Virtual Event Ideas
Eventprofs Quiz: How Many of These 90s Gadgets Do You Recognize?
EventMB Studio Team
July 14, 2017
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I’m old enough to remember the 90s. There. I’ve said it. It doesn’t feel bad to admit until I realize that some of the people I work with were born in the 90s. If you’re as old as I am, or if you’re one of those young whippersnappers who enjoys trying to figure out what archaic tech did and how it was used, take our 11-question gadget quiz below.
1. What would event planners use this for? Was it:
To record things you wanted to remember later (like where you put your shoulder pads)?
To jam out to your favorite tunes?
To contact the mother ship when you had something to report back.
Nothing. It was something that could be found in a cereal box in the 1990s.
If you answered a, you are old. Many people know what this item is because of its use in the movie Home Alone 2. For those of us with “secretaries” we likely used it to capture notes that “she” could then transcribe for us. (In the early 1990s they were still secretaries, not administrative assistants, and most of them were women.)
And don’t you just love those mini-cassettes? Cassettes, for those of you who got this answer wrong were tapes that made you hate yourself when you left them in the car during a hot day. You could record voices and songs on them and then you could place them in your cassette recorder or boom box and listen to that delightful whirring sound they made.
2. What in the world is that guy holding?
An early incarnation of a mobile phone.
Some sort of blunt object event planners hurled when angry.
A weight-training device you used when you couldn’t make it to a Jazzercise class.
An airplane phone that has been torn from the seat.
If you answered a, you should be happy that what you carry around now is smaller than that thing’s keypad. Yes, this is an early mobile phone that probably cost nearly someone’s salary.
3. What would an event planner use this for?
To taser someone.
To open their garage door.
To get someone to call them back, most likely ASAP.
To “feel the vibration” ala Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.
If you answered c, you are probably old enough to audition for the Big Chill remake. Like you already know, this old-fashioned item is a pager. Earlier versions of it merely beeped. We would then need to find a pay phone to call a “service” that would then read off a message to us. By the time this version came around, the actual call-back number could be easily read but you still had to find a pay phone or one of these beauties in #2…
4. What is this and where did the guy’s face go?
The coolest Halloween costume of 1993.
The newest Transformer (ShoulderCrampaDon).
A video camera.
Something you’d give to people you didn’t like to hold for you.
If you are old enough to remember the 90s, you probably chose c. If you were a videographer or event planner who did a lot of video yourself, you probably also still have the cramp in your shoulder from lugging this around. Still, it built up one strong arm muscle.
5. What would event planners use this for?
To keep their kids busy.
To fly a drone.
Ahhh, the beloved Palm Pilot. Every young professional had one. There wasn’t anything you couldn’t do without it until they stopped making them, of course. Still they were less cumbersome than a Rolodex. If you don’t know what that is, Google it. If you answered d, you are far too young for this quiz.
6. What are these beautiful things?
The most beautiful, non-portable computer/monitor ever made.
Centerpieces from a 1990s tech conference.
If you answered a, you probably remember when Macs were actually Apples or Macintosh.
7. What are these things?
Something event planners kept all of their non-paper files on.
Old-time furniture casters.
Fans for hot days that used to be given out as event swag.
Although any of those answers could be true of these currently, back in the day these floppy discs went into our computers and we saved things on them. You often kept them in a binder that resembled a baseball card portfolio. So if you answered b, you’re right and old.
8. What would event planners use these for?
Putting on some cool tunes.
Showing a VHS tape. (Yes, those were a thing.)
For plugging in a light display.
As a replacement for their Betamax (Yes, that was a thing too.)
If you answered b or d, you’re right. If you wrote in your own answer of “dust collector” you are right and funny. This VHS player is one of the super fun models where you turned a knob to get your tape out, rewind, fast forward, and stop. Oh, and if you don’t have any experience with these types of contraptions, then you’ve never suffered through having to rewind the tape after watching it. First world problems.
9. How would an event planner use this?
To call home long distance.
To send an important document for signature.
To order drinks from the hotel bar with express pay.
To bang their head against while they were reading all the special things their client wrote into the contract.
Sadly, the only one that was not true of event planners in the 90s and this fax machine was the ability to order drinks from the bar. The rest was a possibility.
10. What is this thing?
A stun gun.
Something you’d put one of those floppy disks in.
A newer version of the old Instagram logo.
The fastest way to capture your event back in the 90s.
If you answered d, you’re brilliant and old. If you were going to take pictures of your event in the 1990s you had a few options: buy film and remember to put it in your camera then remember to get it developed before your next event; use a throw-away camera where you could bypass the step of putting the film in your camera but you still had to remember to get it developed; or you could use one of these things - a Polaroid camera. Anyone else miss the flapping you had to do when the picture was spit out?
Now for the bonus round and final question
11. What is this sound?
The sound of a time when no one complained about WiFi.
The excitement you hear just before seeing something magical.
A sound that got your audience excited because they were about to go to the mystical online world.
The sound that ushered in a prayer that the lines would not be busy.
If you answered all of the above, you win! And you must’ve lived through the 90s as an event planner. How did we do it?
It was the best of times and the worst of times. Technology was beginning to take shape and was more widely accessible. It was also a time when technology was new enough that we didn’t expect it to work every time and we were amazed when it did.
What’s your favorite part of 90s tech? Anyone else miss a phone cord?
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