The Worst Attendees Ever

Don Juans, prima donnas and others try planners' patience

Nov 2016 NL research opener

Two-thirds of meeting professionals always or often have at least one difficult attendee at their events. The most prevalent "type" is the prima donna. Among the top gripes, ironically, are that the room is too cold (73 percent) and the room is too hot (51 percent). For more comments from respondents, go to

> How often do your meetings have at least one "difficult" attendee?

> Which of the following attendee "types" have been troublesome for you?

> Have you ever had to call security or police to deal with a difficult attendee?

> How would you describe your ability to handle difficult attendees?

> What do  attendees often complain about?

73% Room too cold
56% Food options
51% Room too hot
47% WiFi strength
46% Food quality
42% Not enough free time  
40% Hotel price
32% Hotel rooms
26% WiFi price
24% Meeting location
21% Meeting rooms
21% Traffic
20% Registration fees
19% Session formats
18% Ground transportation  
16% Educational content  
16% Speakers
16% Too much free time
15% Weather
14% Registration process  
14% Signage
13% Airline transportation  
10% Gifts/swag
10% Wait staff
8% Lack of recycling
6% Hangovers
5% Required recycling
11% Other*

Source: M&C Research survey of 102 meeting professionals   
* For verbatim responses to these questions, go to