However, it was painfully difficult for me to circulate and network. That I managed at all is due to the advice of two great people (s): Kay Kenyon has some great advice on her blog (http://www.kaykenyon.com/), especially her series on 'An Introvert's Guide to Writing'. The second is the Writing Excuses podcast (http://www.writingexcuses.com/) put on by Brandon Sanderson (http://www.brandonsanderson.com/blog), Dan Wells (http://www.fearfulsymmetry.net/) and Howard Taylor (http://www.schlockmercenary.com/blog/archive/2010). In particular, the podcast on conventions was the primary motivator to get me to World Fantasy.
At parties, I had less trouble. It felt natural to circulate with a drink in my hand (Triple Sec = yum), even if I didn't drink much. I could introduce myself and ask who everyone is and what they're working on. The parties in the evening are definately required attendance. I am KICKING myself for getting a 6am flight on Sunday. I should have stayed an extra day or done whatever I needed to to make sure I maximized my chance to meet people in a lower-key setting.
The bar, however, is a different story. Everyone hangs out in the bar, that is where all the business gets transacted and where all the high-level elbows get rubbed. I had very little luck trying to fit in there and meet people. I literally couldn't think of a way to insert myself into anyone's conversation or table. It just felt too rude. I'm ambitious and a little aggressive but I'm a polite arrogant asshole, if I am an arrogant asshole. So I ended up acting like I was waiting for someone, over and over again. I'd hang out at the bar itself for a bit, then go take in a reading or a panel and then go back to the bar again. Nothing. No luck in seeing anyone I knew or getting invited to sit at someone's table. That was so depressing.
On the other hand, I did manage to find and introduce myself to an agent Kay Kenyon has recommended to me. That is the good thing about the bar, everyone goes there eventually.
The next time (and there will be an next time) it will be easier. I've learned a bit about how to network. And here it is: