I was really excited when a local community organization contacted me late last month to speak at their conference. It wasn’t something I was actively looking to do just yet but the opportunity seemed too good to pass up. They found me online (Google and Facebook) and then contacted me for a phone interview.
It went really well and the next step was setting up a meeting with the director. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect at this meeting so I spoke to my coach and reached out to other speakers for advice on how to prepare.
Armed with a list of questions and possible ideas, the meeting went very well. My topic agreed upon and details worked out, I left excited about the prospect of leading my first hour long, interactive conference workshop.
There was no fee but I would have greater exposure to a demographic I hadn’t really been able to reach. I even splurged a bit for marketing materials. I bought new swag and replenished brochures and printed the handouts I would be using for the workshop. I even attended a workshop about leading great workshops to include the latest best practices into my presentation. I clearly should have gotten a written contract first though – lesson learned.
From there, it all started to fall apart. It was the beginning of the end but I wasn’t aware of that just yet. I got a call and was told they would be cutting my speaking time in half. I wasn’t too happy about it but it still seemed like a good opportunity and there was now a little less pressure with a smaller time slot.
Then I got a call to see if I could change my topic (I had already done all of the research and had the outline set) because another speaker wanted to talk about something similar. I said no, it was almost finished. In my mind, I was selected first so why would someone that agreed to come on board after me get to choose a topic that was already being covered. I was told they’d get back to me later that day.
I didn’t hear back so I continued to work on and prep for the workshop as it was fast approaching and I was in the middle of midterms. No news is good news, right? Boy was I wrong!
Three days before the conference, I had a bad feeling and wanted to check in. Lo and behold there is an email in my inbox from the previous week from the organization explaining that they cancelled my workshop but would like to stay in touch for future events.
I was beyond upset. After the time and money spent preparing for this opportunity, it was taken away by an email. I feel it at least warranted a phone call. I’m also a bit insulted that they think I’d consider working with them again after this. I know it’s not personal but I do feel it wasn’t handled very professionally either.
Would you consider working with them again? Why or why not?
Let me know in the contents!