Why the Speaking Industry is all about Helping Each Other
This past Wednesday Richard Schelp, co-owner of Executive Speakers Bureau, traveled to Key West, Florida for an annual event at which we sponsor one of our most important clients. At this event, we showcase a speaker to a group of meeting planners with whom we have worked throughout the year. Shortly after his flight landed in Key West, Richard received news that the speaker we had selected for this year’s event missed his flight and would thus be unable to speak at the event. Immediately, everyone involved- from Richard to the speaker’s agent- jumped into action to find resolution to this unexpected development.
The speaking industry is unlike any other: when crisis hits, everyone steps in to help. It is the only industry in which I have worked where our competitors are also our partners and often times become our friends. With everyone actively engaged and our partner for this event calling in a huge favor, we were able to book another speaker at the eleventh hour! Mike Abrashoff, former navy commander and author of “It’s Your Ship,” agreed to step in and within thirty minutes of the phone call was rearranging his schedule and making preparations to be in Key West for the event.
Mike’s journey to the event was not easy. He received the call at 12:08 pm, shortly after having his pupils dilated. When he learned all of the flights to Key West out of Miami were booked, he asked his housekeeper to fill up the car’s gas tank and subsequently drive him to Key West; he was unable to drive due to aforementioned dilated pupils! Mike arrived that afternoon just in time to meet several key players, shake hands and get up on stage. In spite of the last minute request to speak and the alternative means by which he had to travel to the event, Mike did a fantastic job! The audience was thrilled with his presentation and has been buzzing about it ever since. In addition, not only did Mike agree to sign books for each attendee but he did not charge a penny for his expenses. What an amazing speaker and, more importantly, an amazing person who helped out in a big way and reinforced my belief that our industry is indeed unlike any other!