I went to the PC show last week. That’s one of the perks of being a "computer professional" – you get to go to a big building, walk around for a couple of hours with your friends having brochures stuffed in your face, then go and claim it on your time-sheet.
The PC show is a trade show. That’s what they tell everyone. I presume it’s to keep Joe "technologically challenged" "what is this Internet Superhighway thing anyway" Public out, and encourage Ron "professionally speaking, I’m responsible for ARGH million dollars of computer spending for my company" Professional to come along and be wooed by the flashing lights.
To this end, they say it’s $15 to get in. $15 for a ticket. Yes, that should keep the plebs away. And naturally, to get the right people in, they give free tickets to anyone who (a) has a tie, (b) has a business card, or (c) has both a tie and a business card.
The registration card included the immortal "check here if you do not wish to receive any literature". We all know what this really means. It actually means "if you don’t put your tick here, you will receive copious amounts of junk mail that has almost no relevance, including but not limited to an offer to join a horse racing syndicate." No, really, that was one of the things I got last year. Maybe they had a mix-up with the mailing list disks at the advertisers’. But the most worrying thing is, I haven’t learnt – I didn’t tick it this year either.
Once inside, the actual show was okay. The power grid was probably straining, having to power that many computers. Most stands would try and thrust something into your hands as you walked past, some even employing people in cartoon character suits, apparently to stun you for a few seconds so you wouldn’t resist them giving you the brochure. "That wasn’t really a giant rat was it… hey, where did these leaflets come from?"
Most of the other company employees were in the standard company expo dress, which for some reason or another seems to consist of (for the men): black formal shoes, dark coloured formal trousers, and a company T-shirt.
Sony has to get an award. They managed to give me the hugest bag possible. With absolutely no material in it. Let’s hope they’re just trying to get brand name exposure, without wanting to tell me about the marvellous product they’ve thought up. But I can’t complain. By the time I left, I had several deciduous forests worth of paper; more than enough reading material to keep me busy for the tram ride home.