Timing is Everything ... and Steve Forbes, too.

Gail Davis, 05 December 2008

Case in point: I was working with a client to map out his year as education chair of a major organization.  As we mapped out the year, we tried to strategically select topics. Teaming with him and his committee, the decision was made not to do the expected “politically” themed meeting. Rather, we would wait until just after the election and have the speaker give an analysis of what the election results would mean moving forward. 

A number of pundits and analysts were on the list. And I, of course, had an opinion; Steve Forbes.

I have had the pleasure of working with Steve Forbes on several occasions. He is uniquely qualified to discuss politics, the economy and business.  The committee liked the idea and we were able to secure Forbes for the event, which was held a mere nine days post-election.

Who could have predicted during our planning last April that the number one issue in America today would be the economy? Forbes was the absolute right choice!
Not that I would wish the current economic situation on anyone.  

My client did an outstanding job planning this event. He had the vision to ask us  to negotiate in the contract the use of the Forbes magazine artwork. He then secured a photo of each attendee and created individual mock-ups of a Forbes magazine with their photo on the cover.

As luck would have it, the November issue of Forbes had our speaker on the cover.  He graciously signed copies for everyone. 
Small touches like the magazine mock-ups and signed copies are so important.

Forbes opened with insightful comments on the current economic situation, clearly articulating his view of the mistakes that led to the current crisis. My client had solicited questions from the attendees in advance and roved the room with a handheld microphone introducing each member and then they asked their questions.  It was timely, pertinent, and best of all, personal.
The last question was:  “As a widely respected economic prognosticator, where do you think we will be in four years?”

His answer, “I am an optimist. And as my grandfather used to say, ‘You never make money in the long-term selling America short.’”
As I was waiting for my car, one of the attendees said to me: “You know, he is one of the few big name speakers that truly lived up to his billing.”