Headed to BEA? Me too.
I've been to some events recently that could be mistaken for I AM AN ASSHAT club meetings. Since we all know you do NOT want to be an asshat here are my three top suggestions for avoiding the chapeau chateau.
1. Do not waylay someone on a mission: someone going toward a specific destination with focused intention. This can be the bathroom; this can be a meeting; this can be a suddenly open spot at the crowded bar. If someone is clearly moving toward a destination, that is not the time to stop them and introduce yourself and start talking.
2. Do not begin pitching a product or service upon introduction. Effective selling is solving a problem for the buyer. To solve the problem you have to know what it is. That means you have to ASK and then listen. For me, this means I ask "what kinds of books are you really hoping to find" or "what is on your wish list" Then listening carefully, thinking and MAYBE writing a pitch email the next day.
We've all been annoyed by people who've buttonholed us with solutions for our salvation. Don't be that asshat.
3. Do not pounce. I know, I'm tempted to do this myself when Lee Child ambles by, but it's really bad form. Pouncing means just what you think it does: leaping into a person's field of vision with a squeal of delight and begin extolling their virtues (or worse extolling their weaknesses!) It's entirely correct to introduce yourself to someone you don't know. That's what these events are for after all. But you do it in a way that you don't evoke Hobbes: