Tech conference bloopers: 7 stories of snafus and slipups

Onstage falls, wardrobe malfunctions, and romantic disasters -- cue our real-life blooper reel from tech conferences around the world

In a way, tech conferences are like movies: You have loads of expensive gadgets, tons of carefully coiffed people, and crews of producers scrambling to keep everything on schedule. It's only fitting that amid that mix, you end up with one hell of a gag reel.

Think about it: From presenters to attendees -- not to mention all that temperamental technology -- there's no shortage of ways in which things can go wrong. When it comes down to it, it's a wonder anything ever goes right.

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Off the Record submissions

Today, we celebrate some of the gaffes, goofs, and glitches that have affected folks at tech conferences around the world. Some of the bloopers were technical in nature, while others were, shall we say, a bit more on the personal side.

All of them, however, were unforgettable -- for better or for worse.

(Note: Some of the names have been changed to protect the guilty.)

Tech conference blooper No. 1: The color of embarrassment

It wouldn't be a tech conference without the vendor booths and their seemingly endless supplies of swag. It's kind of like Halloween for adults, only the costumes are uncomfortable business suits and the candy is a collection of cheap pens and keychains. But who doesn't love free stuff?

Samantha McGarry doesn't -- not anymore, at least. McGarry traveled to a trade show in the United Kingdom some years back. She was the image of professionalism, there to network and to make contacts that could further her career. There was just one little problem.

McGarry, like many people at the convention, had gotten her hands full of freebies from various vendors set up around the event. She jammed all of them into a blue plastic bag she'd been given early in the day. Unfortunately, the bag made more of an impression on her than she realized.

"Unbeknownst to me, the blue ink from the bag was transferring to my sweaty palm and from there to my cheeks," McGarry remembers.

Naturally, hours went by without a mirror in sight, and no one had the decency to tell McGarry -- who, coincidentally, now works at a company called Inkhouse -- about her face-based faux pas. "I spent hours walking around the event, being all serious and professional, talking to clients and prospects -- with blue all over my face," McGarry says. "Imagine my horror when I went to the ladies room!"

And you thought embarrassment only left your cheeks red.

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