Woohoo, time for our final edition!
The Dating App User: The term ‘dating’ is relative, but not always sexy time so I’ll separate it from the type mentioned above. Grindr is always poppin’, and lesser known dating apps get a boost during conference season too. Now with Tindr, so many phones are gonna be buzzing. Let the excitement of seeing your colleagues’ naked torso photos begin!
The Intense Networker: They’re at every session, every social, and doing private coffee dates with people. They have their small talk down to a science, with the hopes of scoring yet another business card.
The Self-Esteem Queen: This person (regardless of gender) thinks very highly of themselves and has never really been criticized before. Going to their sessions means a droning lecture and very little dialogue, because don’t you realize how fortunate you are to learn from them? Daring to critique them never ends well…
The Volun-Told: They don’t want to be here, but they’re being forced to attend. Perhaps they have to recruit for new staff, their institution is a sponsor, or they’re mandated to present on work-related matters.
Sleazy Older Married Man Director Who Pays Extra Attention to Young Female Grad Students: Enough said.
The Presenter Tries Way Too Hard to Incorporate the Already Lame Conference Theme: Maybe one day we’ll just let go of the idea that conferences need snazzy themes. Let’s just settle on “Learning things, talking to people, and drinking” in the future.
The Hugger: They are just really excited to see you again, and have all the feels (x10 when drinking)!!!!!!!!!
The Person Who Can’t Get Lunch Alone: By the end of the night, their throats hurt from talking all day.
The Eager Beaver: It’s their first conference and THEY ARE SO EXCITED.
Drama Kings: Gossip all day err’day! They enjoy stirring the pot and getting folks riled up.
The Person with 9 Roommates: Times are tough (+people want to pocket work travel reimbursements), so better believe their hotel room is packed with people.
The Jaded Professional: They work in higher education, but they kinda hate it and pretty much everyone else working in it.
The Professional Session Critic: Prepare to weep softly if they attend your presentation, because they will shred you with their cutting questions
Social Justice Warrior: This isn’t a bad thing – we need people making our conferences more inclusive! But face it, it is one type of person you’ll find at any higher ed conference (myself, included).
The following individuals contributed a name, description, or otherwise idea/inspiration for the different types of people you meet at conferences. A few people gave ideas for multiple ones and a few people inspired various types with their comments to me; overall definitely more than half this list. Thank you, friends! ❤
- Kristen Abell
- Chad Ahren
- Eric Crumrine
- Ashley Dorris
- Mika Karikari
- Annabel Feider
- Alberto Gonzalez
- Michael Goodman
- Amanda Khampa
- Kathryn Magura
- Kristen Marshall
- Vanessa Pacheco
- Kaitlyn Owens Yoder