Let me channel my inner Andy Rooney (or Harlan Ellison if you will) for a moment. I will be attending the SHRM Annual Conference for the tenth time in a few days. I always leave with a positive feeling both about the experience and the profession. There is, however, an item that makes vuvuzelas sound like Mozart (or Hall and Oates if that is your musical predilection) - roller bags in the exhibit hall.
Why roller bags? On Sunday afternoon, June 24, thousands of HR professionals will descend into the exhibit hall for some food, to speak to a vendor, to try to win a prize, or to pick up some free swag that an exhibitor will giveaway. Presumably given out by vendors to not only promote their product, but to help the attendee carry away the pens, t-shirts, squeezeballs and other geegaws he or she has picked up along the way, the roller bag seems like a great prize. So, where is the fail?
- The roller bag is always underfoot - I can't tell you how many times I have, or have seen others, nearly tripped over these menaces while navigating the conference.
- People are oblivious to their own space - Many cities and states are passing laws banning texting and driving. At the SHRM conference, they should ban texting while pulling a roller bag. Don't be surprised to see a person trying to talk or text, while carrying a cup of coffee, and trying to pull a roller bag. Its a bad combo.
- Space is limited - Filling a conference with thousands of people leads to congestion. This congestion is only exacerbated with a roller bag. As people walk through the passages of the convention center and exhibit hall with a roller bag, they operate as if the bag was not there. They don't realize that the bag acts as a 2nd person behind them, taking up valuable space.