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November 01, 2005


Was going to leave a comment on your blog thanking you for stepping in, but I kept getting a bizarre bounceback loaded with WordPress error messages.

Anyway, thanks for stepping in. As you said on your blog, there are no coincidences. Hope it works out for you.

One favor. If you get a chance, swipe an extra copy of Shel's book and send it over. Bad enough I'm missing the geek dinner with Rubel, et.al. and beers with Steve Farrer. But to miss out on the free copy of Naked Conversations... arrrrgh!

Paul - sorry you're not feeling well and won't be able to make it. I'll be stepping in to make sure the small business voice is well-represented. I'm the Entrepreneurs Guide at About.com and coauthor of The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors and Closing Deals Online, which we run a related blog for. I've been teaching small business owners about blogging, social networking sites, and other social software for the past three years.

You do make an excellent point about contingency speakers. Despite the old saying that "the show most go on", even Broadway actors sometimes have to call in sick and let the understudy do the performance. When you're sick you're sick, and other arrangements have to be made.

My take on it is that if the event is just the single speaker, then you cancel and set a new date, but if it's a conference, as conference organizer you definitely want to have a list of contingency speakers. I don't think you try to make arrangements with them all in advance -- that's a lot of work for something that will rarely happen -- but you should probably make a list of possible substitute speakers for your event.

I also recommend that as a speaker, you might want to have a list of possible substitutes in mind. Because of travel constraints, you may need to find people who are local to the event, or at least in a nearby city. This is where a tool like LinkedIn would come in handy. You may not know anybody directly, but may be able to get a referral from someone you trust who knows the speaker.

Get well soon!

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