Not a teachers' conference, but after my most recent conference I realized at the end that, although I'd gotten a lot from the talks, I hadn't talked very much to other people, and thereby missed a chance to learn a lot from my colleagues. I decided the next time I go to a conference, I'm going to have a list of questions that I can ask to start a conversation. I don't know what I'll learn, but I know I won't learn anything if the conversation doesn't start.
In my field (student systems and data warehousing in higher education), the questions might be:
- Hi, how are you? Where are you from?
- (Insert brief chit-chat like where I'm from, and whether or not we've ever been to the other person's town, and who we know there, and compare the sizes of our institutions.)
- Which products do you use?
- What do you find to be some of your biggest challenges?
- What are some of the most useful tips and tricks you've found?
- If they do use the product I'm most interested in, ask some questions about specific issues that I'm facing.
- What are some of the most useful talks you've been to at this conference?
- ...and so on...
Those kinds of questions, or similar questions more tailored to your own teaching interests, could be useful for teaching too.
This is an idea I learned from the Dale Carnegie training.