When i’m emceeing a forum, i’ll start when the speakers are there, i’ll just give an allowance of 15 minutes, tops, for lateness of members of the audience; then i’ll ask the speakers and organizers if they don’t mind if we start. When i’m presiding meetings, i make sure it starts on time, or with an allowance of 15 minutes, tops.
If there’s no quorum but there are already people there, i start on time and discuss and let the people who are there raise their points, without action of approval or disapproval yet. Then, when the others arrive, and there’s a quorum, summarize and start approving. If the latecomers say, “repeat the discussion, we weren’t here” i will glare at them…(actually, i don’t; i don’t have a Tito-Guingona-glare and it’s the only kind that matters)… i’ll give the latecomer who wants everything repeated, a stare. Usually, what the latecomers do is, they will raise the same points that have been raised before they came in; you’re actually letting the latecomers control your life when you let them do this; so, you say sweetly: “Kasi late ka (because you’re late) it’s in the matters-for-information, so-and- so said…. etc., …and the answer to the question is…..” and then, summarize. Sometimes, i ask someone else who had been taking down notes, “pakisagot yung tanong…” (“ kindly answer his question.”), and that person will read from his/her notes, matters for information, (or you can say, just this portion only; pointing to the notes); so the latecomer will realize, oh, i was very late. You can conduct a meeting, make it a “matters-for-information” discussion, because you’ll need a quorum for approvals/ disapprovals.
When i’m hosting and the speakers are there, i will start regardless of how many people are there.
When i’m delivering a lecture, i will start even if there are only five people. I’ve done that before; storm and strong winds but weather bureau didn’t say anything;I delivered a lecture before two persons. (The two thought the situation was funny). Then it was done. I didn’t cancel. I didn’t repeat the lecture for the others. I don’t let absentees and latecomers control, they’ll have to catch up with those who do their work.