Thank you for sharing your insights.
I started to listen to Giuseppe Castellano's podcast The illustration department. I hear lots of guests on the podcast talking about face-to-face communication in one form or another. It seems to me that there is a good chance to build a relationship with potential clients/agents over book fairs and conferences. I am going to the Bologna book fair next year and will share my experience here if anyone is interested.
I am very new as well. @NessIllustration. My first/current gig is from Instagram.