I have been going to writers conferences as an agent for two decades, and we all know it's a traveling card party - you see the same players year after year and you feel as though you could step into the card game right where you left off the last time you saw these folks.
The fact that I am an agent places me so squarely in the middle of the publishing perspective. I am just amazed at how I can see the big picture of the print publishing world, the epub world, as well as the crossing over genre to genre that most working writers do. It always amazes me when I see one of my horror or sci-fi writing pals selling his or her erotic romance at one of these conferences under a pseudonym.
Publishing is a big small world, and many of the people in it have never looked out from the other side.
And right now, it is growing and changing in ways very few saw coming, but it is so exciting.