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July 09, 2013


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seth godin

You're giving surfers way too much credit, David.

You look fab.


Yikes. You've lived the nightmare I have on a regular basis. They used to be about showing up late for a final exam.

Great story and important lesson.


Yes, this is why there is a difference between a professional speaker and a social media celebrity who speaks. Professionals are prepared. AND you got you post up all in one day.


Holy Crap, David. Way to pull it out of the fire however. Maybe Seth can comment at www.fearlesscompetitor.com too.

Plan, document and double-check.

Jeff Ogden

Lynette Young

I've gone to the wrong airport on my way to a talk but nothing like THIS! I've also learned that as much as I may want to travel in shorts and flip flops, I need to dress for business. Nothing like having the president of the company you are doing training for 'surprise' you at the airport and take you to a dinner of 20 executives!

Granted, my flip flops are *cute* but not really professional!

Joanne Tombrakos

I know I shouldn't have been laughing when I was reading this, but I couldn't help it :)
Great story of how you still managed to deliver your talk. I'll be curious to hear how you dress the next time you get on a plane;)

Bob Zagami

Can't even come close to matching this one David. Great reaction to what could have been a disaster for many other less capable mortals. I'm sure the audience got an even better-than-expected presentation.

David Meerman Scott

Wow - thanks to you all for jumping in to comment. I'm really glad I pulled it off in the end. I debated telling the story here but am glad that I did.

Joanne - I plan to continually dress comfortably on planes. I do 150,000+ miles a year and it is too long not to be comfortable. Lynette - I'd be fine if you went to dinner with me in flip-flops!

Dick Carlson

This is why I never, ever come in on the "morning of" any longer. I'm nowhere near your league, but once I did the very same thing -- was one day off -- and was lucky to be early.

I still have the nightmares.


Perfect article! It looks like a part of screenplay for the 24 movie with Kiefer Sutherland.

David Meerman Scott

Dick - I haven't come in the morning of for probably five years except in very rare exceptions when agreed to by the conference organizer. But some things you can't plan for like getting the day wrong (which was an administrative snafu, not my fault).

David Meerman Scott

Lukas - It does sort of read like a screenplay. I wrote it in first person present tense (rather than past tense). First person present tense is a great way to add drama into stories.

Anne Sorensen

Wow! And phew! My heart is racing too, David! :) Your story is a great example of how to stay calm (despite the adrenaline) under pressure. Good on you! So glad it went well. (And I agree with Seth. Your surfer 'threads' look very cool! :)

Megan Casey

Thank you again David from me, Justin, Asher and 10,000 of our closest partner friends! Your presentations were outstanding (as usual).


Nice recovery. Having a pocket full of $20 bills helps too.

Bill Sell

The ultimate "Houston, we have a problem." But no one would ever doubt the DMS would pull it out and have a successful conclusion!

Eric Wholley

Yeah, great recovery. Good thing you've gotten yourself in such good shape!

Paul Sevensky

The great lesson here is the extensive advance prep you do and that you're always carrying your material with you. That certainly overcomes the wardrobe issues.

David Meerman Scott

Thank you Megan! It was a great event and I look forward to returning next year.

Victor - It is a good thing I had those twenties!

Gareth Fairhurst

David, as I read the story I was thinking, "O my word" but smiling too, as it sounded like it was something out of a movie. But I wonder how many of us would have done what you did? Or how many would have said something like, "sorry there has been a mix up I can't get there"?

What is clear is prepare and do what it takes will pay off, as the audience seem to have understood.

Well Done David for pulling it off.


I imagine the circumstance gave your speech that much more motivation behind it, as well as an easy way to break the ice. Haha, I guess the moral of the story is, always keep some $20s on hand for times of crisis.

Asher Mathew

Thank You for saving the day and delivering David! Outside of learning the new ways of marketing we learned what a true professional is all about!

For your blog readers here is the link to the recording http://bit.ly/11OjHyG

See how David comes to rescue Justin (one of the track owners)...simply amazing!

David Meerman Scott

Gareth - I thought for about two seconds to say "sorry I cannot make it" but then I realized I had to go for it.

Kaiser - yes - a pocket of $20s helps!

Thanks for all your help Asher - we pulled it off in the end!

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