Today, I want to tell the tale of a great host. A host who turned a situation that could have been a great failure into a great success. Here is how it went!
In a professional network of people with same job-related interest they had invited their members for a small gathering focused on a presentation from an expert. A good number of members had signed up for the event, and they were all looking forward to meeting the expert and learning from him.
The meeting planner had ironed his shirt, polished his shoes and made sure that the guests were taken care of in terms of food and drinks, a nice venue, and high expectations of great content of the meeting. And on the day in question, the meeting planner was ready in due time, greeted the guests, and made everything ready for the expert to speak.
But alas! The speaker did not show up! They all waited a few minutes – “Maybe he is stuck in traffic” or “I hope nothing bad has happened to him!”. After a short while, the dutiful meeting planner called him…and he had forgotten the appointment and was now unable to make it to the event now. What to do?
And this is when our meeting planner went from host to hero! He gathered the attendees for a facilitated networking session instead, and over a soda and a sandwich he listened to all of the gold the members had to share – i.e. their interests, wants, and needs in relation to the professional networking group. Information he could use for later events.
In fact, the event went so well that the attendees scored it high on the evaluation…even though the speaker never showed up. But they all commented that it had been a great and rewarding event. They were listened to and they all grew their network.
Our meeting planner saved what he could and turned a failure into a success. He handled the unpredictable with skill, calmness, and integrity and hence turned the event into a great experience.
Now, that is a great host, and I do hope he lives happily ever after.