My take on this, unpopular as it may be, is to behave like a professional. If something you do, can be percieved as less than ethical, don't do it. These perceptions become reality as we are all human beings. If you wish to associate with anyone competing, do so after the judging is over and do it doscreetly. Just think of how your wife would feel, if at a company picnic you went off to shoot the breeze with a female co-worker and she saw you. It maybe very innocent, but her perception may prevent you from getting any for a month.
(Brewmaster and Pitmaster)
BBQ Team: Lawn Guyland Smokers
Brewery: Black Dog Brewery
"Sam I Am": XL Big Green Egg
"R2 and D2": Twin 22" Weber Smokey Mountains
Custom Made Automated Souped Up Sabco