Tradeshow Edition

In this edition: Things you don't want to hear at conferences while waiting on line and a tradeshow dialog.

May 7, 2004

9 Min Read
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We're please to bring you our complete, uncut list of Top 11 user submissions for the "Top 11 things you don't want to hear while waiting in line for a conference badge."


    • Got a light?

    • Is your shoe on fire?

    • Are you expecting a bomb?

    • I'll give you a free t-shirt if you answer this question right.

    • The fire alarm

    • Do you have valid ID?

    • We're full.

    • No more free passes.

    • The buffet is gone.

  • Chuck Winters
    Sir (Madam), that "computer show" was last week. This is the Amway Spring Kick-off.

  • Don Barry
    "Isn't that your wife?"

  • Robert St John
    Hey, you don't happen to know where the Hooker's exhibit is, do you?

  • Charles Ashbacher

    They are serving free beer in the other lines.

  • Logan G. Harbaugh
    "Hey! This isn't a registration form, it's a credit application!"

  • Dan Kwitchen
    OK, where's the rest of the badges?
    -or from the person behind you, "I'm starting to feel sick..."

  • Jeffrey Bianchine
    Dude, this year's show guide is a post card.

  • Sharon Trimble
    Is that a man or a woman at the registration desk?
    Did he just wipe his nose on my badge?

  • David E. Smith
    Why would you have a trade show in a dry county?

  • Nancy Moldoch

    • We didn't receive your owe us ...

    • Your product didn't arrive.

    • We don't accept shipments on the day of the show.

    • All the booth spaces you requested were taken so we gave you the booth next to the Anti-Abortion booth.

    • This is a theme trade show, where is your costume?

    • Did you bring the lunch tickets?

    • Lunch is sold out.

  • Lou Solomon

    • Pssst.. wanna buy a keyring?

    • Yeah, but if you get the hot dog AND the soda, its only $15.

    • This show must be doing well... They are so packed with vendors, I heard they had to put SCO's booth at another site.

    • I hope this line moves fast, I don't want to miss the Smell-Over-IP seminar.

    • No, I'm sorry, but I don't know how to spell my name in Sanskrit.

    • I hope you like curried hot dogs, cause the cafeteria has been outsourced.

  • John Stevens
    I see by the split in your pants you are wearing silk panties. Sir... Sir...

  • Steve Hochreiter
    "My cousin is the health inspector, and he said not to eat the food here!"

  • Pete Gitlin
    "Sorry...check-in for booth babes is in the line to the right"

  • Joe Gonzalez

    • Microsoft has the largest booth.

    • $7 Hot Dogs, $5 Ice cream, $4 Sodas, and long lines; where am I, Disneyland?

  • wayne maurer

    • Oh Darn! I forgot to take my Thorazine this morning.

    • You sure do have a perty mouth.

    • I have some candy in my pocket would like some?

    • I'm a born again Christian - Do you believe in Jesus Christ?

    • My doctor says I shouldn't wait in lines because I might become unstable.

    • Are you hearing voices telling you to kill, kill, kill?

    • You know I've heard these badges are a way for the Government to track you.

  • Gary Hoke

    By the time we get through this line Microsoft will have released three new critical patches.

  • Gary Hoke
    I heard John Kerry was here and that he proclaimed that he was the father of the internet.

  • Gary Hoke
    Sorry but we're all out of extra large. Would a small be OK?

  • Jim Glinskas
    You think they'll strip search us this year?

  • Tony Gasparovic
    All the conference computers are down. It seems that all Microsoft OS machines have been hacked.

  • Ken Graham
    Dude! I'm glad I have a freebee pass this time. The attendees CD they are giving out this year has all of your contact information, including your credit card number.

  • David G. Miller

    Don't think of it as being a "Booth Babe"; think more along the lines of "Demo Dominatrix."

  • Garry Fowler
    I heard you can get a good deal of an Xbox here!

  • Cindy Kryszak
    Welcome to the Used Car Salesman Symposium!

  • Bob Mariotti
    "did you hear that Bill Gates will be here, randomly checking YOUR security, PERSONALLY???"

  • Mitchell Malloy
    So do you come here often?

  • Judy Hefner
    I just got back from the doctor's office. (cough, cough) I really shouldn't be here.

  • Mitchell Gauthier

    Weren't you on 60 minutes last month?

  • Lauren Schlicht
    "Did you hear that [your company] filed for bankruptcy this morning?

  • Brick Blair
    Is this the line for the fee prostate exam?
    I wonder if the Bill Gates impersonator will be as hilarious as last year?

  • George
    Excuse me, mind if I fart?

  • Dave Venman

    Actually, I'm only here because I've run out of pens.

  • Abraham Bloom
    "Everything they have here today is 100% Microsoft Windows compatible"

  • Erik Dauplaise
    That the young tech guy you brought with you built your company's e-commerce server completely out of free vendor samples from the last conference.

  • Steven Bruhn
    Every tenth person gets a free cavity search...and your behind number nine....

  • Robert St John
    I am the OS/2 Admin with my company, and can hardly wait to see all the new advances with the system.

  • Kevin Barrer
    anything in Klingon

  • Jenifer Aydelotte

    "What company am I supposed to represent at this show?"

  • Johnnie Ray
    May I have your attention? The Fed-Ex containing our badges has been lost - would everyone please fill out a registration form?

  • Johnnie Ray
    "Welcome to e-bay live"

  • Greg Tucker
    Do you think Martha will be here?

  • Rick Vanover
    What is Registration?

  • Michael Crowley
    "Down with Bill Gates!!! LINUX rules!!!""LINUX sucks!!! Bill Gates is a genius!!!"

  • Jim Grupa

    I heard that security was being handled by Microsoft.

