"And, if you're into taxes...the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants kicks off its National Tax Conference at the J.W. Marriott in Washington. Hanging around the hotel and eavesdropping between now and Friday, when the conference closes, could save you thousands of dollars." ~ Marc Ambinder, The Atlantic (more)
This is an off-handed, humorous comment.
It is also deadly accurate.
I handle counterespionage strategy for my client's off-site meetings. Hotels and conference centers are the worst. It is not at all unusual to catch the competition (and unidentified others) hanging around, eavesdropping, crashing meetings and banquets, picking up unsecured papers and engaging meeting participants – one indiscretion can blackmail a loyal employee into becoming a million dollar problem.
The technical possibilities for eavesdropping are considerable as well. Bugs are easy to plant. Most meeting presenters use wireless microphones.
Competitors reserve a cosy hotel room above the meeting rooms. They arm themselves with a sensitive radio receiver and a directional antenna. Crashing a meeting is a no-brainer.
You can see how a 2-3 person team from the competition could clean up with very little investment. One might almost call them negligent if they weren't there.
Having an off-site meeting?
Get a counterespionage strategy.
Avoid leaking your corporate blood.