Conferences can be long, arduous and and boring, or they can be fun engaging and inspiring. Either way, there are always some fellow delegates who stand out amongst their peers for all the wrong reasons. Whether you are guilty of actually being them, or class yourself as a cool conference customer, here is our list of the Top 5 people you don’t want to be at a work conference so you can identify them next time.
The Ninja Texter
This delegate thinks no one can see them texting slash scrolling through their Facebook feed during the conference but everyone can, AND the people sitting beside the Ninja Texter, are totally reading what’s on their screen. Conference facilitators LOVE to call out Ninja Texters with sudden, direct questions – ‘Carol, how you feel about these new changes to the Accounting structure?’ – so unless you have superhuman multitasking skills or an actual personal emergency, don’t be the the Ninja Texter.
The Doodle Artist
The jury is out on this delegate. Many creative, right brain thinkers actually retain more information when they are in the grips of a conference notepad artistic doodle-fest trance, but many others just doodle when they are bored. The trick is in the actual content, swirly swirls, flowers and patterns usually mean The Doodle Artist is listening. If they are sketching a warped portrait of the person sitting opposite them or drawing complex flip page cartoons… you can bet your bottom dollar they are not listening and can probably expect one of those nice direct questions from the boss up front.
The Nervous Giggler
We’ve all been guilty of being The Nervous Giggler. Usually triggered by a colleague’s stomach growling (or worse) this delegate can’t seem to keep their giggles under control, especially when the facilitator is talking, or there is a time allocated for ‘silent reflection.’ Easily identified by their shaking shoulders, a red slash purple face and their need to avoid eye contact with anyone else at all costs (for fear of setting the surge of laughter off again), The Nervous Giggler’s affliction is contagious – try not to sit next to them otherwise you could just catch it. If you do find yourself in the unfortunate position of being The Nervous Giggler, take a quick bathroom break and get it out of your system.
The Teacher’s Pet
Usually seen polishing an apple to give to the conference facilitator at the start of proceedings, this delegate gives new meaning to ‘active participation.’ Nearly putting out their fellow team members eyes with their quick ‘put your hand up’ thrust, they have an answer for everything, even if it’s not right. The Teacher’s Pet is an extremely handy distraction for conferences when you haven’t had much sleep the night before, and you’re pretty keen to sit back in the shadows rather than stand up and get super involved.
The Lolly Gobbler
Research cannot prove whether this delegate is either perpetually hungry, eating out of boredom or actually in a sugar-induced trance, but the Lolly Gobbler is that ever-present person who just can’t seem to keep their hand out of the conference lolly jar. Not only is it distracting for those who are mesmerized by watching the comforting rhythm of ‘jar to mouth’ hand movement, it also means there is usually not much left for the others to enjoy. Don’t be the Lolly Gobbler.