Saw this article recently that says a Google exec walked out of a speaking engagement because there weren’t enough people in the audience. Declaring “I am Google,” he left the conference planners scrambling to find a replacement (which they did).
This stunt became known worldwide thanks to Twitter and the now very popular hashtag #iamgoogle being attached to all sorts of craziness.
I’m not here to give this guy any more attention, but rather to applaud the conference planners and their quick-thinking and responsiveness. Their concerns were in the right place – firmly entrenched with those that were in attendance, no matter how few.
I’ve been planning events for a very long time – of all sizes. And my motto has always been to make the experience as special as it can be for the people who are there. Sure, we always hope more people could attend, especially when the event is deemed a huge success and we think “what a shame more people couldn’t have experienced this.” But never EVER in all my years, has someone walked out on a commitment. I’ve had speakers decline, entertainers decline, but no one has ever showed up and then decided not to follow-through.
I’ll tell you what – he didn’t get to be #iamgoogle overnight. He needs to remember who it was that put the company and by extension, him, in a position to be wanted to speak in the first place.