7 Bits of Twisted Wisdom From “House of Cards”

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Frank Underwood, Kevin Spacey, House of Cards, meetings
Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey), aka Mr. President

OK meeting planners, it’s time to be honest.

Who among you hasn’t found themselves glued to Netflix reruns of House of Cards, pounding down the popcorn while devouring three or four episodes at a time (or maybe a day’s worth; after all, what’s the point of yard work?), simply stunned at the onslaught of deception and evil?

And who doesn’t catch a chill when Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) stares directly into the camera to personally share his twisted brand of wisdom with you, the viewer?

We have found a few doozies that apply to our meeting planner readers—Have a listen.

On the Seller’s Market

“The nature of promises is that they remain immune to changing circumstances.” Translation: After years of building relationships with their hotel partners, some planners are finding themselves in the dust.

On Negotiating

“You can’t turn a no to a yes without a maybe in-between.” What he means: A planner who lacks negotiating skills will pay too much, it’s that simple.

On Room Setups

“If you don’t like how the table is set, turn over the table.” Better yet: Why not turn the entire meeting upside down!

On Logistics

“I just hate this small ball crap.” He’s saying: Meeting planners are not just about coffee breaks! When will senior management wake up to the value they add?!

On Lack of Sleep

“I’ve always loathed the necessity of sleep. Like death, it puts even the most powerful men on their backs.” Perhaps, Frank, but after a 5-day program, there’s nothing closer to a planner’s heart than his or her own pillow.

On Teamwork

“I won’t leave one of my own bleeding on the field.” He means: Meeting planning is considered one of the most stressful jobs there is—right up there with law enforcement and emergency room nursing. It’s the team that takes the load off.

And on Being a Meeting Planner in General

“Everything hinges on the next few minutes. All my months of planning. Every move I’ve made.” The real truth: Just like being president, it’s all about getting results.

Check out these meeting planning lessons from Kimmy Schmidt.


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Barbara Scofidio is Editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In her 30 years in the industry, she has become known for her passion around greening meetings, growing awareness of human trafficking and promoting CSR activities as part of business events. She is currently a member of SITE's Women IN Leadership committee and the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee. She was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of SITE for 30 years, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. Before joining Prevue in 2014, she served as Editor of Corporate Meetings & Incentives (MeetingsNet) for more than 20 years. She has a BA in Literature/Rhetoric from Binghamton University. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.