I just returned from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Orlando, with approximately 30.000 participants one of the largest oncology conferences. Like other conferences of this size, the experience can be overwhelming, but thankfully the organizers are getting better every year in using technology that helps in finding the most interesting sessions. Most sessions are made available as video podcasts or online presentations. There is currently still a delay of 24 hours, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the sessions streamed live as video over the internet in coming years. This year's ASCO also had the first official Twitter meet-up, although there still was relatively little Twitter activity compared to other conferences.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://front-matter.io/mfenner/why-do-we-go-to-conferences