Sept 18, 2008, Vol. 6 Issue 16
I’m home and healing from my knee surgery, using my laptop from my lap, so I can prop my right leg up. Physical therapy starts tomorrow and I have my left knee as an inspiration – the healed scar, the straightness and the bend-ability. Can’t wait to start dancing and hiking again. That’s what I visualize everyday – painfree.
This month marks my 10th year of serving speakers and clients, and I promised you a little history. I’ll do a few paragraphs in each of the next few issues.
2008 – CELEBRATING 10 YEARS
September 2008 – It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since I sat down at my brand new empty computer, with my brand new office furniture, a credenza full of empty files – and an idea. Rather than a speakers bureau representing hundreds of speakers on zillions of topics, I wanted to specialize in health and wellness and market a few excellent speakers I knew very well. One problem — I didn’t have any clients to book them with.
I got on the phone — starting with a big fat book of associations, and then moving to a list of hospitals that I got off the internet. I went through the hospitals state by state, east coast to west, as time zones moved along during the day. I wasn’t even sure who to ask for when I called, so I just waded my way through, and eventually got some clues from the questions the operators asked me! I got my first booking in November – oh, what a feeling! This was with dial-up internet access and no website …(to be continued).
Going down memory lane, I’ve been looking through past issues of For Your Well Being. Today I’m reprinting one of my favorite stories that highlights the dedication of both speakers and clients, committed to holding their events, in the face of adversities.
FROM THE MEETING FRONT:
AGAINST ALL ODDS
Reprinted from For Your Well Being, Vol. II, Issue 2, Jan. 2002
Weather or not, I’m proud to say I’ve known my speakers to turn around when turned away at the airport, rent a car and drive long hours to make an engagement, if it’s at all feasible. 9/11, however, presented a whole new set of barriers to be overcome.
Our client, Baptist Hospital East, in Louisville, KY had scheduled their annual women’s program, “Wise Woman’s Wellness: A No-Guilt, Practical Guide to Everyday Health” for Saturday, September 15, 2001. On September 11, the keynote speaker, Dr. Deborah Kern, was just finishing a few days of teaching special sessions at Lake Austin Spa, in Austin, TX. Deb was soon to find out, it’s a REALLY long way between Austin and Louisville, KY.
As Kit Fullenlove, Public Relations Manager recalls, “Because of the devastating events of September 11, we felt it was important to hold the seminar to help people get their lives back to normal.”
We all watched the news for any sign of what might happen with the airlines, while rental cars were snapped up faster than snow shovels on a snowy day in Portland. And, I’m sure you will remember, that the entire time, we were dealing not only with the hour-to-hour uncertainty of it all, but the underlying fear for our own safety, as well as the safety of our loved ones and the future of our world.
From Austin, Deb was on the phone with her husband in Alabama, creating various scenarios, including him driving cross country to get her or meet her. Kit was checking Greyhound Bus schedules, (and possibly camels, I think). Deb finally decided on Thursday, to get on the road and head in an easterly direction, hitching a ride with an elderly couple who were returning home from the spa to Baton Rouge, LA. From the backseat of their car, Deb continued to dial rental car companies, hoping to pick up a car in Baton Rouge, while continuing to concoct alternate “plans.”
There were no rental cars in Baton Rouge.
And then a U-Haul passed them. “A-ha!” she thought, “That’s a vehicle for rent,” and immediately called U-Haul. Fifteen hours later, Deb and her suitcase left Baton Rouge in a 14 foot truck (that’s big enough to move the contents of a one-bedroom apartment) and barreled on down the road for the 13-hour trip home to Huntsville, Alabama.
Home at last at 9 a.m., she hugged her son and husband, ate some breakfast and re-grouped. Later, she got in her own car and headed up the road, 9 more hours to Louisville, arriving at midnight.
Now if it didn’t take all of her creativity just to get there, at 9 a.m. the next morning, she faced an audience looking for hope and reassurance, if not answers.
“What a seminar that was!” Kit said. “We will never forget it. Nearly every woman who registered showed up, proving to us that it was important to them to carry on with their lives.
“Deb did a special segment that involved the participants lighting candles and making affirming statements to one another. One of our behavioral health therapists, said it was a tremendously healing experience, not just for herself, but for many others. The audience also appreciated Deb’s tremendous effort to be there for them. She did an outstanding job despite little sleep.”
For Deb it was a life-altering experience in more ways than one. She says that prior to this trip, she had never been able to drive more than three hours without falling asleep. Since then, when she gets in the car, it’s like a hit of adrenaline kicks in and she is charged for the long haul!
The part about being creative with the program under the circumstances is par for the course, I have to say, for the level of professionalism and pure dedication that speakers like Dr. Deborah Kern bring to your events.
EPILOGUE: Deb has since moved to Austin, TX, and is working on her third book that has everything to do with creating more pleasure in our lives. To book Dr. Deborah Kern for your event, please give us a call at 503-699-5031 or visit our website.