Re: Larry's STC conference advice

Subject: Re: Larry's STC conference advice
From: Garret Romaine <GRomaine -at- MSMAIL -dot- RADISYS -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 26 Apr 1996 10:14:00 PDT

Larry Kunz cast this pearl:

>When you see someone whose name badge has a ribbon on it -- like
>"Speaker" or "Associate Fellow" or "Board Member" -- go over and
>strike up a conversation. That's how you'll meet some of the
>really terrific people in our profession. And, just as important,
>*they'll* get to meet *you*.

Before which Guy snorted and interpreted thusly:

<Fascinating. Perhaps the REALLY interesting people should wear Mickey
<Mouse Ears or something just as absurd. What a *shame* to pass over the
<REAL interesting people.
<Now you know why many of us DO NOT chose to affiliate with STC. Thanks for
<the cannon fodder.

I tried to let this one sit, and I asked myself, what does it have to do
with TECHWR-L and the List? Why should I respond? I wrestled this beast most
of last night, and when the log was still in my eye this morning, I had to
get it out or risk mixing metaphors all day. Then I thought I could put it
under 'Conference Advice' and slip it past Eric. :-)

Guy, the STC is not a faceless, impersonal bureaucracy. It's made up of
people, first and foremost. If it has warts and flaws, they're a direct
result of the fact that people are people. I guess I really still don't know
*why* you don't choose to affiliate with STC, and I really don't care,
because it's your business, unless you run Infomercials and take it public.

But why slam Larry's suggestion? My first convention I mostly spent my spare
time in a small room in a big hotel, channel surfing and slurping up room
service. I didn't make many contacts or meet many people. Last year in
Washington D.C. I was checking in and happened to be standing next to Ed
Newman, the keynote speaker. I introduced myself, talked briefly about
journalism, and after he left, I felt good about the whole thing. I can
lapse into the shy geeky nerd role pretty easily, to where I refuse to make
eye contact with anyone, but this got me off to a great start and I had a
fun conference.

Spotting special name tags doesn't have to be a body count kind of thing,
where you keep score with a punch card and try to meet the entire STC ruling
caste. But I do want the chance to chat with some of these folks. And as
Larry pointed out, many of these experts enjoy chatting with the membership.
I'm going to be sitting next to up to a hundred strangers that I have
something in common with, and sure, their opinions on things are great to
share. But I also want to talk to presenters, leaders, and other movers 'n
shakers, because this is a great chance to do so. Perhaps my only chance all
year.

Hell, Guy -- I'd make a beeline to talk to *you* face to face, special
name-tag or no.

Garret Romaine
gromaine -at- radisys -dot- com

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