Don't overbook your time slots!!!
If you were to allow 15 minutes per conference (like most teachers do)... then you can take care of EIGHT conferences in two hours!!
That's in theory!!!
In reality, all it takes is just one conference to go over by a few minutes... and then everyone is backed up over the rest of your evening... and waiting.
I don't know about you, but I can't stand waiting.
Waiting at the doctor's office.
Waiting at a red light.
Waiting at the grocery store.
Can't stand it.
So, how do you think parents of your students feel if they have to wait five, seven, ten ... maybe fifteen minutes?
Probably not impressed... even BEFORE they walk into your room!!!
INSTEAD... my advice to you is what I've been doing for over 15 years:
Budget more time than you tell them.
For instance, if you tell a parent that their conference is going to be from 4:00-4:20 PM... then have your next conference at 4:30-4:50.
Essentially, you're budgeting 1/2 an hour for each family.
If a conference goes over by a few minutes, no problem! You've already budgeted it in.
Meeting each parent at the door with a smile on your face (with them not waiting) has started off excellent conversations for years with parents of my students, and is definitely a positive start to a sometimes uncomfortable situation.
Believe me, they'll appreciate it, and you'll feel better, too.
Try it, and tell me what you think.