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Suburban Island

All Conferenced Out
Friday, Mar. 12, 2004, 12:02 a.m.

QUESTION: What did I do with my conference badge now?

WHAT I LEARNED: Always have your badge handy.

Most of this week I have been at a conference. Conferences are lots of things: interesting, boring, educational, enlightening, tiring, inspiring, fun, demanding, tedious. And expensive. Parking: $21. Coat check: $3 with tip. Bring your wallet.

My other salient observations from this recent conference experience are these:

(1) Better bring your lunch and a bottle of water with you too or there’ll be more paying to do.

(2) Try not to shake your head when the lady a few rows ahead of you answers her cell phone during a session and then talks on it all the way out of the room as if she’s at home. I hope you succeed on this one. My head was bobbing back and forth like a dashboard ornament.

(3) Remember to read the nametags of those you are supposed to know (but have temporary amnesia with regard to) using the greatest level of discretion and if all else fails try to create a momentary distraction so that you can lean in, take a blatant peek, pull yourself together again, and let their name fall quite naturally from your now smiling lips.

(4) Read the program before the conference starts and actually plan what you want to attend versus my approach which was based on a loose reading of the at-a-glance schedule in the woman’s room – I'm a serious multi-tasker.

And finally - always sit in the back of the room and close to the exit in case you need to beat a hasty retreat as you realize that your at a glance assessment of the program – untaken as it was in the woman’s room –has led you (not surprisingly) to make a poor program choice.

Now, go forth and gain knowledge.

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