My main gig is as a web developer in a company that builds web applications for a niche market, and about 90% of the market is split between us and another, considerably larger company. Recently I was approached by our competitor and although I work full time and am quite happy with my company, I'm technically a freelancer and wouldn't want to miss what could be a great networking / job opportunity.
The competing company is the parent of a group of companies, and they've approached me via one of their companies that don't directly compete with us, so at this point I can't even be certain that they want me to work on their competing application, or something completely unrelated.
At which point should I inform management that I'm taking a meeting with them? Before, after, or when (and if) I have a solid offer in my hands?
I have no legal/contractual obligations to inform my current company of anything (at least that's what my lawyer said when we discussed my contract for unrelated reasons).