I always think that I pretend that I'm going to cons on business as a kind of legal and acceptable tax-dodge -- and indeed I generally do sufficient pinning down of my editor at them that I'm sure they quite legitimately count for that purpose. This one was different in a couple of ways.
The divide between being there as a fan and as a pro has somehow got bigger -- or it's more noticeable at worldcons. I really don't like the idea that people wouldn't approach me because I'm a pro. It bothers me about fifty different ways, and the worst one is that if lots of nice people do that I'll only end up meeting the pushy ones.
I didn't have an autographing session, but about a zillion people asked me to sign books, mostly Tooth and Claw. I also estimate that about 10% of everyone who had bought it came up to me and told me that they love it. This was very gratifying. (It comes out in paperback in November. Buy it for all your friends for Santamass.)
I was standing at Elise's stall and was introduced to a guy who's starting a fantasy line at a French publisher. "Gosh," I said. "Publish me, I live in Montreal, and having a French edition would do so much for my social life!" He laughed and gave me his card. I mentioned this in passing to my agent when we had lunch. He asked me to email him the guy's details when I got home. Later that day, another agent and editor came up and asked me about this and asked me to do the same for him. I thought I was standing at Elise's stall making conversation, but they were definitely doing business.
I've started reading authors myself because they were interesting on panels. (C.J. Cherryh positively leaps to mind.) I'm aware that people do that, and do believe that going to a worldcon will put me in front of potential readers in a useful way. But I always thought of this as an excuse to go to a worldcon, not a reason to go, if you see the difference.
Eh well, these are problems I'd have given large quantities of body-parts to have had ten years ago, so I shouldn't complain.