Business tourism is a fast growing segment of the world’s largest industry sector with Conventions becoming a staple of business activity. Major cities such as Dallas, Houston and New Orleans bring millions of visitors each year for convention related business. New Orleans hosted a record 10.45 million visitors for tourism related business in 2016, much of that convention or event based. Comparatively, Dallas had over 25 million visitors.
These big numbers keep us at Bearden Investigative Agency busy. Why? Because we find that conventions are a unique environment ripe with opportunity to make valuable discoveries pertinent to our clients’ cases. During that time, we witness job offers being made, secrets shared, and romances blossoming. Surveillance during convention time can lead to very promising evidence in a variety of cases.
Most convention goers, whether professional or industrial, are usually hotel bound for the majority of the convention. They visit the same restaurants, bars and lounges nightly. Most after-hours activities include networking and cocktail parties in a defined area. Even in New Orleans, where the French Quarter is near-by, activities are typically limited to certain walkable areas of town.
Documenting these activities can be critical. Surveillance can be used to determine compliance to a non-disclosure agreement or violation of a non-compete. Or, surveillance can simply be used to check the behavior and activity of a company’s own personnel. Remember, salesmen are just that. They sell themselves. Sometimes, that allows for puffing, inappropriate behavior and striking a deal that is too good. Hopefully, that deal is for the company and not for themselves. Occasional surveillance can be a good thing.
Even in personal investigations, such as infidelity, divorce and child custody, conventions can be a ripe opportunity for evidence. An old saying is that “most business gets done after hours.” Many times, that can involve alcohol, late nights and close connections. Whether individuals are familiar work associates or new comrades, conventions provide ample opportunity away from home to see a significant other stray.
So, next time your opposing party or critical witness travels to company’s big show, consider the opportunity to watch. These times offer higher peaks of activity which can translate into surveillance success. Remember, convention time is prime time for evidence.