Who Is Attending The Festival
"How am I supposed to know who's attending?" said person who doesn't realize that filmmaking is a business at the end of the day.
It's called research.
Who ever attended last year is likely to attend this year. And if they're a Media partner, ever better, it means if you play your cards right they just might watch your film then write about it. Industry peeps are going to festivals to buy (distributors), sell (sales agent), acquire films (festival programmers), and talk about then (media partners). Buyers and sellers aren't going to draw up contracts at all of them, but it does help to get the ball rolling.
Even if you aren’t attending a festival, attending their panels is another great way to meet some serious industry peeps. Distributors and sales agents tend to talk on panels and lead discussion groups about current trends in the industry. As a filmmaker, it’s your job to attend the panels that suit your individual needs.
Side note: If you are just looking for film festival fame, then you won't have to worry about buyers/sales agent.