As it does before every trade show, my inbox is filling up in advance of the IPPE with invitations to meet with this or that exhibitor.
A small but increasing number of these flacks are acting on behalf of individuals who aren’t exhibitors at all. They say “would you like to meet with Food Industry Expert so-and-so,” who just will happen to be hanging around the Georgia World Congress Center because, who knows, the Hawks won’t be in town and there’s nothing else to do in Atlanta.
I give these people a polite brushoff, but one day, when I’m feeling especially evil, I’ll come back with something like this:
“I hope that someday your client’s expertise will advance to the point where, instead of roaming around trade shows buttonholing people, he can actually afford a booth.”
Or: “I’m sure that IPPE management will be charmed and flattered that your client thinks highly enough of the show to drop by and solicit business there, which is why they’re copied on this message.”