I am a newcomer to conferences and have tried going to a few to get ready for graduate school. I attended an industry conference (the industry is known for its proportion of graduate-educated workers, and collaboration with academia) sponsored by a company I've been doing contract work for. As they paid for my registration, my badge had their name.
Long story short, there was a panel session about priorities in manufacturing in this industry. Since I heard about a material that has attracted interest in R&D of this specific community, I asked the panel what their thoughts were about this material. At the time, I felt it was a relevant question since the panelists were industry executives who I thought came across mention of the material. However, only the moderator answered my question, and the panelists just gave me a highly judgmental, silent glare. I felt really bad about it since. Doesn't help I said my affiliation, and the room contained nearly all of the conference attendees.
I looked online and saw people disapprove of questions that make it seem like the person asking is smart. I wasn't trying to do that; I was just wondering if the panelists had any thoughts about that research topic. I realize that discussion of that material was probably a highly academic, trivial topic.
Does this happen in conferences? Or did I just make me and the company sponsoring my attendance really bad?
Sorry if this doesn't belong here, I can move it if need be.