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Facebook Event Response Rate

I am very intrigued by the numbers of people who respond to event requests which are put up on FB and, I think there are a number of key factors at play which will affect the success of the response rate.

Being an avid musician I frequently receive invitations to various musical events and, these days, those event are often the final year recitals of my musical acquaintances. On Saturday just gone, I received an invitation through Facebook mail to attend my friend Charlie’s final year recital in Belfast. The facts of the invitation are these:

  • The recital is on this coming Wednesday in Queen’s University at 11am.
  • The invitation was created by Charlie’s girlfriend, who would know the majority of her boyfriend’s friends. (By the way, Charlie didn’t know she was contacting these people).
  • There were a total of 40 people invited to the event.
  • There was no specific ‘event’ created on Facebook, it was an actual personal email to the 40 invitees.

The message was sent at 3pm on the Saturday and by 11pm that night there were 11 responses out of the 40 (a response rate of 27.5%). The breakdown of these responses, were as follows:

  • Going – 4 people
  • Maybe – 4 people
  • Can’t go – 3 people

If we assume all those who say they are going are extremely reliable and remain true to their word. Furthermore if we also assume that half of those who say they will “maybe be going” actually go, then, based on these assumptions, we can say 6 people will go.

Now, more factors which should be considered:

Charlie is a popular guy and a very good musician. The people who have been invited to this event like Charlie as a person and rate him highly as a musician. Therefore, I can see no reason why they wouldn’t want to support him.

How good is Charlie at supporting events? If Charlie is good at supporting other people’s endeavors then they in turn are more likely to support him. I would imagine Charlie would be good at supporting other people’s events and would show an interest in them as people. These events could be anything from birthday parties, to other music event.

This is a one off event and the invitees will not be bombarded with future events. Often one might be invited to the same event every week by the same person and it soon becomes a source of annoyance. I believe this actually reduces the value of the invitation and can result in that person becoming less popular. Because this event is a one off, it is not annoying; in fact it is more likely to make the invitee feel flattered to have been invited.

Time and day of recital – Because the recital is on at 11am on a Wednesday, it is not the most convenient time for people to go. People might be working, could be on holidays or maybe they are planning on being hung over on Wednesday morning and the sound of an oboe at 11am is the last thing they want to hear. Perhaps if it was at 7pm on a Friday evening a few more people would be able to attend.

The importance of the event. The majority of the invitees are musicians and would have an appreciation of the work that is involved in putting together a final year recital. However, I think that something more important such as a 21st birthday party or even a marriage celebration would result in an even higher response rate.

People are lazy. I have only taken these stats from the responses which were received on Saturday (ie. within an 8 hour window of the message being sent out). So, while there may be another 3-4 responses on Sunday, the majority of people will not respond. This might not be because they don’t care, it is more likely they are just lazy and can’t be assed responding.

So what’s my point in all of this?

Well I think the success of an invitation to an event is dependent on a number of key factors specific to that person. Firstly, are they a likeable person? Secondly, are they inviting them to something which is of interest to the recipient and is it convenient for them to go? Thirdly, how often does someone invite people to events? Fourthly, how important is the event?

Therefore, I believe the more likeable the person, the more interesting the event, the more convenient the time, the less often the event, and the more important the event, the higher the rate of response will be to that event.

So for Charlie, perhaps if these things were higher that 27.5% response rate might be higher. Similarly if these things were lower that 27.5% response rate would be lower. Interesting huh?