Last night I was part of a panel speaking to local inventors and entrepreneurs. Part of the discussion focused on how important it was to develop a deep understanding of your competition. A fellow panelist had this tip for learning about the competition at technical trade shows:
Cover up or remove your name tag, go the competition's booth, and find the guy with "engineer shoes." Pay that guy a complement, then shut up and listen. You'll turn a lot before a salesman finally shows up and shoos you away.
Now all I need is somebody to post a photo set of "engineer shoes" as I was previously unfamiliar with this concept.