Fiercely Protecting Your Audience's Time

Events are challenging to run - there are a lot of moving parts, and unexpected things to manage all the time. One thing that is often overlooked is the audience's time.

It's a big deal that your audience decides to show up to your event. They did so because you promised the delivery of something (maybe you brought on a great speaker, chose a great topic or provided value or opportunity that the community craves). In doing so, they decided to give up their time (and also their attention).

Nobody has unlimited time, and how people choose to use their time is a difficult task in itself (whether it is choosing to watch another episode on Netflix, read another book or even take night courses). When people decide to go to your event, they're also choosing not to do something else. It's therefore essential that you use this time with intention.

Far too often events (especially in Hong Kong) are just a person (or a panel) speaking for 40-60 minutes with no clear structure, topic or direction. Speakers ramble on, and while some parts are interesting, most of the talk is off-topic and irrelevant.

For the audience, it's wasted time. Even if the event is free, the time wasted might not have been worth it.

This is why when we work on events, we spend the most time thinking about the audience and how valuable their time is. A shorter event that is carefully thought out is better than a sprawling event that has no true purpose.

Don't take people's attention and time for granted. It's a valuable resource, and they won't be returning (or talking positively about you) if you disrespect it.