here’s some tips for attending a meeting/seminar (i plan meetings for my job, and this is stuff that would make it easier):

1. be on time. if there is a registration period, arrive during that time. any earlier than that, you’re just in the way and the people setting up can’t attend to you. if you live in an area prone to traffic (Baltimore/DC) plan for it – if you budget more time then necessary, amuse yourself in the car or something.
2. bring a sweater. if there’s more than one person in a room, the likelihood of the temperature being to each person’s liking reduces with each new body coming into the room. if you’re prone to getting cold, bring a sweater, if you get hot a lot, wear a lighter shirt. if you’re an asshole, stay home.
3. don’t complain about the food. it’s very hard to plan a menu that appeals to a broad range of people. odds are you’re not paying for it anyway, so shut up and enjoy the free meal. or brown bag it, if you know ahead of time that you are a finicky bitch.
4. be prepared. it works for the boy scouts, and it should work for you. have note pad, pen, etc.
5. if the planning people are nice enough to send you directions, confirmation, information prior to the meeting; print it, read it, and keep it with you. no one wants to give you directions over the phone. no one wants to hear excuses that you don’t know sometyhing because you didn’t read the e-mail. don’t be a dumb fuck.
6. turn your cell phone on vibrate. if you must answer it – leave the room. if you must leave the room – be quiet. if you’re talking outside of the room – whisper. if you have no idea of a whisper – take your loud ass outside. if all that is too hard – leave the phone at home. if you leave the phone at home, don’t impose your phone needs on the hosts of the meeting.
7. don’t make a mess in the john. no one wants to clean up after you. you’re mother is probably thrilled to be relieved of the duty.
8. don’t be a bitch. remember that you are a guest. if you have a bad attitude, we’ll probably talk about you behind your back.
9. stay awake.
10. dress appropriately. if you lok a mess, we’ll talk about you behind your back.

thanks for your attention. remember that the people hosting the meeting will probably talk about you behind your back. we’re catty… and waiting for 10-100 people to show up for something can be pretty boring.