1. Conferences and Events

CES Update: Registration Hell

I took the monorail from the MGM Grand to the Convention Center this morning.

The good: I had the foresight to get a monorail pass last night. That’s a trick I’ve learned in Manhattan – everyone buys their tickets before they need to get on the train in the morning, and the lines are basically nonexistent at night. Sure enough, there was a massive crowd waiting at the ticket machines, jamming the entire hallway, and I squeezed right through.

The bad: I’m wearing a jacket. Google Weather told me it’s 41 degrees. A) It’s not. B) While I tried to pare down other items to bare necessities (okay, maybe an Ipevo Skype phone isn’t a necessity, though it will come in handy later for some calls), a coat was just a bad idea. I’m ditching that Tues.

The ugly: Registration hell. As I made my way off the monorail, I asked about half a dozen people where to pick up a speaker’s badge, and 4 directed me to 250, 2 to 263. Someone in 250 then told me 263, and someone in 263, after not finding me, directed me to 259, the room where I’ll be speaking. A very kind woman then saw to it that I’d get registered, and she convinced someone in 250 to register me as an attendee, who gave me the special gold/industry relations pass. Then I went back to 263, and they had a badge waiting for me – the gold kind, but this one with the speaker’s badge. I could finally get my frosted doughnut and cranberry juice (plus a pear and a Diet Pepsi for good measure).

An aside: the woman who helped is here with her husband. She’s an older woman, presumably here to retire, having lived across the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and the South. She said between her husband and herself, they have three Masters degrees between them, and they’re making $8.25 an hour, just like everyone else.

It’s hard to figure out what to make of it, though I guess, at least for this week, it beats being a Wal-Mart greeter. I did get the sense, conveyed from her, that she could be doing something more meaningful.

Then again, selfishly speaking, I’m glad she’s here.

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