Recently I was at an event and a speaker wasn’t able to make a session. There was a minor scramble, and the session ended up being cancelled, which is fine, but it got me thinking about what I would do if I had an emergency.
I don’t always have the contact information for organizers, and it’s not easily available. In some cases, I’m not sure how I’d get in touch with someone. I usually have an email, but not always, and I think my emergency solution would be to “tweet” that I wouldn’t be there with the hashtag for the event and hope someone picks it up.
However I think there’s a better solution. In the speaker communication the last week before the event, let all speakers know that they are expected to meet their commitments and give them 2 or 3 phone numbers to call for issues. Make sure those people keep their cell phones handy and can respond.
I’d also be sure you have address, phone, and map links for all the locations for speakers. I know most should be local, but spending a few minutes including links in the emails will help ensure that speakers have a smooth event and are happy to come back again.