I don’t know what’s worse at these conference buffet lunches
PerfidiousPorpoise 12 Sep 23 13:12
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Eating alone like a Johnny no mate, or actually having to make small talk to “network”.

This was the single worst thing about being a junior lawyer.  Being sent to these AWFUL things to "network".

I always spent the majority of them sitting in the bogs until I could leave.

I too would drink a big cup of stewed coffee and then grab one of the newspapers and head off for a massive Donald.

And having to awkwardly perch your plate on one of those high tables, whilst balancing a wine glass of that horrid gloopy orange juice.

Have not been a few years but the ones I used to go to they always left a token bottle of red and white on each table of around 8 people - most people too embarrassed to go for it.  I never was.  Made it slightly more bareable - otherwise just head out to the park with a sandwich...

Same re bogs high five!

now I’m old and just enjoy making people feel uncomfortable with my unblinking gaze

Pal had one where there was plated hot food. She tried to manage a beef rendang on rice, and a glass of wine. And a handbag and a phone. 

This ill-fated 4-item juggle ended with the beef rendang, neatly volcanoed in a mountain of uncle-ben rice, sliding slowly into her handbag. Awkz. 

I hate these, I have to do a lot of them.

my tactic is to pick the most awkward looking person and try and talk to them. I do 20 mins of it then go and hide in the loo with a drink.

The local lawyers on here is the worst. Its like a game of pass the ahole. Usually you will get approached by an ahole  from another firm, the aim is to pass them on as soon as possible to another victim. 

I remember once attending one in South Ken, wandered outside and found a fabulous old skool Italian place, had a wonderful two course lunch on my own.

I remember escaping to a pub one of these lunches and bumped into a fellow attendee, we were both a bit embarrassed but got chatting and ironically ended up with a good working relationship.  On good terms with them to this day...

As it happens, I was at one last week with hot food, where a woman in a pure white dress managed to eat curry from a paper plate balanced on her knee. Rarely have I been so anxious on behalf of someone else. The bravery and the poise. I'd have looked like the before picture on a Daz advert in seconds.

Have no recall of anything else from the event. Often I pick the tallest person in the room and talk to them.

I missed the entire day of a conference walking around Frankfurt. Excellent lunch in the Old Town with a bottle of solid Riesling. 

these things are awful, particularly if you go alone from your company / firm and can't just talk to a colleague. I tended to approach it on the basis that most other attendees hate them so just go and find someone to annoy and they may be grateful for the distraction. 


Clients hate them as much as you do!!!  I recall going to these type of events whereby although a lawyer I was also a Client (well my company was).  God they were excruciating.  Awful.  In fairness though I was never left alone (which I would have felt awkward for me) but did wonder how they picked who would come and talk to me.  I just cba at small talk.  If I know you great - let's chat but if I don't - leave me be.

Was hoping that dinner would be more civilised—yes, still would have to make small talk but at least i’d be sat at a table and I just need to charm the couple of people around me. But no, it’s these barbecue stations that you have to queue up for and then grab seats at a long table. FVCK THAT, made my excuses after a drink and some minimal socialising, am back at the hotel restaurant by myself with my kindle.

I quite like em tbh. Free food and booze. But then I am working class and much poorer than most roffers.

You like awkwardly hovering around knowing no one and making small talk with people who usually aren't very welcoming?

help yourself dinners at conferences are great

Fill up your plate, grab a bottle of wine and sneak up to your room and eat in front of telly.

Kerrist no to awkward

I ve always loved talking to randoms at this kind of thing 

we are all in the shoite why worry about something as trivial as a meet n greet ?

Then again orange people that have seen me karaoke already know I have no shame 

The advantage of conveyancer conferences is that if you sit at a table and mention AML or the CML handbook requirements everyone will happily rant away while you quietly eat your lunch.

Perhaps because I WFH, I am quite looking forward to one I am going to tonight, and have put lots of thought into outfit. Hope the booze is decent.

Bertha does it occur to you not everyone is the same?  Some people find networking naturally fun - other people hate it and would rather sit in a room on their own 

a tip I got once works really well most of the time.  If it's a buffet, hang around the food pretending you're having difficulty choosing, turn to the person who is waiting for you and ask, "what do you think I should go for?" and then chat to them along the line.

Another, look for the wallflower, they literally stand alone near a wall or window and just walk up to them.  If they're on a tall table in the middle of the room on their own, don't bother, they're waiting for someone.

The wallflower backfired on me once, the guy was a complete lunatic and it turned out, I was the only one in the room that didn't know that so people came up to me to ask how it went!

Used to hate them as a junior for the reasons above. Now they're a doddle. Talking cock with whoever happens to be near. Enjoy the good free food. Always miss most of it for shopping and sightseeing. Decline the dinners for a gym session or run. Always hammer the free coffee if it's good. Basically treat it all as a paid holiday. If you don't feel like talking to anyone, fine. You won't see them again. 

Conferences are essentially pointless 

BD for people who can't do BD 


Knowledge management for people who can't do knowledge management 

I always used to take myself off to the nearest pub at these conference buffet lunch things. A few others evidently thought the same, always the interesting people to chat with.