People-Watching at ad events

This piece was first published in MARKETING WEEKENDER Issue 353

I went for an industry event recently and for the first time in years, I was with the floor audience throughout. 

I met, bumped, nudged, spoke, joked, poked, shoulder-tapped at least 60 people.

Here are some of my, hopefully satirical, people-watcher takes:

Quiet:
Won a new account (small) or just lost one (big). 

Quiet and drinking:
In between jobs.

Listening attentively:
Sourcing newbiz leads.

Always looking around:
Just got promoted. 

Loud and drinking:
Avoiding dinner.

Loud and eating:
Avoiding alcohol. 

Restless:
Vegetarian… or sitting with boss. 

Going for a smoke:
Bored, going home, or game. 

Constantly going to the loo:
Proud to be overdressed. 

Makeup and foundation:
Going on stage. 

No makeup:
Ex beauty queen. 

Sexy, suave, or both:
Going on stage, or hoping to be asked to go on stage. 

Smiling all the time (young):
Just removed braces. 

Smiling all the time (older):
Inebriation or psychotropic.

Smiling nervously:
Doing root canal the next day. 

Never move from seat:
Know 2023 is a recession year. 

Without name card:
Self-appointed VIP or owes printer. 

Never claps:
Shying from name card suitors. 

WhatsApping during event:
Running for GE 15. 

WhatsApping about event:
Running from event. 

Facebooking pictures of event:
Wooing late gatecrashers. 

Google-searching Roblox:
Just got a job in Digital. 

Taking lotsa pictures:
Working for host of event. 

Invisible:
Got new job but boss does not know yet. 

Busy near the door:
Busy dumping name cards.

Wearing a hat:
Media person pretending to be in advertising. 

Wearing bow tie:
Advertising person pretending to be a strategist. 

Tips the waiter:
CEO.

Does not tip the waiter:
CFO. 

Tips the waiter and waits:
HR. 

Looking for toothpick:
Procurement. 

Turban: Reporter from MARKETING (black), Malaysian Reserve (blue) or Digital News Asia (grey).  


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