Home » Is Arriving on Time and Staying for the Meeting Duration Important?

Is Arriving on Time and Staying for the Meeting Duration Important?

by Richard Foulkes

BNI Policy #3: Arrive on Time

BNI has a number of policies which are there to help members help themselves. They can be found in the Policies brochure that each member gets in their new member kit upon joining BNI.

The policies come from many years of BNI learning what works and the policies are regularly reviewed by an International Board of Advisors. In fact, a BNI New Zealand Member from Canterbury is on that Board now.

This week we are looking at General Policy #3 which states this “BNI Members must arrive on time and stay for the entire meeting”.

How is this policy trying to help members? It is really about a members VCP. Visibility and Credibility that can lead to the possibility of Profitability.

While life happens and sometimes, we are unavoidably late but continual lateness sends signals that affect our credibility. Let’s look at these messages.

Valuing other Peoples’ Time

Being on time is a wonderful habit most business owners and entrepreneurs understand well.

Being on time, which some would argue means arriving early, first and foremost shows the person or people you are meeting with that you respect and value their time, that you are trustworthy and considerate.

On the other hand, arriving late to appointments or meetings communicates a lot and none of it is good. It tells others about your integrity and respect for other people. It can even cost you customers.

Think of the statement “time is money”. If this is true, when you arrive 5, 10 or 15 minutes late, haven’t you just stolen something of value from the other person.

Discipline & Organisational Skills

Being on time indicates we have discipline and organisational skills. We plan and allow for error and hold ups.

Being late often indicates the opposite and make us hard to refer as it will be assumed this is how you might also treat referrals.

Staying for the Duration

The other part of the policy shouldn’t be overlooked. Members must also stay for the entire published time of the meeting.

As previously mentioned, staying for the duration of the meeting shows you respect and value others’ time and ensures you don’t miss important announcements or networking opportunities.

FAQ: When is Late?

Open Networking starts 15 minutes before our President is scheduled to start the formal part of the meeting.

Open networking is part of the meeting, it is important to be there to make connections, chat about business and have a chance to talk to visitors.

Many chapters regard members arriving just before the formal part of the meeting starts as being late. Don’t be that person.

However, the Vice President records a member being late if they arrive after the President opens the formal part of the meeting.


Being constantly late or often leaving the meeting early affects your Visibility and Credibility. It’s also a stressful way to live.  

If you are that person, just set your clock 15 minutes ahead of NZ Standard Time then forget you did. Life and Business will be much easier.

You may also like