I remember going to my first Romance Writers of America conference. I went because I was nominated for a Golden Heart, but I was absolutely terrified because I'm socially inept
I walked in the hotel and saw 2000 women and I started to hyperventilate and almost turned around.
I remember for the awards ceremony they told us "No matter what you do, don't drink before the ceremony." (high heels, stairs to the stage, alcohol=bad combination)
Tess Gerritsen won an award and got up behind the podium and ended her speech with "....and guess what? I've been drinking!"
Sometimes you walk away from these conferences with fun tales.