There is nothing worse than (effectively) asking people – students, training participants, conference delegates, etc – to wait for the official start to your class or program.
Some people will arrive ‘on time,’ but by far the largest majority of your group will arrive before or after the prescribed start time.
Short of locking people out, there’s not much you can do about late-comers (actually, there is, but I’ll visit these ideas another time…)
But, there IS a massive benefit to actively occupying the early ones. Not only will a series of optional ‘arrival’ activities invite the early-birds to interact, feel comfortable and have fun, but this energy will be a powerful magnet for others to make an effort to arrive earlier next time.
The attitude of teachers or program providers or conference organisers who choose to delay the ‘official’ start drives me crazy, and is simply a poor excuse (in my humble opinion) of not knowing what else to do.
Imagine … if your next event, class, or conference could create an expectation of “What are we going to do next?” rather than “Oh no, not this again.”
Which would you rather? The former, of course, because this experience would be remarkable, ie worth remarking about.
Sadly, too often in my personal experience as a participant, I get the latter.
My argument is – doesn’t have to be that way. Indeed, there are many reasons why it shouldn’t. I refer to this concept as the ‘unofficial start’ – you can learn more about this programmatic gem by clicking here.