Did you ever notice how people will offer information about someone or something they know nothing about? They seem to make up stuff just to hear themselves talk. This happened at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas just last week.

We were taking pictures and interviewing people at record speed so I’m sure we missed some products, but the second morning there, the local news did an interview at the futureHAUS™, the Virginia Tech Center for Design Research kitchen of the future. I definitely didn’t want to miss this one.
I was shocked that the booth seemed to be by itself in an empty-looking area in one of the exhibit halls. There were no signs that I noticed, but the display stood out because there were people all over the place.

This was my kind of exhibit. It consisted of one wall of white contemporary cabinets with a sink, cooktop, oven and refrigerator plus an island with seating on one side. Not a big deal until I looked closely and saw the very large black screen set into the countertop. I am not going to go into detail because, first, their website is not accessible, and second the subject of my soapbox is not about the kitchen.

It’s about the young female person who approached up to answer any questions we might have had. We asked her if we could speak with the person in charge of the technology, and we was told “her IT guy” didn’t like to talk, he didn’t like women and he was busy in the back on his computer and didn’t want to be disturbed. So what impression did we immediately get from that description. I pictured a nerd with horns and big teeth who was not a people person. I wanted to move on, but my sidekick and cameraman, Dan, ignored her and went directly behind the display to find a man sitting on a chair with a laptop on his . . . lap, of course. Dan introduced himself and had a very interesting conversation with Denis, an associate professor, not an “IT guy.” That conversation most likely will lead to Dan and Denis working together on a project.

So what’s my point? First, steer clear of people who have no idea what they are talking about when you ask them a question, and second, when you want to meet someone, go meet them. Present yourself in a professional way, speak intelligently, hand them your business card and connect with them shortly thereafter. You never know where this will lead you.