You will see me at events like any event where you can get food and swag. On occasion, I’ll infiltrate an event just for the fun of it.
I pay particular attention to reception desks. I’ll approach the one handled by the attendant who looks most stressed. That one is most likely to buy my story and let me through.
I expect to be able to snatch some stuff. They always have mighty good coffee at conferences.
I’m annoyed by making a big deal out of it. So what if one additional person enters? Let’s be honest, not every registered attendee will come. You won’t go broke because of me and I’ll have my cookies and branded pens.
What I like most is paper guest lists. It’s way easier to make the staff nervous and prone to manipulation that way. Often I only have to act important and insulted to find my way in.
Thank you for your time and insight, Jane. She’s a tough cookie. On one hand, catering doesn’t care if food gets eaten or not, it only bills you for prepared food. On the other hand, Jane wants to enjoy the result of your hard work for free. It’s not fair to you, the staff, and attendees who paid for their participation and everything that comes with it. The best strategy of dealing with such Janes is a well organized reception area and access control checkpoints inside the venue. If you want to use paper guest lists - fine, I get it, there is a number of reasons why you might want to do it. But do make sure the attendants are trained not to ‘buy the story’. For instance, you could dedicate one of the organizers to supervise the reception area. They will be better prepared to make a decision about letting Jane in or not than an attendant who’s working under pressure to avoid lines of waiting attendees.
Look forward to another event goer soon!