I sent an email to a bunch of friends I am meeting in London next week, and included someone who had told me they wouldn't be there (she is going to be in Hawaii!). I got the following reply back (names removed):
Just checking you are aware xxxx is out of the office until 27th September, so will be unable to attend.
yyyy Virtual Assistant to xxxx
Colour me impressed. I have a friend with a 'Virtual Assistant'!