Monday, January 29, 2007

Lotusphere etiquette

Okay, now that the glow has faded it's time to get a little ugly. I ran into a number of rude and obnoxious behaviors at Lotusphere and it's time to educate some people on what is and is not appropriate.
  1. Don't stop in the middle of the way. If you need to stop for any reason, step to the side. Next year I'll be kneecapping anyone fixated on a Crackberry who is standing in the middle of a walkway. You've been warned.

  2. Don't walk and try to read your e-mail on a mobile device. You're only walking about 1/3rd your regular speed and it's extremely annoying to someone who has 5 minutes to get to their next session. Step to the side, read your so-important-it-can't-wait messages, then move on at a normal pace.

  3. Be aware of your backpack. Those things are HUGE. Two people standing face to face, both wearing backpacks, are going to take about 6 feet of space when approached from the side. Do this in a hallway, or in the rotunda near the bar in the Dolphin, and it seriously restricts traffic flow. Also, when entering a row of people already seated your backpack is about face level and can be disfiguring. Just pay attention and be aware.

  4. Always sit in the middle of a row. Sitting at the end just makes it more difficult for anyone else to get in, and you'll get disturbed as people come in. Move to the middle and make it easier on everyone.

  5. If you are in a session and you're staying in the same room for the next session, move to the far side of the room. Like #3 above, this just makes it easier on everyone.

  6. Seats are for people. As much as your backpack might tell you it wants to see Nathan's riveting session, it doesn't really need to. The same goes for water bottles, laptop cases, notebooks, folios, and other accessories. Don't listen to them.

  7. Unless you're on stage, don't talk during sessions. Nobody paid $2,000 and traveled hundreds of miles to hear you.

  8. Turn off the beeping/chirping devices! I wish they could implement a system like hospitals have that disables them.

  9. Don't take or place phone calls during sessions. Yes, I heard this several times. If you can't sit for an hour without talking on the phone, please just stay home. Not only are you not getting much out of Lotusphere, you're likely to get assaulted by someone near you.
That's all for now. I'm sure I'll come up with some others, but those were at the top of my list.

-- Mr. Manners


  1. So when my phone rang during the OpenLog presentation, so I immediately left because I had to take the call... was that okay? ;-)

    (Yeah, I shouldn't have been on the front row -- point taken)

  2. LOL! While I would say that most of this is "common sense," I have become more cynical in my old age and think that more and more people don't have common sense, or if they do, choose to ignore it. Nothing irrirates me more than being in a meeting or session, and seeing people in "BlackBerry Prayer" mode, ignoring everything else. You aren't as important as you think you are. Really.

    Great post.

  3. I would have thought it was common sense, too, but having seen all of this demonstrated several times a day I thought I would take the time to point it out. I don't care if someone finds it offensive, and if I just help one person be more aware I'll be satisfied.

  4. As someone who waited tables in college, I can tell you that most people have no awareness of the space around them. Without it, they don't realize when they are in the way.

    Good luck getting people not to sit on the end. The problem is that by doing so, the late people get to sit on the end and you wind up rewarding bad behavior.

    Nathan, you're right. If you walk into a meeting and can't turn off your audio communication devices, then you really need to sit in the back. This holds for meetings, weddings, church, movies, etc.

  5. I'm right with you EXCEPT for #4. I'm a fat dude, and as such, I sit on the aisle for extra space. Also, I had to leave several sessions early due to my press commitments, so I needed to be on the end.

    I think that as long as you allow people in easily, sitting on the end is fine. I do agree that it kind of rewards latecomers by giving them better seats if early people move to the middle...

    Everything else is pretty spot on though, wish more people would read this.


  6. Well, in my defense, I'd forgotten that my wife was on the way to the hotel, and I had to go out to see her! I'd sat in the front to lend support to my OpenNTF homies!

    Surely Julian and Rob can cut me a little slack when it's a family matter! :-)