I am currently ensconced in my plush executive hotel suite in an international location, ready to attend an international marketing conference.
Quite rightly, I've been given the VIP treatment because I'll be one of the conference's key speakers. At 3am on Sunday in the Herman Goerring Room, I will address a select audience on 'Female Stereotypes in Advertising'. (They couldn't have picked a better person, to be honest. I fucking love female stereotypes! I use them all the time!)
I'll post more on that when I get back, but for now, I thought I'd shine a light on the real goings-on at events such as these.
What do the various attendees want from the event? What do they bring in terms of insight and skillsets? What do they hope to take away with them?
The answer to all those questions is nothing, fuck-all and diddly-squat. But here's what they'll actually be up to.
Hello! My name is Dave!
The first couple of hours at big events like this give you a good impression of what it would look like if Champagne Drinking was made an Olympic sport. The gold medal usually goes to an ageing marketing manager from London or Milan who used to work in luxury brands but now flogs tyres.
This also gives delegates their first opportunity to put together a 'Bang List' of potential sexual partners.
Someone very important will deliver the first speech, on a subject of massive importance to our industry. It's an opportunity to develop one's professional understanding and get into a frame of mind for learning, growth and development.
It's an opportunity nobody will take. We'll be waiting for our company's name to come up on the big screen at the back, at which point we'll cheer, then head for the bar.
First night party
There's always a disco on the first night. And this is where the marketing community really shows that deep down, it's not just shallow, vapid, witless and unoriginal. It shows it's shallow, vapid, witless, unoriginal and very, very horny.
The quiet girl who sits in the back of your department counting staples will, by 2am, have her knickers in the teeth of Geraldo from the marketing department of a Portuguese lift manufacturer. And that's just the cunting start of it.
Catch up on sleep. Simple as.
There are always large, gaping gaps in any conference's schedule that are plugged by the word 'networking'. On paper, this is the time for doing deals, establishing contacts and building careers.
In real life, it's the time for more shagging, sunbathing, golf, drinking, sightseeing, shagging, golf and sunbathing.
The only 'network' being built is in Suite 465, where a liberal-minded German girl from Dortmund's biggest cheese processing operator is engaging in a decidedly unerotic foursome with a nervous Belgian mother-of-two and three Finnish pickle-makers who cannot believe their fucking luck.
This is very much like the opening night party, but with massive amounts of regret, soul-searching, bitterness, resentment, fear and confusion. Delegates suddenly realise that they will be returning to their wives, husbands, children, boyfriends, girlfriends, desks and lives. And they're pretty concerned that they've picked up something nasty that's going to ruin everything. The solution? Drink very, very heavily. And, therefore, do some more ill-considered banging.
It's a strange evening for everyone. Well, for everyone except me. Personally, I always think this is when things really get going.
I'll do my best to post more while I'm here. But if I don't, it's because I've gatecrashed Suite 465 with Inga, Cecile, Frsk, Ingkl and Mreki. They'll be fucking delighted if I do.
Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!