The reverse-engineering of PDC 2005 pass colors

Date:September 30, 2005 / year-entry #287
Orig Link:
Comments:    11
Summary:Last night, the MVP Global Summit broke up by product groups for dinner. I was at the Windows Client product group dinner. The problem for me was figuring out who were the MVPs and who were just Microsoft employees looking for MVPs to chat with. Unfortunately, the people who made up the badges didn't think...

Last night, the MVP Global Summit broke up by product groups for dinner. I was at the Windows Client product group dinner. The problem for me was figuring out who were the MVPs and who were just Microsoft employees looking for MVPs to chat with. Unfortunately, the people who made up the badges didn't think of making it easy to tell who is who. I saw badges of different colors, but they appeared to be coded by product group rather than by attendee status. More than once, I sat down next to someone and introduced myself, only to find that they were another Microsoft employee. (Hey, but I made Robert Flaming do a spit take. That's gotta be worth something.)

One thing I was able to figure out at the 2005 PDC was the badge colors. Here they are, for reference:

Black   Event staff  
Yellow   Speakers  
Blue   Microsoft staff  
Green   Attendee  
Orange   Attendee-Exhibitor  
Purple   Exhibitor  
Red   Media  

The color-coding by attendee type made it much easier to identify attendees to chat with. Though I somehow have developed an unfortunate knack for picking a table where people aren't speaking English. At the PDC, I sat down at a table and realized that everybody was speaking Dutch. Unfortunately, although I intend to learn Dutch eventually, it's a few languages down my list. Last night, at the MVP Global Summit, I was about to join a table but realized that they were speaking in what sounded like a Central or possibly Eastern European language. There's nothing like an international gathering to make you feel linguistically inadequate...

Comments (11)
  1. Brian says:

    What’s the difference between an exhibitor and an attendee-exhibitor ??

  2. Somebody says:

    "What’s the difference between an exhibitor and an attendee-exhibitor ??"

    My guess, based on visiting other combined exhibit/conferences: an exhibitor is only allowed on the show floor. An attendee-exhibitor also can visit presentations.

    The difference between an attendee and an attendee-exhibitor probably is that the attendee-exhibitor, like all exhibitors, is allowed entry to the exhibit rooms outside normal visitor hours.

  3. Ah that’s what all the colours were at the PDC.

    Was there a key/legend printed somewhere? I kept meaning to ask people what their colour meant. In general Purple people were elusive, when looking for them in the corridors.

  4. Lance Fisher says:

    Yeah, I really liked the fact that there were a bunch of people from different countries, speaking all kinds of languages there. I over heard several people speaking Russian, which I am studying, and wanted to practice on them but I ended up not saying anything. Partly because I didn’t want to interrupt and partly becuase I was chicken. I did however take advantage of being in L.A., and went down to the Russian part of town to buy some Russian music and get a bowl of borsch. Then I did get to practice a lot of Russian.

  5. Ben Hutchings says:

    Dutch is just like English with a funny accent – or possibly like German with a funny accent. Anyway, if you know those two you should be able to work it out, though it’s easier to read than to listen to. Besides, all Dutchmen can speak perfect English.

  6. zzz says:

    I’ve found that in an english Internet chat rooms you can identify what’s the persons native language by looking how (s)he writes english (in case the nickname isn’t obvious). I don’t mean by accidental introduction of a word of ones native language, but by looking at patterns in misspelling, punctuation and such.

  7. Mike Dunn says:

    The PDC lanyards were also color-coded, which was even easier to see. At one point while I was sitting in the bean bag lounge, I wondered why they used "attendee". The people are doing the attending, so shouldn’t they be attenders? The PDC itself is being attended, so *it* is the attendee.

    Summit badge colors:

    White: event staff

    Blue: MS person (although as Raymond noted, some MS people had colors matching their product – the VC guys had purple badges)

    Red: MVP lead

    Purple: Visual developer MVP (this was my color)

    Gray: Architect MVP

    I also remember seeing cyan (Windows client, I think) and a couple other colors that I can’t recall now as I really need sleep.

  8. Tim Roberts says:

    The MVP Summit badges also included your country of origin and, in a very nice touch, a couple of items of trivia about the country. "The Palmyra Atoll is the U.S.’s only uninhabited territory."


    Blue badges were Windows Client. That’s where they put me, one of the four DDK MVPs in attendance. Microsoft folks started out with Red badges, but at some point they changed their mind and gave out badges matching the product group.

  9. Dutch Guy in USA for last 5 years says:

    "Dutch is just German with a funny accent".

    "Is Copenhagen the capital of The Netherlands?"

    "You speak all great English so I do not need to know your language".

    "Holland is left from Austria, right?"

    "You speak Danish in Holland,right?"

    "Gutentag" (being greeted in German)

  10. GregM says:

    Mike, I was curious enough about "attendee" that I had to look it up (


    One who is present at or attends a function. See Usage Note at -ee.


    One that performs a specified action: absentee.

    Usage Note: Reflecting its origins in the French passive participle ending -é (feminine -ée), the suffix -ee was first used in English to refer to indirect objects and then to direct objects of transitive verbs, particularly in legal contexts (as in donee, lessee, or trustee) and in military and political jargon (draftee, trainee, or nominee). Beginning around the mid-19th century, primarily in American English, it was often extended to denote the agent or subject of an intransitive verb, as in standee, returnee, or attendee.

  11. Raymond Chen complains about the pass colors for this year’s MVP summit. Specifically, since they were

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