I gave a web seminar with Adobe today. Following all proper best practices, I was on the line a full half hour early. Checked my audio levels with the operator. Dialed in on a second backup telephone line in case my first line dropped. Had a copy of my slides in hardcopy in case my computer died. Made sure my moderator was ready to take over and help out if I lost connection. Checked that the phone call was properly streaming over VoIP for participants who wanted to listen on their computer speakers. Everything felt good.
And then with two minutes to go before show time, the audio conference provider suffered some sort of catastrophic failure. All lines were dropped, for speakers and attendees. Nobody could dial back in... We just got busy signals.
In a typical situation, that would be the end of story. We'd write a text message on the web conferencing window canceling the event due to technical difficulties beyond our control.
But in a case of unbelievable backup planning and preparation, the product manager from Adobe calmly typed in an alternate conferencing number we could all use. It didn't have quite the same operator assisted features we had on the primary account, but we were able to link it to the VoIP stream, get the attendees onto the new line, and carry on with our web seminar with minimal interruption and loss of time.
I was astonished. Not many people have a second audio conferencing carrier in their back pocket for an emergency of that sort. But from now on, I'm going to keep a backup conference number and participant code handy for client events. Just in case.