That's gone out the window with the word that Gen Ashley contacted a CEO to try and have someone in trouble for posting a blog post about their experience. The gloves are off.
My photo of me eating a lobster roll hasn't bothered anyone from any conference. Until MFL. I was asked to provide a different one. Why? Wait, I won't "pile on".xx
"Can you handle your own room and travel?" Sure. I'm privileged I can do that. The room and travel fiasco is just that. A fiasco and downright greasy shit that the organizer pulled.
I too was DM'ed. Now in my haste to get off the bird app because the ne owner decided to let an old account back on, I did not get the screen shots of the DMs, but they are similar to Cassie Evans' DMs.
"Don't pile on", "You're adding pressure", something something team member blah blah death in the family. Were there any team members?
What I Saw
A speaker dinner on a huge yacht? Talk about allocating money into the wrong thing and for the food we ate, as a former executive head chef, it was shit. This was a buttering up of speakers I've not seen before. Epic overkill.
Hype all the "big names" on social media. The new speakers, the people having not spoken long got shafted. We all know Kent C. Dodds was going to be there. We didn't need to see it a week straight (embellishment there but not far from the truth) on LinkedIn, Twitter, and elsewhere.
I see a woman politicking and schmoozing in the speaker lounge and not caring to her speakers needs, her attendees, or having ANY video equipment available for livestream or for recording like they promised. Lies on top of more lies.
It looked more like a social cotillion rather than a organizer running around tending to a conference they had put on. Any other conference I have been to I see loads of staff, I see the organizer(s) working hard to keep everyone happy. Not lounging around and yucking it up in the speaker lounge for a good 75-85% of the two days of talks.
More Lies and Failures
This was not the venue.
This was not the truth.
There were less workshops, less speakers, no video or livestreaming, and there wasn't even 300 people there. This was oversold, overhyped, overdone, and underwhelming.
I sat in the speaker lounge and watched a speaker ask some pretty valid questions and get absolutely ran through by the organizer with attitude, with such toxicity. Attitude like that towards a well-known, well-respected, and international speaker gets you on my bad side.
I did not see branded clothing, badges for staff, or any staff. And who exaclty was I supposed to report anything to?!
I Have Words
You want to fund your extravagnt lifestyle, work for it. Don't skim off the top of the pot and take from attendees, speakers, and sponsors. You're nothing special and you're certainly not running a great show (or shows for that matter). Get a steady paycheck then spend your money on the lifestyle you want to live.
You cheated people out of a great experience.
I had ZERO people at my talk at 17:30pm (5:30pm) ON A FRIDAY NIGHT! What kind of a screw-up do you have to be to schedule a talk on the last night of a conference and at five thirty?! A colossal one, that's what.
Granted, I did have some people filter in at the very last second before I was going to shut it down. Whether they came because they wanted to or because they were ushered to, I don't know. I am grateful to those who did attend.
I was not there for a week long holiday. I was there to give a talk.
Five talks at the end, no final keynote to bring the crowd back together before leaving and closing the conference. Nothing. What a fuck up of exceptional proportions.
I feel bad for those who attended and did not get the best experience. I feel bad for those that had video issues and couldn't catch a promised livestream. I feel bad for sponsors that shelled out major dollars or pounds just to pay for Gen's next pair of designer boots and jacket. Maybe even a leopard print scarf.
I feel bad for speakers that didn't have the audiences they should have and were promised.
If you decide to try and contact my CEO, he is a bigger asshole than I am. That CEOs name is Todd Libby. Call me.
Get out of the racket of conning people and sponsors, Gen. The gig is up. The speaker community is on to you.
If you have any experience you want to share, please reach out and let me know.