From my friend and fellow Exchange MVP Andy David, a handy field guide to spotting attendees at TechEd (and Exchange Connections), plus a few additions from Andy Webb, Tony Murray, and Melissa Travers:
- The Clothes Horse: Puts on the official Teched T-Shirt as soon as he registers. Wears a different vendor shirt every day, even at the attendee party.
- The Vendor Whore: Visits every booth and allows his badge to be swiped. Flashes and glows all week. Thinks the booth babes like him.
- The Wanderer: Moves from session to session., never staying for more than 20 minutes. Rates each presenter poorly.
- The Yes Man: Concurs with everything the presenter says, nodding his head in agreement, shaking his head “No” when told that is something you shouldn’t do. Raises his hand whenever asked.
- The Continental: Wears male Capri pants every day.
- The Nodder: Dozes through each session.
- The Tapper: Breaks out his laptop at the beginning of each session and reads email, IMs and browses the web. Never looks up and leaves 5 minutes before the session ends.
- The Carpet Hugger. Similar behavior to The Tapper, except this species heads directly for the floor against the wall and the nearest power outlet to power up his laptop to do his work.
- The Shutter Bug: Takes pictures of every session, every vendor, every booth babe and then posts to a blog that no one ever visits.
- The IT Guy: Wears vendor shirts from previous Techeds to every session and events, including the elusive “IT Hero” Hawaiian shirt. Takes the first bus back to his hotel once the free beer runs out.
- The Inquisitor: Makes his move to the microphone half-way through a session. Looks annoyed when asked to wait till the end. Asks a question without an answer.
- The Attendee: Usually only seen at the attendee party. Typically female, they look like they would rather be anywhere else but there.
- The Tropical Breeze – The Hawaiian shirt wearing, flip flop sporting retrosexual male who makes the rounds to every party (invited or not) until the free beer and the free food run out. And occasionally attends a late afternoon session.
- The Gadget Kid. More holsters than Dirty Harry. No visible social skills and hasn’t actually spoken since the age of 12, but has well developed thumbs.
- The Assassin hunts daily for that one choice piece of product information, contact, meetup, product team intro that couldn’t be found any other place or time. Is satisfied if the week produces at least 4 hits.
- The Sycophant won’t ask a question at the microphone, but will badger a speaker for 20min after a session and follow them down the hall until stopped by security at the speaker lounge.
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