Annie Lowney

Overheard at the World's Most Disappointing Conference

- How was the conference?
- Do you really want to know?

- That bad, huh?
- My cortisol levels peaked in the queue* to register, and don’t get me started on the toilet queue.
- It was that long?
- It had the parameters of a small country with lots of hostile locals.
- Urgh.
- Then there was the swag bag… glossy sales brochures that everyone dumped in front of the sign that said, “We are a sustainable conference”.

disappointing conference


- The whales are weeping.
- The seats were as comfortable as church pews. We also were squeezed into intimate levels of closeness… as in touching-bodies-with-strangers closeness.
- Now that’s a greedy organiser.
- Oh, also! The WiFi was crap!
- Well, some say providing WiFi isn’t a good idea...
- If you say ahead of time that you won’t have WiFi, that's fine. It's when they say they have WiFi and it's sh*t.
- Fair point… I’m not the enemy.
- Sorry, it’s just my attendee disappointment escalating to rage levels.
- It’s cool, I can relate. I’ve had many a bad attendee experience.
- Do share.
- I get thirsty at conferences.
- Well, it is thirsty work listening to people.
- Yeah it is. But more times than not, there is a lack of free drinking water available.
- It’s a human right!
- As simple as a tap!

waterbottle-[Recovered]


- True.
- Then there is the issue of bad acoustics...
- That’s the worse.
- I don’t want to listen to a mouse-like voice screech into an echo chamber from a rickety stage, you know?
- Oh, that reminds me, what also gets me is MCs that have no connection to the industry but are a "celebrity" so there you go!
- Ah yes, a celebrity that is an "online influencer". #nojustno.
- Aren’t sponsored speaking slots the worst?
- You mean advertorials.
- They just cheapen a conference.
- Mmm. I don’t know if I completely agree. If they’re not pushing their product and sharing some agnostic insight then I’m cool with it.
- Grrrr.
- ...Do you need water?
- I also hate getting my photo taken.
- But you’re so dashing!
- This is true, but my good looks should never be used to promote an event.
- I’m sure it would create a spike in ticket sales though.
- More than likely, but I prefer to be kept a secret.
- How about the back of your beautiful head?
- I guess I could share my luscious tresses with the masses, if asked.
- You’re very magnanimous.
- This is very, very true.
- Although that generosity does not extend to my data.
- What did they do with your data?!
- I started getting emails from one of the sponsors. Not cool.
- Whoever thought that was a good idea deserves to have all their details sold.
- And to be spammed constantly for life.
- Nothing less… I have a constant fomo with multi-track events.
- Yes! Me too! I hate when there’s a bad scheduling description and not enough time to get between stages.
- I get very MMA.
- That’s disturbing.
- Ain’t my fault, the organiser made me.
- I can’t argue with that.
- Creepy drunk men…
- Creepy drunk men…
- Loud music at networking events.
- You’re showing your age now.
- If you can’t hear another person speak I don’t think it equates to oldman-ness. #getoffmylawn
- I am very much off it, and on the other street.
- Good.
- OK, a few final ones before I run. I’ve a hankering for stew.
- Random.
- I love stew.
- Right, so… I hate when there’re too many questions when I try to make a ticket purchase. It’s so invasive.
- Yeah it is! No consideration for my wheelchair is the worst though. As much as I would love to float upstairs in it, I can’t.

disappointing conferences
- I’d love to be able to float too. Talks running over into someone else's is another one...
- Oh yeah, that’s a big one. It’s event management 101.
- The marketing hype failing to deliver. I hate feeling cheated.
- It’s about as unsatisfying as a healthy cake.
- ...I can’t think of anymore.
- Nope, I’m good. I got all my attendee angst out of me ‘til another conference lets me down.
- Me too.
- I feel lighter. Now to fill up the feeling with that stew...


* "line" for our American readers who are also familiar with the woes of a disappointing conference

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