When should you wait in line for something, and how can you get the most out of the experience?

Those are a couple of the questions answered this week on the GeekWire radio show and podcast by our guest expert, Beth Goza, who gave a talk at the recent Ignite Seattle event on “The Elegant Art of Waiting in Line.” It’s a very relevant topic in the tech world, given the lines that typically form for major product launches — particular those with an “i” in the name, it seems.

A past GeekWire Geek of the Week and a veteran of many lines, Beth recommends starting with a personal cost-benefit analysis to determine whether it’s actually worth spending hours and hours waiting for something to see, do or experience.

“Your time is valuable — it can be spent doing other things, so you have to gauge: Is that worth my time?” she says. “After you’ve done that exercise and you’ve decided it is, then you need to do the advance scouting.”

Beth Goza

As an example, she explains, “When the Lego store opened in Lynnwood, you had to go early, stand in line to get a ticket to come back and get in line. The store opened at 10 a.m. By the time the store opened, all the tickets were given out. So if you just showed up, you weren’t going to get in, even though you were there to get in line.”

She also offers tips to apply once you’re in line.

“When you get in line, it’s all about making friends, it’s about making sure you have the right provisions, and it’s about making sure you’ve brought some type of entertainment along.”

That part about making friends is particularly important. “I feel sorry for the person who casually shows up with nothing on hand, they talk to no one, and suddenly they have to go to the bathroom and they’re doing the pee-pee dance” because they don’t have anyone to save their place.

Here’s the audio of the segment with Beth. Our other guest, Adam Tratt of Giant Thinkwell, also joins in.

GeekWire airs on 97.3 KIRO-FM in Seattle at 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday, and 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday. The show runs every weekend on GeekWire.com. You can get every episode using this RSS feed, or by subscribing in iTunes or Zune.

Listen to the full show at the top of this post or directly via this MP3 file.

More from this week’s show: 

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