Follow up, follow up, follow up

Science Café at Cook Library

A week before our café, the scientist we had invited had to cancel. The week before our spring café, I sent out a draft of our publicity materials to the scientist we had invited—only to find out that he would not be able to attend. Instead, he would be on an airplane en route to an important meeting.

What to do next? Should I:

a. Find another scientist on the same topic?
b. Cancel the event?
c. Book another scientist?

I ended up going with option C. Luckily, I had already booked four scientists for the fall semester café series. One of them graciously agreed to host the café and it was a huge success. Since I still wanted to explore the topic that the “original” scientist specialized in, I just had to swap the two slots.

Lessons learned:  Make sure you keep in touch with your presenting scientist(s). Leave messages with the scientist, his or her assistant, and the department secretary way in advance of the event.