I still have a couple of sessions from the SCBWI 2010 Winter Conference to recap. However, as I flipped through my conference notebook this morning, I came across a page of notes I’d written between sessions. Notes on conference etiquette.
Those who know me will attest: I’m not a snarky person. And the last thing I want to do is use my blog as a place to gripe. But I remember the circumstances that caused me to jot these notes down. And if my posting them means someone else out there will have a good conference experience, then it will be worth the potential snark.
So, here it is.
Conference Etiquette: How not to be rude
- Arrive to the sessions on time.
- If you arrive late, make a quiet entrance. This does not mean banging your chair around, shuffling through your bags, etc., to get your stuff ready for the session that started ten minutes ago.
- Sit still and listen.
- That one bears repeating: Sit still and listen.
- Don’t talk. The person next to you does not want to discuss the lecture with you as it’s happening. They are listening.
- Don’t wiggle your legs or feet such that you distract those around you.
- If you wiggle your legs and feet and the person next to you asks you to please stop, do not respond, “Well, you shouldn’t have sat next to me.” This is what civilized people call rude.
- Don’t flip open your laptop halfway through the lecture to check your email. The clicking of your laptop keys is louder than you think. Taking notes about the session on your laptop is one thing. Distracting others for no other reason than you’re bored or uninterested is something else. Go check your email somewhere else. Or better yet, be courteous and listen.
- If you decide to leave early, leave quietly, doing your best not to disturb those around you.
- After you leave, don’t return again ten minutes later, wanting your same seat back.
- If you demand to have your same seat back, don’t repeat the previous ten steps again. It’s RUDE.
All of these can be boiled down to one simple rule: Be considerate of others. I’m sure your mother tried to teach you this at some point in your upbringing. Give it a try. You don’t want to be the rude person at the next conference you attend. Trust me. Someone like me will blog about you.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you agree? Have your own guidelines you’d like to add? Think I’m way off track?
Today I am going to see Rob Bell’s “Drops Like Stars” presentation. I am really looking forward to hearing him talk about creativity. Really looking forward to it. I hope those sitting around me are looking forward to it, too. I hope my seats are in the courteous section.