Casting a reality check on real-world conundrums
Should You Save the Day?
I would approach the
meeting planner, tell her I
overheard the conversation
and volunteer my services.
I would inquire about the
desired outcome that was
expected from the speaker who
cancelled to see if I could match
it. In a similar situation, I had to
follow a horrible speaker. When
I noticed the meeting planner
sitting in pain listening, I said,
“I can turn it around.” Later, the
planner thanked me for saving
—Janie Jasin, CSP
If it doesn’t interfere with
your speaking schedule or
travel plans, volunteer and do
the program gratis. If it does,
ask the meeting planner to
just pay the fees to change
your travel arrangements.
—Frank Bucaro, CSP, CPAE
Assuming that I want
a long-term relationship
with this client, or at least a
testimonial, and my schedule
is flexible, I would jump all
over this opportunity. I would
expect the client to handle
my expenses, including
transportation changes, etc. I’ve
actually done this, and it creates
goodwill that lasts for years.
—Philippa Gamse, CMC
You have just finished speaking at a conference,
and you overhear the meeting planner
complaining to a staff member that a speaker just
cancelled her breakout session the following day.
It is a topic that you can easily handle. Should
you volunteer? Negotiate? What would you do?
This has happened to me more than once, and
as long as I had nothing scheduled the next day and
the client would cover additional hotel or travel costs,
I would volunteer to help. It’s in the best interest of a
long-term relationship and it’s just good for business.
As a speaker, the more times I can take the stage at a
conference, the more residual and repeat business I
get from speaking, consulting and product sales.
Kendall Park, N. J.
I was wondering if the ethical issue you brought
up was that you overheard a conversation you were
not meant to hear, and should you approach them
at all? I would approach and ask if I can help. It’s a
win-win situation for all.
—Rose Mary Hefley, ACG
I would definitely
approach the meeting planner
and offer my assistance gratis,
if the session fit my travel plans
and I wouldn’t add to the
meeting planner’s anxiety by
requesting an additional hotel
night or travel expenses.
—Richard Avdoian, CSP
Fairview Heights, IL
With so many comments
from her staff about my breakout
session, the meeting planner
asked me to do a three-hour staff
meeting that afternoon on the
same topic. I refused payment.
We were on a cruise ship and
I wasn’t going anywhere. She
insisted on booking a spa
treatment for me. Recently,
the closing keynote presenter
had pneumonia so I offered
to present. The client offered
to pay me and I accepted.
Apparently, volunteering is
working well for me!
—Becky McCrary, CSP
Stan B. Walters, CSP, posed the dilemma nd collected the responses for this column. Contact
him at Stan@TheLieGuy.com.