Dear Industry Partners: I apologize.

Today, I had the opportunity to provide education at a lunch sponsored by an industry company. The number of people who showed up did not equal those who had RSVPed in the affirmative. More than half of those who said "yes" were no-shows.

Earlier this week, a reminder was sent to all those who had accepted. No one "regretted."

Last minute cancellations are expected for all meetings and events. In the "old days", we hoped to receive a phone call to advise if someone were unable to attend.  Today, an email or text is so simple to send that it seems unforgivable - barring a crisis (car accident, illness, family emergency) - to not advise that you are unable to attend.

The lunch sponsor was gracious and did not say a word to those who attended. I noticed and asked. Among the no-shows were 3 people from one organization, and another planner who asked to bring a guest (and was accommodated.) When starting the (ethics) discussion, I thanked those who  had kept their word and said how disappointed I was in colleagues who were not there and had not send last minute regrets.

Read through this to the section on "common rudeness" and then explain to me why people in our industry, where we expect people to show up for our events, are so inconsiderate.

If you were the sponsor, what would you do? Bill the no-shows for the cost of the lunch? Write a letter saying how disappointed you were? Say something next time you spoke, or make a special call and show your concern? Say nothing?

And if you're a vendor who wants to write a comment but is uncomfortable attaching your name to it, email me at and I'll post, anonymously, for you.

To our industry partners, I am sorry my colleagues have forgotten their manners.

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