Five things you've probably seen or heard at every conference...
Updated: Oct 27, 2020
I'll admit it: I've reached the stage of quarantine where I'm missing even the things I found mildly annoying onsite at events and would have them all back in a heartbeat! Most of them anyway...
Approximately one third of the 11,496 pictures on my phone are of 'back of house life'- think photos of staff using measuring tape to ensure that conference rows are perfectly aligned, late-night rehearsals, stacks of fly cases, half eaten triangle sandwiches and mounds of half-drunk bottles of water (yes, plastic is bad.) If you're a conference attendee then I imagine your confusion that there is a different view to the one you see once you've passed the registration desk- which means that we've done our job and done it well!
Whether a planner or delegate, it's highly likely that you've seen or heard at least one of these five things at every conference you've ever been to...
I have no idea which genius came up with the equation that carbs + hours of presentations = happy, alert, awake delegates for 8 solid hours. Must have been a man. (I jest!). Carbs in their many shapes & forms will almost always form the base of every conference, standing proud at breakfast (sausage or bacon sandwiches), taking over breaks (cakes, muffins, biscuits), lunch (curry, pasta bake, soup- all with bread) and finally nailing your coffin as you leave with a healthy piece of fruit.
If there's anything hundreds of people in a venue love most it's queuing- queues for the toilets, queues for the coffee, sometimes queues they don't even know why they're standing in, but they'll still do it! Whilst it is sometimes the fault of venue or organiser for not predicting flow properly, it's usually a delegate herd mentality (for food/ drinks) or forgetting that we're not in a club making new best friends (ladies loos- there you go, evened the sexist stereotype score!)
The gold or silver sequin jacket
Here's the brief: how do we make sure that everyone is focused and paying attention to the "Big Boss's" super important presentation about forecasts & bonuses...? Perfect- play 'Eye of the Tiger' as he walks out wearing a gold/silver sequined jacket! Every time.
The cheesy music stings...
From "energisers" to ice breakers, music stings play a massive part of every conference- but it seems like we're all choosing from the same playlist! Chances are that as an attendee you barely pay attention to the songs playing on the tannoy- but I can guarantee you that the event team have had that loop of music driving them crazy for at least a few days before you've set foot in the venue!
These are the 'Top 5 Most Annoying Conference Songs'- thanks to Chloe Heathcote for rthe trip down earworm memory lane!:
Giant - Calvin Harris and Rag 'n' Bone Man
Forget You - Ceelo Green
Get Lucky - Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams
Can't stop the feeling - Justin Timberlake
Uptown Funk - Bruno Mars
The Hungover colleague/attendee...
After a long day of presentations, breakout sessions, carbs and queuing, you're rewarded with a 3 course meal and an open bar: a sure recipe for our entertainment. There's something about being let loose on a school night away from the family that gets the better of at least a handful of attendees at every corporate do and if they're not busting moves on the dance floor or negotiating a payrise with the MD over shots, they're definitely wearing shades the next day and dozing off at the back of the room.
This is when the event team become herders, rounding up the strays that are pretending they don't know where their next session is or that they have a REALLY important meeting/ emails to catch up on... (probably to HR after the previous night's shenanigans...).
God, I love the events industry!!