Ben Casnocha has some suggestions for making good personal and career contacts:
How to find a hidden gem? Hints from my post on de-emphasizing popular filters: seek out introverts. Seek out people under age 30. Seek out people who are bad at marketing.
Recognize and discount the celebrity effect. Spend time with
people who also have time to spend with you. My bet is you’ll have a
more rewarding relationship.
This is the same Ben who went to a talk of mine in Zurich and introduced himself to me. I’m not under 30. In any case, I agree with his bottom line:
The only reason to try to meet with Mr. Busy and Rich for 10 minutes is
if you have a very specific request or need. If you’re just trying to
"network" or build a relationship, don’t waste your time.