In Autumn last year, the Tea With Strangers London hosts were sat around a table full of food and tea, and contemplating the minds of strangers. We were trying to figure out why people cancel last minute or don’t show, (which, as you can imagine, is disappointing for us!) and also turned our analysis on ourselves as to why we’re sometimes a bit slow to organise teas (which, as you can imagine, is disappointing for our strangers). Since the tools of my trade are research ones, I rolled up my sleeves and a) analysed our participation data, and b) conducted qualitative interviews with some of our hosts and some of our strangers.
The numbers are reasonably small, and the direction of causality of the quantitative analysis is reasonably difficult to interpret but the queries did provide lists of groups of participants by characteristic (including one participant who’d cancelled last minute 17 times!) which made it easier to select participants to interview.
What I learnt most from the interviews is that each host conducts their teas very differently, and it’d be useful for new recruits to co-host (in a “Community-Tea”!) with experienced ones to see the range of approaches and find their unique style. For the full write-up, please click here.