Febuary 27, 2018

Trotro versus Jet Plane

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You put together an event, any event. It could be an auction, conference, dinner, inauguration, launch, party, wedding or workshop. A time is set for the function and what happens? 80% of the time, the function starts late and it's not always the fault of tardy guests.

I once attended a graduation which was delayed because the event manager insisted on waiting for the keynote speaker. And guess what? The graduation ended and we were still expecting the speaker to make an appearance.

I remember hosting an end-of-year dinner. The manager of this event refused to delay proceedings. At 7PM when we began, only 50 of the 150 invited guests were seated. Two hours later when we were wrapping up, in strolled an immaculately dressed couple who had probably calculated that the function would start late in the usual Ghanaian fashion. Wrong move. I watched as the lady and gentleman occupied an abandoned table for 20 minutes before heading to the buffet table to make do with the miserable remains of what had been a fabulous feast. My unsolicited and unspoken advice? "Next time, come early!"

How can you get your event to consistently start on time? Maybe it's all in your mind. Take a moment to describe your ideal event as if it were a vehicle. Would it be a trotro, those rickety buses that serve as public transportation in Ghana, or a jet plane?

Trotros generally take off only when the bus is full whereas jet planes follow a schedule. A trotro driver will only leave the terminal when his bus is packed whereas a pilot will take off without wasting the time of the early birds and without waiting for latecomers

What’s your approach to managing your events? Do you have a trotro or jet plane mentality?