If you're like me, you attend a lot of conferences, events, presentations, and the like. They happen in nearly every business and always involve groups of people coming together in a hotel conference room to listen to presentations and interact with the presenters. During these events, there are five distinct personalities present in the attendees.
Each of these brings a slightly different dynamic to the conference. Some are disruptive, some are helpful, some are just plain annoying. Some of us even change personalities according to our interest level in the subject matter of the conference (and whether or not we were coerced into attending).
Which one of these are you?
Type 1 - The Uber-Attender
This is the person that sits up front, right in the middle, as close to the podium as possible and spends the entire conference taking prolific notes. This person often interrupts to ask questions or asks most of the questions given during the Q&A period. It's almost assured that this person will be fascinated by minute details having to do with the subject.
Type 2 - The Sleeper
Opposite the Uber-Attender is the sleeper. This is the person who sits in the far back corner and either dozes through most of the presentations or spends the entire time flipping through unrelated magazines or reading a book. This person was probably forced to attend by a superior and is likely there in their stead. He or she will have no interest in the subject matter and during conversations before or after the presentation will probably avoid talking about the subject completely.
Type 3 - The Socialiser
Similar to the Sleeper, the Socialiser couldn't care less about the subject at hand. Unlike the Sleeper, however, this person will be quite active during the presentations themselves, usually tweeting or texting (or both) or even using the free WiFi to check emails and surf the Web.Woe to the person in the room who may have given the Socialiser their contact information beforehand as they'll surely be deluged with attempts at humour during the presentations.
Type 4 - The Networker
This person attends conferences for one purpose and one purpose only: to network with other people in the industry. Most likely, this person is hoping to use the contacts made to land a better (or any) job. This person will spend the entire event handing out business cards to everyone from the bussboy to the CEO who presented the keynote.
Type 5 - The Collector
The Collector is the person that spends most of the event trolling around for freebies. From baseball hats to the hotel's napkins, this person fills suitcases with the stuff and takes it home. By the time any portion of the event concludes to move on to another, this person will have purse or pockets (or both) full of pilfered goodies and will often make frequent trips to their room to unload so they can collect more.