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LAS VEGAS — I am a cattle dog.

The bovine masses total 144,000 souls, give or take, and they move like one giant amoeba, like a river of sludge.

I’m zipping between bodies, racing toward what I hope will be Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s keynote address at the 2014 International CES. At the end of each hall, I ask show staff and security guards where I am and how to get to where I’m going.

An hour-and-a-half later, the keynote has started without me. So since I don’t get to take in the wisdom of the world’s most awesome blond, let me share with you some wisdom of my own on the subject of how to be the biggest dog turd at any tradeshow or convention.

Follow these simple tips, and brace yourself for the inevitable pursuant homicide!

How to suck at a tradeshow

  • Get in the middle of a main pedestrian thoroughfare, and walk very slowly and carefully. Kind of like you’re an attention hog of a bridesmaid.
  • Look literally anywhere but where you’re going. Mid-distance and midair are solid options.
  • While walking like a heavy-laden camel, play FarmVille on your phone. Maybe buy a cow or something and give it to your grandma. She’d like that.
  • If you see something interesting at a booth, do not enter the booth. That would only result in your getting more information about and a closer view of the product. Instead, stand about 5 feet outside the booth in a busy walkway. Ponder.
  • Be a giant man in a blue blazer — think Bill Brasky — and walk around with your lumberjack-in-a-suit colleagues two or three abreast like the band of brothers you are. How will the competition get ahead of you now?!
  • Go to the show with your life partner. Walk around holding hands and blocking other pedestrians, just like you did during the last-minute Christmas shopping blitz at the mall. Meander. Make googly eyes at each other while you gently smile and bask in the deep comfort of true, lifelong love. Make other people suicidal.
  • Hang out at the only power outlet in the hallway. Use an international adapter to hook up your huge MacBook charger. Please don’t bring the smaller, longer version of said charger, and definitely don’t bring a power strip. Sharing is not caring; it is for the weak.
  • Give anyone with three legs or fewer and half a chance of a vagina a thorough going-over with “elevator eyes.” Don’t be subtle. Let your hand graze a butt cheek in crowded areas. Sport a secret boner.
  • Wherever you go, wheel a roll-aboard travel bag several feet behind you (apologies to my excellent and very prepared colleague, Dean Takahashi). Have no idea who or what is behind you at any time. Pivot a lot.
  • While we’re talking about pivots, head quickly in one direction, then stop abruptly enough to give yourself whiplash, pop a quick 180, and dash just as quickly in the opposite direction, swimming upstream like a majestic, spawning salmon.
  • Eat a shit-ton of beans, broccoli, and whey protein bars. Walk around. Fart. Trail it under the noses of myriad strangers. Whew, that’s a taster!
  • Take a quick meeting with your awesome friends in the middle of the narrowest walkway. Laugh hysterically. Invite others to join you. Try giving a demo of your amazing, game-changing iPhone holder in a similar manner.
  • Wear a giant button, badge, or sash reading “Ask Me!” Have zero information. Better yet, have incorrect information. Send attendees around their asses to get to their elbows. Share your best rerouting stories with your peers during your cigarette break. Chuckle knowingly and roll your eyes.
  • Be a non-password protected Wi-Fi hotspot. Charge $80 for 5 hours of playtime. Be slow.
  • Be a cattle dog, muttering obscenities as you dodge the about-facers, swerve around the BlackBerry zombies, perform small jumps over the roll-aboards, and semi-shout in strained tones more polite variations of the phrase, “Move, bitch, get out the way.”
  • Bitch sarcastically about CES (or any other conference).

And with that, I’m going to take pictures of robots and try to redeem myself in the eyes of my boss, both for missing the Marissa keynote and for using the word “douchenozzle” in a headline.


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