When attending sessions, there's usually time for Q&A, which can be a great opportunity for being rude and embarrassing everyone in the room. To save yourself, here are a few things that I've learned can make the most of your experience:
- Turn off phones/other noise-makers.
- Is a Facebook update or robo caller more important than where you're at right now? Then leave.
- Move to the middle.
- Defragging, saving space, making friends, or merely moving to the middle of the row, save the chairs at the end of a row of seats for those that are coming in late to a presentation. If you have to leave early, stand at the back (if allowed) and take the most unobtrusive place possible.
- Use mics for questions.
- If the room as a microphone or mic runner, use them (remember, walk, don't run) versus merely yelling from the seats. When one's not available, standing and speaking in a clear, concise tone is the next best bet.
- ... But only if you've thought through the question. Twice.
- Save the life-story for a biography. Multiple questions? Go to the back of the line to give someone else a chance. Deliver these questions in 1-2 quick sentences (this is tough to do if you don't think about it first).
- In the end, know the rules and respect those helping run the event.
- Taking pictures/videos, necessary identification, restricted hours/places, and other caveats are usually outlined when you register for the conference/convention - breaking the rules could seriously harm a lot of people at worst, make you a jerk at best. Additionally, if someone who's clearly marked as a volunteer for the event is asking for attention or is giving directions, following their lead will help ensure you have and help deliver the best time possible for everyone.
I'm sure other opinions are out there, so feel free to share.