By Katie Corbett
It can be easy to let events extend well beyond the point at which they should end. The reality is that all things, no matter how good or fun, must come to an eventual end. Knowing this and taking it into consideration will keep guests from getting bored, parties from going on too long, or people continuing to meet well beyond the purpose of the initial meetings.
The book “The Art of Gathering,” by Priya Parker, talks about when to end, and the importance of ending with finality.
I recently planned a virtual brunch to celebrate Easter with friends. I stayed attuned to the room and the moods of my guests, waiting for the natural wind-down point. A few announced they had to go, and I checked with the others to see if ending at that point would be a good idea.
I was once at a party that ended a bit sooner than expected. I had to trust that the host knew what she was doing as the ending was announced.
Going to parties at my parents’ house can be exhausting, because there is not a definitive endpoint. I have started making endings for myself—when the timer goes off letting me know it’s time to go home to feed the dog, once I have been there a certain amount of time, or after cake and presents. This helps me feel like I can bring the event to a close and move on with my day. Don’t leave your guests feeling like they have no option but to stay if the event has truly ended.
Keep in mind that with masterminds and groups that have become close, the temptation will arise to continue the event long after it should have ended. Being firm about that ending helps create a sense of finality for the attendees. You will need to be firm with your guests about this and explain why the end is a hard stop, as some will want to continue meeting.
Do you have a story about an event that ended too soon or dragged on forever? Let me know in the comments.
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