A must for authors & anyone in the publishing industry is the attendance of book fairs and festivals. You will meet experts in the industry, editors, publishers, and learn so much. Some are geared toward writers, others toward authors/publishers, and many are free. So get out there and network!
This site lists some of the larger events - http://www.loc.gov/loc/cfbook/bookfair.html
But check your state and country for other festivals as well.