This seemingly innocent question was asked of my friend and I many times at the BlogWorld Expo 2008 – usually by female exhibitors. Interesting, don’t you think? At any other event we might not have thought it an inane question to ask. BUT since we were at the BlogWorld Expo showing our FULL ACCESS passes, it was rather ridiculous and insulting. Why would we pay the Full Access conference fee and spend 2 gorgeous days in sunny, hot Las Vegas indoors at seminars, workshops and exhibitions if we were not bloggers?
My friend and I are older, voluptuous females who have been in the IT world longer than most of our cohorts have been alive. The constant learning of new technology keeps us young and vital. Unfortunately, we live in a society that discriminates against women in technology (and women in general), overweight people and “seniors”. Talk about a triple threat!!!
Exhibitors need to review how they address people who visit their booths. Are they projecting conscious or unconscious prejudices based on first impressions? Most likely.
I am currently reading an interesting book called “Blink: The Power Of Thinking Without Thinking“. Blink looks into how we make our first impression judgments based on previous encounters or by what has been drilled into us by society, media, culture, etc. The author, Malcolm Gladwell, first goes into how our initial impressions are usually right but then goes on to explain that initial impressions can also be tainted by our history and knowledge or lack thereof. The better you know your subject, the better you become at “Thinking without Thinking”.
As far as exhibitors or salepeople in general are concerned, they really should be more observant of the people they are talking to if they really want to sell their products.