I was a bit cheeky last night. I gatecrashed ad:tech.
I was meeting up with a few friends of mine who have SEO/SEM businesses, and they invited me to come along to a bar in the Hilton. I didn’t think anything of it, clearly they liked to drink in glamorous places. But as I approached and I called them for clarification on where to find them, they explained that it was actually a function for members of a big conference, and that I had to try to sneak in. Now, I tend to be very proper when it comes to following rules: I never have shop-lifted, I hate lying, and I pay all my taxes. So my insides suddenly went into a state of panic at the prospect of having to sneak into an event. I just don’t do those sorts of things, asking politely and sweetly is much more my style, and I find generally as successful a tactic as subterfuge.
I didn’t give myself time to think about it, I approached the entrance to the private function confidently, assuredly, and pretending to talk earnestly to someone on my BlackBerry. And I strided right in without anyone giving me a second glance. Once inside I still had a moment of panic as I saw everyone wearing lanyards, and I was conspicuously without one. But I swallowed my guilt, and assured myself that no one was likely to accost me, and if they did, I could feign ignorance. And to commemorate my acceptance of the situation, I picked up a glass of free champagne, and went to find my friends.
It was a brilliant evening. Ladies reading this: I have found the best place to find handsome and wealthy men. Digital media conferences. The place was heaving with strapping lads in flash suits and confident grins. I gazed in wonder at this promised land.
I met loads of fascinating and driven people. Ad:Tech seems to be a popular and successful event, attracting some incredible speakers and participants (or so I was told). Sydney is a small place though, as I bumped into a few people I had met at other events, and others who had worked with people I knew. I think its fair to say most people in the Sydney digital media space are within one degree of separation from each other.
The funniest moment in the night however, was when I approached a particularly handsome man, only to find he was the organiser and director of Ad:Tech in Australia. He didn’t seem overly impressed with the fact I had not actually attended the conference (free glass of champagne in my hand notwithstanding), and I think I may have even intimated that I didn’t know what Ad:Tech was. Oops. I tried to justify my behaviour by suggesting I was balancing up the male:female ratio at the event. I’m not sure he was convinced.
I would like to attend more of these events, but it’s difficult when they are on weekdays (as I am still working my day job) and tend to be hideously expensive. I can see what an incredible networking opportunity they represent, and I will go to them as soon as I have funds to do so, but I cannot justify getting into debt to attend. I guess I will just need to continue gate-crashing in the meantime!