"The same thing happened to Steve Jobs," Schreiber laughs, referring to Apple's WWDC 2010 event in which a network meltdown prevented the Apple CEO from conducting an iPhone 4 demo. "I feel a little better, at least, knowing that."
For many people, tech conferences are as much about networking as they are about the presentations. That was the case for John, an IT pro who was looking for a new and more lucrative job early last year.
John knew industry events were teeming with managers from competing companies, so he scheduled vacation time to coincide with an event a few hours away. He packed his bags and headed out, résumés in hand and career change in mind.
As prepared as he was for the adventure, though, there was one element John didn't anticipate. "I get to the convention hotel, check in, and start mingling -- and then I run into my current boss," he says.
The boss clearly knew what was up, though he spared John the embarrassment of a direct encounter. Still, his presence didn't exactly help John's mission of meeting prospective new employers.
"It was weird -- really weird," John says. "I felt like I had to look over my shoulder the entire time."
John hasn't found a new job yet, but he isn't giving up hope. He is, however, rethinking his plan of attack. "I'm already planning to go to a conference later this spring," he chuckles. "But this time, I'm going to bring a wig and fake moustache to be safe."
Sometimes, the smallest things can create the biggest problems.
Weldon Vlasak traveled with his wife to a technical conference where he was scheduled to speak. As he started getting ready in their hotel room, he realized he'd forgotten one thing -- one very important thing.
"When I put on my suit, I was horrified to find that I had not packed a belt," Vlasak confesses. "This was a new suit and a bit large around the waist. My pants would slowly drop down unless I held them up."
Vlasak's wife had a solution: She pinned the pants up, ensuring they'd stay in their proper place for the presentation -- in theory.
"At the presentation, I was standing at the podium and delivering my paper when the pin gave way," Vlasak says.
Vlasak managed to catch his drawers and keep them from dropping, but his troubles didn't end there. He had to lean up against a lectern to hold the pants in place. Every time he tried to use his laser pointer, which required him to step away, he had to pull off an odd one-handed waist-holding maneuver in order to avoid flashing the crowd.
"My wife sensed what was happening," Vlasak says. "I could see her smiling in the audience."
The second the session ended, Vlasak bolted from the room. He remembers noticing one audience member on his way out: his wife, sitting in the crowd, laughing uncontrollably.
This story, "Tech conference bloopers: 7 stories of snafus and slipups," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in IT careers at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.