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other duties as assigned


Servicing the Speaker Sandy Biback, CMP, CMM, Imagination + Meeting Planners Inc. A


bout 25 years ago, I was plan- ning a two-day seminar in a large U.S. city for my telecom-


munications employer. I’d done my scouting (we didn’t have listservs or Internet in those days!) and chosen a fine hotel in the center of the city that would accommodate about 150 people. My manager at the time was respon- sible for educational content, and once he had hired the speakers, I took over. When I got on site the day before the


meeting was to begin, everything was in place. I went over the BEOs again with my sales manager, and we were all set for the next morning. Ever the efficient one, I even set up a meet-and-greet dinner for all my speakers that evening


112 PCMA CONVENE FEBRUARY 2013


at a restaurant that my sales manager had suggested. My immediate manager wasn’t flying in until much later that evening, so I was on my own with 12 men in the telecommunications field who were staying at the host hotel. After a lovely dinner (I had no alco-


hol; I had learned that lesson long ago — but that’s another story), we all walked back to the hotel. One of the speakers asked if I could come up to his room to check something about his presenta- tion the next day (this was in the days before PowerPoint), and I was pretty naïve, so I said yes. I hesitated to go into his room, so


I stood in the doorway and asked him to bring the slides (yes, slides!) over to


me. He stopped and said what he really wanted from me was a call girl for the evening. I should get him one, he said, or he wasn’t going to speak the next day. My jaw dropped, and I told him no,


that wasn’t part of my job. He again refused to speak the next day. I’m sure I could have suggested he talk to the con- cierge, but I held my moral ground. He did end up speaking the next day. Did he ever get his call girl? I don’t


know — I stayed quite clear of him for the duration. I told my manager what had transpired, and he acted like a buf- fer between us. That person never spoke at one of our seminars again.


. PCMA.ORG


ILLUSTRATION BY GRAHAM ROUMIEU


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