Let’s just say you are hosting an event. You walk into the room and your speaker is already there as well as several attendees. If this is 30 minutes before your event, no problem. But what if it is FIVE minutes before your event?
I bring this up because this has happened to me a number of times lately. Either I was the speaker or I was an attendee who got to spend a great deal of time with the speaker because the organizer didn’t show up early. For the one the organizer got there right before it started and the other he arrived on time but then had to get coffee, etc. so we didn’t start on time. So what did they communicate?
In both cases someone sitting near me said, “I’ll have to remember this the next time I’m rushing to get here”. Great. Now at the next meeting of this group someone else isn’t going to show up on time. In one meeting someone took the initiative to make sure everyone was introduced and had a short discussion on why they were there. When the organizer sat down, she was already behind and everyone looked to the guy who had introduced them to run the meeting. Loss of respect was NOT what she was going for at that meeting!
So what should have happened? If you are in charge, get there early. That isn’t a big deal, just schedule the meeting 30 minutes earlier in your calendar. Next, have a plan for what happens when people get there. Will they sign in, will they be introduced to someone, etc. Finally, be sure you own the meeting and run it. Clearly people came when you called, so they already have a reason to listen. Be sure to make it worth their while so they will come back the next time.