I believe most of us would agree the most precious commodity we have is time.
Why not money? Why not other precious metals? Because they can all be replaced to some degree. Time? Irreplaceable.
And after a little research into time, I found it really interesting but obvious, why there is such a focus on punctuality in the Armed Forces:
In short, being on time is a discipline – one that when transferred into the battlefield, could get people killed if not respected…!
In fact, I found a couple of sources that mentioned it’s expected that you be 15 minutes early. The saying goes, “If you’re not 15 minutes early, you’re 5 minutes late”.
Why it is so important to have your event run on time?
I think this speaks for itself. While we’re not on the battlefield, it’s still important to respect this in business.
Let’s look at an example where you’ve got 50 people attending your event. That’s 50 lives you’re aligning for that presentation. 50 families that need to accommodate for that person to take time out and commit it to you.
And the scary thing? You might actually relate to this…: People remember best the last thing about the experience…
If the last thing they remember is the presentation running over 2o minutes, and they miss their flight as a result, they won’t be impressed.
So here’s some practical things you can do to make your event run to a tee!
Time Booster #1: How to make guests show up on time
It can be a downer to have a handful of guests arrive on time, and there’s still plenty of name tags on the registration table.
This can tempt you to start the event later and delay the kick off, so what can you do to combat this?
1. Start on a non-standard time
My good friend and mentor, Paul Dunn shared this one with me. Start your event at 8:20am instead of 8:30. The result? It somehow seems more real to guests. A specific time like 8:20am stands out way more than “about 8:30”, which in Australian means anywhere between 8:15 and 8:45am.
You might also notice that the airlines don’t schedule flights on the hour, half hour and quarter hour. Have a look and see it’s more like 8:13, 8:16, 8:21 etc…
2. Drum up some noise before the event
There’s nothing better than creating a buzz before the event. Building anticipation among your guests will raise the energy on the day.
And when you’re getting people to register, be sure to grab their mobile number too…
Sounds strange? But a text message the day before and morning of the event, stands out much more than an email.
Along with the text messages, send out an email or two in the weeks leading up to the event.
Some helpful things you can include in these messages are:
– How to get to the venue
– The best parking for the venue
– Suggest that they leave 15 minutes to park and find the venue
– The starting time of the event
– Agenda / run sheet of the event
Just anything that will help your guests on the day!
Time Booster #2: Get your presenters to stay on time
And what about when your speaker (or even if that’s you!) goes well over time?
Be sure to let your speaker know of the time slot they have at the event. Also confirm with them that their presentation will fit nicely in there.
Also be sure to respect their own start time and get them off to a brilliant start. They’ll have their own stresses too – and fitting a 30 minute presentation into 20 minutes because the rest of the event was squeezed would just ramp this up…
Another really effective way for helping the speakers stick to their allotted time is to have bright cards that you flash up at the back of the room that say “15 minutes left”, “5 minutes left” and so on.
A great tip too, should the presenter not be able to make it through everything in time, is to make the notes available to the guests.
Time Booster #3: Budget for your event to run over
What I mean by budget, is to leave space in your agenda for all sorts of things… Here’s a couple of time-vampires to ponder:
– Registration time (30 mins?)
– Introduction (5 mins?)
– Speakers to change over (5 mins?)
– Question time (15 mins?)
– Time for networking with other guests (30 mins?)
– Water or tea breaks (15 mins?)
– Time for the speakers or presenters to go over time (10 mins?)
Also be sure to leave a good half an hour of your set up time before guests arrive.
You need to make sure you’re not testing Audio Visual, setting the stage or chairs up, or anything else once they start arriving.
Rather the best place for you to be is shaking guests hands as they arrive.
And do give us feedback too, with any questions, comments or observations in the comments section below 🙂