The Special Libraries Association blog has a good piece on "tips for making the most out of an SLA conference". Most of the tips go beyond SLA -- they're useful in whatever professional development conference you attend. Among the tips that I thought were most relevant (and most needed (IMHO)
-- Have at least two sessions chosen for every time slot. That way, if you get to one and the room is overflowing or the topic isn't what you thought it would be, you can make the most of your time by heading to your second choice.
-- Try to attend a few sessions outside of your area or specialty.
-- Bring 50-60 business cards. Be ready to distribute them to people who ask or who want to trade.
-- At sessions, sit in the front so a speaker notices you. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions and be noticed. Network.
--When you attend a session, don’t sit with friends. Sit down and meet someone new on either side of you, since you never know where this will lead.
The tips were written by Special Libraries Association board members Ann Sweeney and Ruth Wolfish. Great job, Ann and Ruth!
From - Librarian of Fortune http://www.librarianoffortune.com/librarian_of_fortune/2009/05/making-the-most-out-of-a-professional-conference.html