Sunday, March 7, 2010

Conferences – It’s snowing in Orlando

Ok, I admit, not snowing but frickin COLD. How can anyone expect you to enjoy yourself at a conference when it is cold and windy? Oh come on now, we all know that the main reason of any conference we go to is the education and listening to the various speakers, to gather information that can be passed on to others in our companies. In addition we get to network with our customers, potential customers, suppliers and colleagues.

There is some fraction of people who think that all people do at conferences is drink, golf and eat expensive dinners. Let me tell you that most of the people I associate with do not have their first drink till at least noon, especially the past couple of conferences I have been to, because it was too cold during those morning tee times to drink anything but coffee. Besides many people ( of course not me) are too hung-over to even think about drinking till at least noon as their red, squinty eyes closely focus on trying to hit the little white fucking golf ball. So you say, OK what were you doing golfing in the morning anyway if you are supposed to be in the conference? AH HA, that is the morning tee times are for the first day of the conference since you have to be there for afternoon meetings and a cocktail parties in the evening.

Yep, there you go mentioning cocktail parties and drinking, told you that is all you guys do. Wrong, this is called a networking event. You meet people who you already know and network with them about where you want to go to dinner and eat and have more drinks. Then again, you sometimes meet people you have not met before that seem to be fun ( or that you think you can get business from) so you invite them along with the group you networked with before to the dinner to eat and have more drinks or to meet you after you have dinner with the original group you had planned with before. The whole idea is to get as many people together so you can exchange slurred misinformation and bitch about the industry or whatever in general.

Some conferences are tougher to endure than others. I was recently at one in which we had to golf for 3 days straight. Oh I am so sorry you had to endure that pain and suffering of being on the golf course for 3 days. Your damn right Skippy, the first 2 days in Sunny Orlando had us golfing in 40/50 degree temperatures with 40 mile per hour winds. It is very discouraging to hit a golf ball in front of a customer that does not go far because of all the wind in your fricking face. I am convinced that my customers used different golf balls or something because even in the wind they went further than mine. So, you try your best and after a few holes decide the only way to get through this excruciating round is to have a drink and loosen up to forget about how cold you really were.

Sometimes the organizers schedule other events for after the meetings which again are networking events. These are typically at a venue away from the actual conference. Many of these have relatively small indoor venues with extra room on the outside. I know you are thinking, another eating and drinking fest. Well, maybe if you consider that if it is cold during the day on the golf course it is cold as hell freezing over at night trying to drink a drink outside because the limited inside seating has gone too fast because you got there too late because you were out golfing with customers and freezing your ass off already. So you have two choices: Stand up and eat in a little corner, while taking off all clothes you have and still being legal about it because it is hot as hell in the room because there are so many people crammed into a little space or go outside and freeze to get away from the heat and also to find a table to sit at.

You have to regain your sanity and get warm and comfortable someplace, so then a group of colleagues decide let’s go to a club. You now find yourself at place you normally would not go to and on the dance floor doing group dances and pretending to be 20 years younger than you are. After enduring this for a couple of hours you drag yourself back to the hotel barely being able to walk because you frinking shoes were not made for being on a dance floor and your bad ankles were only made to sustain your weight while walking and not doing stuff you did when you were much younger. Needless to say you are one of the first to leave.

Ok now another day of meetings and you notice that somehow the 8 AM early morning sessions are not as full as previous days, but by 10AM the room starts filling up again as the important speakers for the day are not scheduled until late. Hhmmm is this a coincidence? The morning rolls along with the various speakers and for some weird reason the majority of the people in the room are wearing sunglasses. I guess they are just preparing their eyes for another bright and sunny Florida day on the golf course. So, when’s the next conference?????

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

WOW......I'm so sorry you had to "work" so hard last week!!!its a tough job but someone has to do it. It makes you appreciate your job more.....LMAO!!!

I have actually seen this first hand and I must say it surprised me how everyone one of your colleagues are drunk and you guys still understand each other. I couldn't understand a slurred word anyone said. I guess you develop your own language. I will say even though you do "work" hard, they are A LOT of fun!!!!