There you are, congenially chatting with a small circle of people, only ONE of which is a Very Important Person to you. To the knowledge of all (including the VIP) he or she can hire you, fire you, promote you, make you rich, famous, or a star. Or perhaps this VIP is a celebrity, or can get you into the country club you've been salivating to join. No matter, this VIP knows you want something from them.
Should you fawn all over them? Definitely not. Should you play up to them? Of course not. But, wait a minute; shouldn't you at least pay a little more attention to them than the others? And the answer is – "NO!" In fact, give more deference to some of the others in the little gathering. You are now elevated to VIP status yourself.
A bonus of paying equal attention to everyone in the group is that you make them feel good, and you earn the affection and respect of all.