I just came back from the ALA conference and I'm still as confused as ever as to who does what and who talks to who in the world of publishing. I assume that most of the publishing people I see at an event like that are marketing people, but I remember meeting an editor from a small (but quite well-known) children's press who, when learning I was a librarian, said "maybe I'll see you at ALA." To what extent, then, do editors wear different hats and might I see them pop up at these events sometimes? Also, where does an event like ALA rank on your radar screen as far as reaching possible buyers?Certainly Marketing and Publicity are regular attendees at events like ALA and BEA. Those events are also lousy with editors and other publishing professionals. Both events rank high for us-- they are usually our best chances to connect with the librarian and bookseller communities.
Getting a chance to talk to committed booksellers and librarians--who are or may become movers and shakers in their respective areas-- is of tremendous help to editors, if we can manage a conversation amid the bustle.
Keep in mind that we are continually avoiding twits who think they'll submit a manuscript or pitch a project to us in person, regardless of our submission guidelines. So don't be surprised if editors don't have a badge on or "accidentally" have their badges flipped. If someone we don't know shows up and asks if there's 'an editor' in the booth, we will scan the booth carefully before lying our asses off.