How to be annoying at a conference

Last week was the annual(ish) MVP Summit here in Seattle and as a regular observer of idiotic behaviour there was no shortage of things for me to watch out for.

  • When there is free food its there for you to stock up your hotel room with. To the MVP who was loading his bag and pockets with candy bars and potato chips. I know you are out of pocket because Microsoft only covered 4 nights in a nice hotel and fed you for 4 days and made you pay your own airfare but seriously how much candy will you have to steal to make up the difference.
  • See the silver thing sticking out of the wall in your hotel bathroom - its called a shower and some people (that means you!) need to use it every day. Conferences are places where lots of people are in very close contact and when we have to sit next to you on the bus or in a talk its pretty rough. (Thankfully this wasn't a problem with the DirectX guys I spent most of the time with)
  • Its pretty obvious they are filling all the buses every day. So sitting on the inside seat, putting your laptop bag on a seat, pretending to be asleep are just plain rude. Though I guess if you know you smell bad you were probably saving someone from a rough bus ride.
  • Stop asking stupid and long questions to the keynote speakers there is a limited amount of time and though you will disagree IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU even if you did get an MVP award.
    • If the previous 3 people have asked about sharepoint and groove then sit down - the rest of the room doesn't want another one
    • Nobody cares about where you are from, when you started developing or how much you want Steve Ballmer to kiss your ass
    • Get to the point.... when your question takes 5 minutes and the speaker answers in 20seconds you should get the hint that maybe you went on too long.
    • If you are smart enough to have written your question down in advance then read it and shut up - don't read it and then keep reiterating the same question 4 more times.
  • Its the MVP summit people - not a celebration of Canada day. Guys we love your enthusiasm but its getting a little much when you take over the keynote question time with your marketing stunts.
  • Conference organizers - try to get internet access sorted out. You know exactly how many people are coming and its a geek conference so assume 90% of them will be trying to get online.
    • Make sure you put the session evaluation questionnaire on the internet where nobody can access it because the connections are so slow.
Published 22 April 2008 11:26 AM by zman
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