, less money, and the big thing was not having the stress of worrying about a lot of guarantees not showing up.” 


Corin Hirsch

Corin Hirsch is a writer who specializes in food and drink.