Focus groups are not like jury duty where you are required to go.  A focus group is completely voluntary and optional.  If contacted to participate in a focus group, you have the option of accepting or declining the invitation.  Sometimes people are unable to attend due to work scheduling or a prior commitment on the date and time the focus group is meant to be held.  Commonly, people do not show up on the day of the focus group whether it be they simply forgot about it or something came up and they were unable to attend.

Focus group facilities don’t know what types of requests will be coming in from day to day and therefore do not know who to contact to participate in focus groups.  You, as the participant, sign up to be able to be contacted to participate in the focus group.  This is usually done by going to the focus facility’s website and filling out a questionnaire. It is important that while filling out this questionnaire you be completely honest.  For example, it would not make sense to say you shop at a certain store when you don’t.  Clients may want participants who don’t shop at that store.  It is hard to tell what the clients will be looking for.  There is no cost to signing up for focus groups.  In this sense, it is that the focus group is voluntary.  You, as the participant, signed up to be contacted to participate and it is up to you whether or not to accept the invitation.