A week ago now, Jenett wrote a good post about seeker responsibility and follow-through, discussing interested seekers who disappear, either by never showing on their first meeting or failing to follow through on later RSVPs. Back when I was trying to do any sort of local Pagan networking I did run into occasional no-shows myself when someone would want to meet one-on-one before coming to the coffee-shop get-togethers.
Now, ADF orients itself toward open events, so I do not frequently try to meet people one-on-one these days. At the same time, not everyone who says they will come shows up. I’ve occasionally learned mild tolerance for PST is useful (which is why I announce the start of the pre-ritual briefing; if you show up late, you wind up a bit more clueless about what is happening) — but it can be easy to delay too long because there were five more people who said they were coming, but haven’t shown up yet, and then don’t. I sometimes forget that delaying for stragglers only encourages the behavior.
As Jenett points out, the reasons why vary widely — you can come up with many reasons they didn’t show, and it’s not worth worrying about except in terms of keeping a person’s reliability in mind for the long run.
At the same time, some possibilities can be minimized. One possible Beltane attendee got lost along the way to the site. There wasn’t any cell phone reception around the Beltane site due to the local hills, so a cell phone call for directions would have been useless. One thing I’ve been contemplating is building some folding sandwich-board signs with a large “ADF”, an arrow, and perhaps a logo as well that can be placed to point the way on the last two or three turns.