On May 26 2016 eXITS, LLC had it's 9th Annual Guest Lecture Series - "We Mean Business" forum at the Lakewood Country Club. This was our largest, by far, even tin our nine year history with almost 200 in attendance. From the many evaluations returned to us, it was gratifying to see that it was also our most appreciated event ever. This almost wasn't the case. Our event featured two of the country's most respected entrepreneurs/authors (7 published books between the two of them, of which 3 have been enshrined at being in the Top 100 Best Business Books of All Time) - Bo Burlingham and Doug Tatum. Bo and Doug interviewed each other as brought the audience into the conversation. Our third and final speaker was our very own Governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper engaging the audience while talking about the state of Colorado's business environment. All three performed fantastically. So, why was this almost a disaster? The answer is in the lead-up to our event. Some 4 weeks prior to May 26th Bo informed me that he had had a minor stroke and was concerned that he might not be able to travel from his home in Oakland, California to Denver for the event and would not know until the week before. With this as a possibility we developed our Plan B, that would bring Bo in via Skype. Now, me and technology have never gotten along too well, so I was already having visions of this "not working". Next, Doug was not due into Denver until the day before our event as he was attending a Board of Directors meeting, as Past Board Chair, for ACG (Association for Corporate Growth) in Chicago. At 6:00 pm Doug texted me that he wanted me to call him right away. His plane was called back to the gate and all outgoing flights had been cancelled due to a severe thunderstorm. Doug was concerned that he too might have to be at our event via Skype. Doug had been at the Chicago airport at 4:00 pm Chicago time and ended up leaving at 12:15 am on the 26th, arriving at his hotel in Denver at about 3:30 in the morning. Yes, I was relieved that he made it to Denver, but now concerned that he needed to be at his best after only a few hours sleep. My final concern was that the governor's office said he would arrive only 5-10 minutes before he was to speak. What if traffic was bad? Well, technology worked perfectly, Doug was amazingly alert, Bo seemed as if he were in the room, and both of them were truly amazing. When they finished, I returned to the microphone, introduced the governor and told the audience that I hoped he was on the the other side of the door, as I had not yet seen him. After the laughter ceased and I finished introducing him, the door opened and in he walked. He was also incredible wooing the audience and staying overtime to address the never-ending questions from the audience. The outcome - three amazing speakers, a huge and very appreciated audience, and one greatly relieved person - me!
Ken Stiefler, President, eXITS, LLC
See some of the "unprofessional" photos taken at the event (iphones)