Before your next conference, consider these 10 simple things:
Scour the Web (Technorati and Google Blogsearch and Twitter Search) to see who's coming, and reach out to people you want to see.
Schedule meetings with people on day one, as soon as you can, because time runs out.
Drink more water than you normally do, and wear very comfortable shoes.
Pack business cards. Tons of them. But get business cards from others, too, because then you can ensure a reply.
Have a really simple, brief answer to these questions: "What do you do?" "What are you working on these days?" "What brings you to the conference?"
Blog a very recent photo of yourself so that people know who they're going to meet.
Upcoming.org and Facebook for related events and parties. Attend a few.
Take some pictures of you and some folks you meet. Post them with links to the people, if you can find such.
Never assume people are better than you or that you're somehow not good enough or important enough. You are. And if people don't know you yet, go in as if they know you reasonably well anyway.
Don't hide behind your laptop, BlackBerry, camera. Step out and be brave a few times. It will pay off.