I’m making a case for meetings and events starting on time. Join the conversation.

I’m casting my vote for meetings and events that start on time. Yes, even on Maui. Not doing so disrespects the people that got there on time and endorses being late and causes the meetings to run long. Why should many people wait for the last 1 or 2?

All our time is valuable, not just that of the late arriver. The person that waits to start the meeting for that last person is thinking more about that person than all the people that made the effort to arrive on time and are ready to begin. In other words, why should your start time depend on the people that aren’t there instead of the people that are there? Plan to start the agenda with a non critical item if you have to.

If the event is a business presentation, it doesn’t even make good business sense or reflect common courtesy to do that. Perhaps you are using your event to prospect for new business. You aren’t making a good first impression on all those people waiting patiently in their seats. Also, who do you want for a new client? The one that is on time or the one that is late?

And if you are the one running the meeting, please don’t take everybody’s time to repeat material for someone that arrives late. This supports late arrival and will also cause the meeting to run late. 

If you are running late to get to a meeting, do you expect that the others will be waiting for you to arrive before starting? I know I don’t. I slip in sheepishly and expect to get caught up on the material later, not on everybody else’s time.

And sometimes this means you have to plan to arrive places a few minutes early so you’ll be on time. Ever notice how nice that pre meeting, unhurried, ‘catch up with your friends’ time can be?

Some people are hearing this as saying they should arrive on time to meetings. Not necessarily. Arrive when you want. This is only about the starting time of the meeting, not people’s arrival times.

If you want to share your thoughts about this, please post a comment.

BTW, if I’m ever late, please start without me. I would expect no less.

Maury King


July 31, 2009 at 3:55 am 6 comments


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