There is a pattern, an actual pattern that tech event attendees have. My favourite game at a tech event is to take a slice of pizza in one hand, a bottle of water in the other and then sit down at the side of the busiest to and fro passage way and categorise people into my favourite segments. Here it is then, in no particular order of preference – my favourite kind of people at a global tech event!
The nerd god
He dresses down, but has his nose up. Dirty sneakers and a tee with obscure phraseology that only makes sense to him and two other people in his inner circle. He disdainfully walks through the event, dismisses each as a hack job or something he already knows all about and then wants to engage in a dramatic vicious debate with the poor presenter who was hired and trained just one hour before the event. He usually leaves early as he cannot stand such blatant stupidity all around him.
The rarity. Women are rare at events like these. Very! Irrespective of looks, caste, creed, colour and reason for being there, they are treated as Goddesses. The men in all the halls usher them in faster for exclusives, and every question asked by them gets answered first. The same rule applies at the after-parties. What else do you expect with a ratio of 15,000 men to one woman!
The boss man
This guy does the impossible. He comes in early at 8am wearing a fine, dark Italian suit that seems painted on him. His hair is perfectly moussed, he has a big grin with brilliant white teeth, says all the right things, meets all the right people, always has a surround crowd around him, goes out and parties till 5am and then repeats the whole cycle all over again for all five days.
They spend all five days doing one thing and one thing only. Collecting. As many pens, USB sticks, tiny mint boxes, terrible-tasting chocolates, crappy-looking portable chargers and lots of bags with huge brand names on them. I’ve even seen them stand in line to get a really horrible selfie stick. They also seem to like collecting every brochure anyone hands out.
The WTF-am-I-doing-here rookie
This guy is fun. To look at, that is. He’s usually a journalist that’s been sent in rotation, tech isn’t his beat. He’s expected to file a report in the next few hours, he’s bewildered and baffled and trying to make some sense of it all – till he finally just gives up! If he’s an Indian rookie journalist, then you’ll find him sitting in an Indian restaurant called ‘Taj Qutab Red Fort Hotal’ because he’s missing Indian food despite landing three hours ago!
The blog speed nut
This one is on some seriously good shit! He hates breakfast as it’s slowing him down from getting to the main event, he trudges to every press conference irrespective of which part of town it is, he stands in line and juggles four phones and calls and texts other bloggers to find out if they have something for him. He will file stories as the person on stage has just opened his mouth (sometimes even before). By the time the actual event opens, he has nothing to do. He hangs around for the next five days just to inform (gloat) everyone that ‘this story’ was filed by him days ago.
The frazzled pyjama shirt guy
You’ll see many of them. Multiple flights, too many people, flights missed, baggage mishandled, baggage still not arrived. They have their first meeting within minutes of landing. You’ll see them in a hoodie and a pyjama shirt inside. They keep telling everyone about their plight and how they’ll go shopping tonight.
Well, that above is going to be my family for the next few days. And all of us will get together to bring you coverage of the Mobile World Congress like never before. But before I sign off, maybe we could play a little game? Can you guess which one is me from the above ‘kinds of people’? I’m there for sure :)
Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3
From HT Brunch, March 5
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