The increasing number of registrations at National conferences prompted
us to think why people make a beeline to go to the conferences? What
motives do they have? What attracts them so much so that they also want
their spouse, kids, driver, and maid to grace the event? We classified
conference delegates based on their intent to attend. Categorization and
nomenclature is based on the HIGHEST level of evidence (as perceived
in our dreams)!
Category 1 – Roamer: The Wandering Delegate
The primary aims are traveling, sight seeing, and
shopping. The trip is usually sponsored; and the family waits for this
event for 1 year; the conference is marked in the calendar as a
relaxation week away from the rigors of practice and service. The visit
is hopping but systematic; travel and hotel bookings are well planned;
the usual duration of excursion being twice the number of actual
Category 2 – Stallion Delegate
The main objective of these delegates is to storm the
stalls of drug companies in the exhibition corner and collect souvenirs
(needless to say, as many as feasible). Stallions have excellent
managerial skills with no ego hassles. They will follow the conformation
and phenotype of their breed. Stallions usually do not compete, but help
each other in achieving the end; they are a closely knit group. They
come prepared with extra space for carrying back the booty. They enter
in all lucky dips, sips, and draws. A stallion checks the exhibition at
least thrice a day for new arrivals and declaration of contest prizes.
The Stallion of stallions can be easily identified by the number,
weight, and size of the bags, he/she is carrying. The Stallion’s Return
marks a treat for his/her many friends and family.
Category 3 – Socialite Delegate
The focus is to spend significant resources in
entertaining and being entertained. These delegates are usually seen in
clusters; either with family or friends. They want to hog the show and
be in the limelight; they can be easily spotted near the stage, next to
the bartender in the banquet, or in the company of those who matter. The
conference is utilized by a Socialite to harp upon and publicize his/her
achievements. This section also includes potential candidates for the
organizational elections. They are typical Page 3 Personalities (P3P)
and ensure that their photos or video footage is all over the place.
They derive their impact from their ability to dominate the social scene
and use personal charisma to achieve prominence.
Category 4 – Scholar Delegate
Their primary intention is to impart or acquire
knowledge. Tch… tch…ch…this is a pitiable bunch; little do they
anticipate what’s in store for them. Scholars are a diverse lot.
• Type A includes the faculty whose talks are
sought after. They are natural speakers; don’t have to exert to make
their presentation; and strike an immediate chord with the audience
(Wi-fi speaker). They enjoy the conference and their stardom.
• Type B are extremely busy types, attending the
conference for their presentation only; morning arrival and
afternoon departure (Hi-fi speaker).
• Type C are the dedicated learners — a rare
breed. Learner, in the end, leaves the conference frustrated because
of two reasons: (i) inability to attend many lectures because
of concurrent sessions; it dawns upon him later that the session he
sacrificed for the one attended, would have been a better choice; or
(ii) the hall was already crowded and entry was denied. The
learner learns either not to come back to a conference for learning
or to come back in a better equipped state.
Category 5 – Standard Delegate
This species comes to the conference with no motives
at all - selfless, ego free, easy going people. They are the ones who on
arrival straightaway head towards the registration counter; the next
stop being the exhibition and stalls. They meet friends, do local sight
seeing, shop for their spouse/kids; and attend all lunches and dinners
in a regularly regular manner, and the scientific sessions in a
pulsatile fashion. They are the ones responsible for making the city and
the venue vibrant by their ubiquitous presence.
Category 6 – Certified Delegate
The main motive is to collect a certificate of
participation and/or credit hours. Participation certificate is the most
necessary evil for delegates belonging to teaching fraternity as this
will be their passport to claim reimbursement of travel, stay, and other
expenses from their institutions. They would be the happiest person if
the participation certificate is handed over by the organizers as the
first thing (in the registration kit/bag) itself; otherwise they would
be after the organizers (on t.i.d. basis, at least) enquiring
when it would be available. Collecting as many participation
certificates is another means to swell their bio-data; irrespective of
whether it is achieved either by being physically present or through
proxy (absentee delegate).
It is possible that there are more types of
delegates, but alas, our experience is limited and also the thoughts
were random instead of being systematic. We invite you to add to these
categories to enable us to issue an updated classification within the
next 3 years!