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The tech conference drinking game

Tech conferences, with all their clich'es, would make for a fantastic drinking game - although hackneyed events can derail our focus with no alcohol at all.

Read time 2min 40sec

It doesn't take a year of working as a tech journalist to establish that tech conferences and events are riddled with clich'es - from buzzwords and generic examples through to poor understanding of a number of terms.

If one was feeling mischievous, one could quite successfully construct a formidable drinking game around these clich'es, taking a sip of something potent every time one of them appeared.

Of course, I am in no way suggesting tech journalists use these events as an opportunity to consume as much free alcohol as possible (although I can't promise the same of some guests). But it might help speakers at these events to imagine this drinking game taking place regardless.

While we tech journalists are, in reality, soberly sipping black coffee behind our laptops, we are nonetheless rapidly growing less focused, less interested in focusing, and less able to write a captivating article about the topic at hand with each buzzword, overused success story and misused term that flies over our heads.

So, in the interest of being more interesting, dear speakers at tech events, imagine us journalists taking a swig from our fabled hip flasks of cheap whiskey every time somebody...

* Uses vague buzzwords that do not make a point in and of themselves, such as "innovation", "disruption", or "digitisation".

* Talks about using "social media" or "the Internet of things" without being specific about how they are going to use them - these are very broad technologies, after all.

* Talks about "millennials" and how to appeal to them - as though assuming we are mysterious, mythical creatures instead of numerous people in the room somehow indicates they recognise us as relatable humans and understand our needs.

Avoid these clich'es and your tech event is likely to be far more fascinating and newsworthy

* Uses the words "Uberisation", "the Uber of..." or "just look at what Uber did to the taxi industry!" - if "Uberisation" is such a noteworthy phenomenon, then surely there are more examples of it than just, err, Uber?

* Gives a detailed presentation on technologies that have not been invented or prototyped yet, to demonstrate "the darndest things tech can do these days!" (or, for whatever reason, to avoid giving the detailed and relevant presentation we came here for).

* Shows off the angelic steps the company is taking to conserve natural resources, while exhibiting a host of environmental double standards.

* Makes a sexist comment ("When my wife was packing my suitcase for this trip..." also counts).

* Refers to "Africa" as if it is one, homogenous country.

* Takes a selfie with the audience, presumably to be more relatable to "the millennials".

Avoid these clich'es and your tech event is likely to be far more fascinating and newsworthy than most - although I can't make any promises: this is by no means an exhaustive list. I cordially invite readers to add their favourite clich'es in the comments.

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