I was one of the newbo evolve speakers who received a bad check, but I still have warm feelings for the people of Cedar Rapids.
Even though the three-day event was a financial disaster, I admired how well it was run. I’m sure there were many behind-the-scenes crises, but as a speaker, I didn’t see them. What I saw was an incredibly impressive execution of a huge event.
I think all of us who spoke at the conference were impressed and went away as big fans of Cedar Rapids. Unfortunately, that warm feeling toward the city was diminished when it disclaimed responsibility for its tourism bureau’s debts. I know how I felt—that I was working on behalf of the city of Cedar Rapids, and we were all celebrating the tremendous comeback from the flood ten years ealier. Who would have dreamed that Cedar Rapids would use a technicality—“Go Cedar Rapids is a separate legal entity”? It wasn’t like we had agreed to work for an event promoter that just happened to be based in Cedar Rapids; we were working for a reputable city’s tourism bureau, and thus, working for a reputable city.
I personally think a city should take moral responsibility for its own tourism bureau, but I don’t blame the people of Cedar Rapids for the city’s decision. Newbo evolve and the wonderful people who I met were still “chicken soup” for my soul.
Author, editor-in-chief, publisher, Chicken Soup for the Soul