Some of us always arrive at a conference early. Perhaps we are worried about traffic, finding a new location, or getting the best seat. Others arrive at the last moment (or later) to avoid mingling, because of poor planning or a traffic jam.
Facilitators are left to decide whether to start on time and honor those early arrivers, or be more realistic and wait until everyone has arrived. What’s the best approach?
Starting on time should always be the goal. Stick to this if 80% of your audience has arrived. If there are still dozens of empty seats, start up to 4 minutes late – but no later! Those that arrive on time will tolerate a few minute delay, but may be frustrated with a longer postponement. They deserve to receive all the information you have planned for your time together.
TIP – Before the session starts, place reserved signs on one or two back tables. The late arrivals can then be directed to these seats so that they don’t disrupt the rest of the group.
For more tips, check out Caffeinated Learning: How to Design and Conduct Rich, Robust Professional Learning, available here or on Amazon and in iBooks.
For even more ideas...
Anne Beninghof is passionate about teaching and learning.
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