The Weirdest Thing I’ve Ever Seen At A Conference – The Herman Miller Moment

Update:  “The Henry Miller Moment” is now a meme. I tag Shefaly, Jai, Amit, K and Annie: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen someone do at a conference?

Original post: I’d attended the Fortune Global Forum in Delhi last month. On Day 2 of the conference (Oct 30th), the Finance Minister of India – P. Chidambaram – addressed the audience, following which, a representative from Time Inc came on stage and thanked the FM. He then proceeded to invite Herman Miller, one of the sponsors, on to the stage.

Miller pulled up a chair, and then proceeded to demonstrate how the chair can be reclined, and it’s height raised. Herman Miller Inc manufactures those chairs, and this demonstration was apparently for the benefit of the audience that was also seated on these chairs.

What’s bizarre is that all of this happened while Chidambaram was still seated on the panel. He looked rather amused (a hint of a WTF moment before he regained composure), but I thought it was undignified – if not insulting – for Time Inc to allow/organize such a demonstration from one of their sponsors while the Finance Minister of a country is still on stage.

Have you ever come across something weird at a conference? Do tell.

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