Meetings have to start on time.

MeetingKing - Making sure you aren't late for meetings

If they don’t start on time, you are delaying not just yourself, but 5 other people, all with their own busy schedules.


But, even here at MeetingKing, sometimes they don’t.

Sometimes, you find yourself running late for a meeting. But just as there’s certain protocol to follow when organizing a meeting (create an agenda, update participants beforehand, send minutes after the meeting), there’s a ‘running late for a meeting’ protocol.

1. Let people know

Not only is this common courtesy, it also makes sense. If you update the meeting participants, they can change their plans accordingly. Maybe they’ll start discussing subjects that you don’t have to be there for, or they’ll start the meeting and fill you in later.

And don’t update 2 minutes before the meeting is going to start. If you’re late (because you are stuck in traffic, for instance), you know you’re going to be late at least 30 minutes in advance. When you know you’re going to be late – announce it.

2. Don’t rush

This might seem counter-intuitive. I mean, if I’m late for a meeting, I want to get there as quickly as possible, right?

Well, yes and no. Arriving at a meeting out of breath, red-faced and panting is no way to show up. Not only that, but rushing to a meeting could very well lead to accidents, certainly if you’re hurrying to a meeting that’s not in your office, and yes, this has happened to a… err.. friend of mine, in the past.

3. Don’t create a disturbance in the force

When you do get to the meeting, go in, sit down, say hello, and try to catch up. Don’t rush in, waving your hands about dramatically, and complain about how you were late because someone had to help those poor tied up squirrels (unless that actually happened, in which case you can totally brag about it). People are already talking about relevant issues, and stopping and listening to why exactly you are late, and how terrible the traffic was this morning,

4. Meetings can be postponed

If you are so late as to render the meeting meaningless for you, and you follow the MeetingKing credo that people are only invited to meetings when they have something valuable to contribute, then you can postpone the meeting. It really is as simple as that. Of course, I refer you to number (1) Let the people know on time. Don’t wait until the last possible minute and THEN cancel the meeting.

5. Don’t dawdle

As opposed to number (2), which tells you not to rush – don’t walk in 20 minutes late with your low-fat, no cream, soya milk latte held in one hand, casually looking through your messages on your iPhone. No, don’t make a fuss when you walk in, but at least have the decency to look contrite over the fact that you’ve just wasted over an hour’s worth of work for all the people involved, and that their time is just as important as yours.

You can live without your coffee.

6. Don’t be late

Leave 30 minutes early. Get your bag ready the night before. Enter the route into your GPS a week before you need to get there.

It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you are not late. Isn’t that easier?