The Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing

Article from Issue 134/2012

Laptop … toothbrush … an extra sweater. A single spiral notebook, in which I am now writing. Three shirts … four pairs of socks … . Did I remember my cell phone charger?

I don’t go on so many of these tech conference junkets anymore. Maybe two a year? I could probably make it to three if I could ever get the print deadlines to interleave harmoniously with the conference dates, but the calendar never seems to comply. I’ve been going to big tech exhibitions for many years, though, and over those years, I’ve seen my share. I’m always amazed at how similar they all look on the surface – the visitors walking around with their badges around their necks, the exhibitors angling to scan the badges, some with little toys or rewards for a visitor who will stand close enough to hear the next talk about the next great technology.

I’ve stuffed many of these exhibitors’ glossy brochures into my laptop case through the years. I sometimes wish I had kept them all just for the anthropological satisfaction of rediscovering the hype and swagger associated with technologies that disappeared from the scene so many years ago.

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