You meticulously curated your trip and clicked ‘Publish’. You wait excitedly for travel buddies to join. But the weeks go by and only 1 person signs up. You message that person and they don’t even answer your message.
First of all: Take a deep breath …relax! This happens to all of us occasionally, no matter whether we’re just starting out, or are experienced Champions.
Next, read our 11 proven tactics that will help you in getting those RSVPs:
- Develop the right attitude
- Engage your RSVPs
- Build your reputation
- Do not aim for perfect
- Promote your trip for free
- Start small
- Filter out unresponsive RSVPs
- Improve your post
- Post multiple trips
- Ask for help
Read on to learn about each technique.
1. Develop the right attitude
A true story: When Lee Ling and Georgina created their first post -a trip to KL- hardly anyone RSVPed. Initially, they were disappointed. But then they realized that maybe what they offered just wasn’t what the community wanted. And they became curious: What DID the community want? They thought: Hmm, maybe people are into more adventurous trips, just like ourselves. So they posted a rafting trip. Again almost no one RSVPed. No longer discouraged, this only made them more curious: Hmm, maybe this one was a tad too adventurous and people are more into short&quirky trips? So they posted a walking tour in Singapore where according to their post you’ll be covered in mud up to your calves. They posted and left for lunch. After they came back from lunch they didn’t trust their eyes: 4 people had signed up within just 1 hour! They knew they had hit a nerve. At the actual event, over 50 people showed up, and it marked the start of 3PlayGrounds.
The bottom line: Do not expect to hit the jackpot with your 1st post! Do not feel like the community is rejecting YOU! Instead, aim to work like a detective on a mission to find out what the community is interested in! Be curious! Experiment!
2. Engage your RSVPs
Typically weeks or months go by between user Jane’s RSVP and your confirmation: “Yay, the trip is realized”. Your biggest mistake: Not engaging with Jane during that time, assuming she is a sure participant.
In that case, Jane, not having heard back, will tell you she has already made other plans for these dates now. And if she hasn’t, her initial excitement from reading your trip description will have waned by then. She will also not have built enough trust with you, a stranger, to actually commit to your trip. So, in all likelihood, Jane is out.
Here is what you should do:
Right after Jane RSVP’ed, thank her for her RSVP. This way she will know that the trip and yourself are “for real”. Over the following weeks, keep engaging your RSVP group using 3PlayGrounds group messages: Update the group on the participants numbers, tell the group why you love this destination, mention updates to the itinerary, things to bring, a link to a National Geographic article about the destination, etc. .
This way Jane will be all fired up so that, when the time comes, she is ready to actually commit to your trip.
3. Build your reputation
Committing to a trip with a stranger is no small deal. How can Jane know that she can trust you with her precious vacation time?
- By reading your “About me” on 3PlayGrounds
- By looking up your 3PlayGrounds rating and previous trips
- By getting to know you in person
How you can score in each of these areas?
- Fill in the “About me (long)” text in your profile: Aim to write one screen page of text about yourself, why you do what you do, how long you have been doing it etc. . Make sure to add pictures of past trips.
- For experienced Champions: Ensure that your average rating is at least 3.5 stars, ideally higher. For first-time Champions, no rating will be available yet, so make sure you work on points a) and c) all the more.
- Attend our monthly Meet&Share session, where we get together as a community to have dinner and chat about travelling the globe. In our experience, hard-selling your trips there is less effective than easygoing casual chats, where you can mention that you are going on this trip next. Also attend one of our free events, which have typically 50 to 150 participants, and likewise engage with users there.
4. Do not aim for perfect
To test for interest, it is not necessary to plan out your trip up to the finest details. The reason for this is that if the trip doesn’t materialize, your extra effort will be lost. Instead, for your first post, leave out the finer details of the itinerary. You still have plenty of time to plan in detail once you have some RSVPs to prove that there is interest in this trip.
Socialize with the community: Go to free events or attend our monthly meet&share. Engage, chat, have fun, and talk about your upcoming trip – do not hard-sell though (it tends to turn people off).
6. Promote your trip for free
3PlayGrounds provides you with a link to your adventure – use it to your advantage! Tell your friends to share the link with their friends on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. It’s the fastest way to reach a large audience
7. Start small
Did you know that someone who has joined a half-day or one-day local event with you is several times more likely to commit to a long-distance trip with you later?
If we think about it, this only makes sense, as everyone prefers to “try before they buy.”
Some more stats: A free trip attracts up to 10 times more participants than a paid trip. A 2-day weekend trip attracts 5 to 6 times more participants than a 10-day or more trip.
This also makes sense: Short, low-cost trips require a smaller commitment in terms of cost and previous vacation time.
This is not to say you do post long trips, not at all: Long long-distance trips are awesome!
Here is how above can help you obtain RSVPs for your long-distance trip:
Say, you want to climb Kilimandjaro. Consider posting smaller climbs in the neighborhood first. Start with a 2h walk up Bukit Timah. Then do a couple of one or two day trips to the Malaysian mountains .
This way your participants will build trust in committing to that Kili climb with you (and besides, you learn valuable organizer skills in each trip).
8. Filter out unresponsive RSVPs
Jane RSVPs but doesn’t respond to any of your messages. Instead the waitlist keeps getting longer and longer. What to do? We suggest to message Jane three times. If she doesn’t respond to any message, then use one of these two options:
- unRSVP her by using the button underneath her name in the RSVP list. Send her a nice message saying that you tried to contact her a few times but eventually had to open up the spot as there are many people on the waitlist, but that you’ll be happy to have her on board if she responds right away.
- increase the max group size of the event.
9. Improve your post
Improve your trip post by following our 5 golden rules for trip postings.
10. Post multiple trips
If RSVPs are not coming in, formulate a hypothesis: Was your trip too expensive? Using up too much vacation time? Too much ON-the-beaten-track? Too extreme? Once you have a hypothesis, test it: For above examples, post a trip that is cheaper / shorter/ more off-the-beaten-track / less extreme, etc. . See what happens. Most likely, after a few posts, you’ll see something is working.
11. Ask us!
Our team, Lee Ling, Georgina, and Britta, are always here to help. Message us for tips&tricks!