It's always nice when someone "in the industry" calls a spade a spade. From over at Making Light:
Unpublished fiction writers are the largest and most reliably naive segment of the whole aspiring writer tribe. Pitch sessions at legit weekend writers’ conferences are perennially oversubscribed by aspiring young writers eager for their ten or fifteen minutes with a Real Agent or Real Editor. The only case I’ve heard of where pitch sessions with editors resulted in sales by unpublished novelists was when Harlequin bought a couple of titles at romance conventions. On the other hand, Harlequin is always trolling for newbie romance writers, and these magic sales happened some time ago. For everyone else and since, the best recorded outcome is still "Sure, go ahead and send me the manuscript."
Africkingmen. Now that I've done 2 of these Speed Dating dealies, I can't see that a pitch session is any more useful than sending a query letter, and is infinitely more frustrating and nerve-wracking.