The Fugitive

As told by Samantha Bowerman, CMP President, Strategic Meetings Group

I was running a convention, a trade show that was mainly exhibits, but there were a few educational sessions. At one point, the guy who was our contact at the convention center came running over to me in a panic, saying, “Oh my God, we have a situation. The sheriff is here, and he wants to arrest your speaker.”

My first question was, “Which one?”

My next question was, “Where’s the sheriff?” He was in an office right off the exhibition floor. The convention manager told me that the sheriff wasn’t looking to create a scene, but he did need to bring the speaker before a judge. So I tracked down the president of the organization and explained what was going on. I suggested he might want to go along with the sheriff to make sure that there were no issues.

As it turns out, the speaker was just finishing up his presentation – the organization’s president helped to cut the question-and-answer session off. Then he told the speaker, “There’s a police officer waiting outside, who apparently needs to take you to go see a judge.” The speaker went very willingly.

The issue was something to do with a business that the speaker had sold. He was in a legal battle and was supposed to be before a judge, and didn’t show up for his court appointment. They apparently Googled his name and saw that he was speaking, and that’s how they found him.

I posted about it on Facebook, and one of my friends who has a production company responded that something like that happened to him with one of his camera operators. The police waited until after that session was finished, too. .

— As told to Barbara Palmer illustration by Graham Roumieu

Barbara Palmer

Barbara Palmer is senior editor and director of digital content.