I've attended lots of conferences: leadership, educational, teaching, writing, insurance, etc. Although very different, they follow similar schedules:
A breakfast of some kind(sit down or buffet or donuts in the back of the room) is followed by a welcoming session. Then, breakout sessions fulfill the advertised purpose of the conference. (Most often, people don't attend to get an education, though, they attend to socialize. If a person rarely attends conferences, they go for the education.) Sometimes there is a luncheon, while other times they recommend you take a speaker to lunch. A trade show, or something else where people are encouraged to buy things and others pitch their wares from behind designated tables, is usually a good place to go to get free stuff. A banquet or organized meal is arranged at some point during the day. Snacks are available, which may or may not include alcoholic beverages. Social opportunities abound that are not listed on the conference schedule.
The difference in conferences is the general personality of attendees and the amount of money available. Education conferences are very different from insurance conferences. Political leadership conferences are very different from writing conferences. They have their similarities, but the main difference is those in attendance.
Journal: Consider a character--one of your own or someone else's. Take him or her to a conference and see what happens. Maybe you'll meet another story there.