  • Tim Germain
    Everyone must put on one of these masks. Don't want our computers catching viruses now, do we?

  • David Colee
    Hey! Did you see those Fire Department guys going out the back door all covered in soot?

  • Phil Trofimuk
    You say someone hacked the attendee list database? Osama who?

  • Phil Horney
    "Hey, I heard they banned swim suits, Spandex(tm), and hip-huggers in the new vendor booth dress code!"

  • Gary Meerovich
    -I hear SCO is going to announce they also own the rights to your DNA code ... which God has misappropriated.

    -No real technological breakthroughs since last year, but we did change the signs on the bathrooms to ?1s? and ?0s?.

  • Heather Gillbanks
    This conference is really for the check signers, not the techie people.

  • Ken Graham
    Whoa Dudes! We are [insert electric guitar riff here] Wild Stallions!

  • DW Grintalis
    I am looking for some help with upgrading to Novell.

  • Wallace Branche
    We have all the latest Gear at our shop, we were the first to deploy VoIP, Wireless and I am moments from getting my CCIE. WHO CARES?

  • vince diligent

    Your manager's voice after you called in "sick."

  • vince diligent
    You notice your company's booth lists your current position on the job board. (Then later, you see your VP talking with the "Outsource your IT Overseas" people.

  • Sherrill Crater
    "The new badge is an implant?!"

  • Kevin Layne
    "Wow is that the Scooby van? (going by outside) That is so cool!"

  • Kevin Pruett
    "Make sure you check out the Al-Qaeda booth. I hear they have a new technology seminar in 3...2...1.."

  • John Klaus
    "...and here's the 16 page color map of the show floor..."

  • Lance Johnson

    "Oh look, they are selling Amish weave baskets at the front desk!"

  • Robert Foster
    Dude! That guy said this is the demo version of the conference. Sun is hosting the "real" version (translation "open bar")at the Hilton.

  • Karl Compton
    UNIX conference??? I thought you said Eunuch's Conference!

  • Eric Thompson
    "I hear that Britney Spears is delivering the Keynote speech."

  • Greg Martin
    "So you're saying "the food service union is on strike so we get McDonald's for every meal"?

  • Nicole Pauls
    I heard that Microsoft is announcing a new patch management service.

  • alain briancon

    is this the waiting line for longhorn beta CDs?

  • alain briancon
    is this the waiting line for longhorn beta CDs?

  • David Mohrman
    I hear Balmer has plans to one-up Janet Jackson during the Longhorn presentation!

  • Jaime Villarreal
    Anything technical. We're there for the free beer.

  • John R Wiley
    I hear Senator Kerry is giving the Keynote to fire up the crowd!

  • Pat Gallagher
    Last year I won every prize they gave out ... that is why I come to these things.

  • Brian Waller

    These RFID badges are cool!

  • Garry Fowler
    Do you want fries with that?

  • Garry Fowler
    Spam? Not me! I never eat it!

  • Duke Walls
    (over a bullhorn): "We realize the lines are long, but if you'll just step over the bodies of those who have fallen, we can continue the check-in process with our normal efficiency!"

  • Brian Tunget
    We are all out of gifts but you can have an extra boxed lunch.

  • Dan Kwitchen
    "I hope they cover migration from CP/M to the latest operating system. I wonder if I'll need to upgrade my memory. I already have 128kb."

  • Gerald Brown

    I work for Microsoft. Here, let me hold your laptop while you sign in.

  • Chuck Phillips
    I sure hope they got the plumbing unclogged and found the dead animal in the A/C.Nothing but decaf?!?

  • Steve Boyko
    "I figured, hey I don't need to shower, no one will notice. What a long line - we'll be here for hours."

  • jeff meadows
    I hear the keynotes went all night last year!

  • jeff meadows
    So, the Cisco demo has been replaced with the openVMS lecture?

  • Robert R. Ballecer, SJ
    "Uh... excuse me, could you change my job title to 'Freebie Whore?'"

  • Tom McAniff

    "IT is Information Technology? Fudge, I thought this was an "Adams Family" Fan Fest...hey, do you think I can pick up a Morticia screen saver?"

    Having trouble deciding whether to attend that next trade show? Here's a hint: Check out city or convention-center Web sites to see what else is going on while you're in town. Last month, for example, the IEEE held its Fourth Annual Symposium on Cluster Computing and the Grid at Chicago's Drake Hotel. Pretty dry stuff--until attendees discovered that at the nearby Hilton over the same three days, more than 1,000 stunning females were taking part in "America's Ten 10s 2004 Model Search." Dunno if any great advances were made in grid computing during that time, but we're pretty sure the attendees were happy about the selection of a meeting site.

    If you don't know the terrain, a trade show can be a scary place. Our editors have been hard at work creating a handy trade-show jargon list that strips away the euphemisms. Here's a sample:

    1. Freebieoflage: The overapplication of free buttons and pins, creating an additional layer of clothing

    2. Spielshirt: A T-shirt won by sitting through a 15-minute presentation

    3. Proshilleration: The uncanny way vendor sales specialists seem to multiply the deeper you travel into a given vendor's booth

    4. Dumbcierge: The often less-than-helpful helpdesk personnel on the show floor5. Fragsploitation: Boring hardware vendors who set up multiple first-person-shooter games to demonstrate performance

    6. Kioskiddies: Show attendees who actually use sponsor kiosks to check e-mail and conduct business

    7. Walkienotalkies: Show attendees who wear walkie-talkies that appear to be just for show

    8. Flooreographers: Show attendees who wander the aisles, their noses buried in massive vendor-booth mapsHave you got a neologism on the subject of tradeshows? Send it our way, and if we find it mild to massively humorous, we'll publish it in print and online.



    Tradeshow Neologism

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