Out-of-sight offsite | Business Line.

Stay unseen but top of mind at the next conference


My college thesis was on “Interpersonal dynamics of seating arrangements in conference rooms”, which makes me supremely qualified to opine that U-shaped seating is the worst — you’re forced to make eye contact with everyone in the room. Round tables are marginally better — you only have six-odd douchebags to deal with. Theater-style seating is ideal — sit at the back and play Candy Crush.


Conference room thermostats are permanently set to 16ºC. That coupled with the free bottled water means frequent restroom breaks (never factored into the schedule). Dress in layers — there will always be that colleague who is ‘feeling sick’ and needs your jacket.


An awesome conference will have bowls of high-quality confectionary — mints, sweets and candies — placed within arm’s reach. A cheapskate conference will have sugar and saunf. Some hotels give you free writing pads and pens. Thank them and stock up — kids at home will appreciate it. The tightwads only give free pencils. Pencils? Who (other than architects) uses pencils in this day and age?


Post-conference session equals free, unlimited booze. It may be domestic, IMFL or premium. It doesn’t matter. Drink as if no one is watching.

Group Photograph

This piece of chromatic memorabilia has no historic value; it’s only pulled out a year later by losers who envy those who have since left for greener pastures. That said, try not to be in the front row where nincompoops end up kneeling.

‘Higher authorities’

The leadership team will be in attendance, strutting around in jeans and ill-fitting t-shirts, patting you on the back, making small talk, giving rah-rah speeches and handing out awards. Be uber-cool and memorable. Down a bottle of tequila. Jump fully clothed into the pool. Score a century at beach cricket. Corporate careers are made, or shredded, at offsite strategy conferences.