Interesting thread - I'll add some points arising at the Atlanta meet I hosted last month.
First of all - food or drink around the gear was not a problem. I made it clear in the planning thread and in person that nothing of the sort would be around the gear. I also deliberately set the snacks up away from where the gear was and had paper towels and wet ones stationed nearby.
Here we go with the gripe list:
When the meet is being held in someone else's home - please remember to shut the front door behind you.
Someone left my front door hanging wide open which triggered a cat emergency. Thankfully, none escaped - but then later the door was left open again!
Have some friggen common sense people. My wife got quite hot about that and it will be a good while before another meet gets hosted here as a result.
Other than that, folks were pretty considerate and everyone I saw handled the gear like it was fine china. We did have a lot of jabber going on around the gear, but that's my fault for not doing a better job with the layout.
Oh yea - while I'm ranting.
If you notify the host that you will be bringing gear, have the common courtesy to let them know if you decide not to come at the last minute. I actually worked out an informal space reservation system based on what people said they were going to bring and one guy totally flaked out leaving room that could've been used for the gear that was there. As a result, we ended up with the two high end rigs jammed together in one area with everyone standing around them jaw jabbing.
Another tip, and this falls under common courtesy. If you aren't hosting, offer to bring a snack or drink. I'm not being cheap here, because I enjoy being able to put things out for people to enjoy, but these things go so much better if everyone pitches in.