A layman’s view (not an architect)
For those of you who have never been to a conference, I would recommend you experience it at least once in your life. To feel the collegiate spirit. To watch people interact as they applaud themselves and their peers is a moment to enjoy.
A conference is like a chat room, Twitter thread or group message with way more people and in real life. There is usually an opening ceremony; It starts the conversation letting people know what we are officially going to be talking about. But like any other group activity, there will be unofficial conversation topics.
There will always be side-bar conversations and presenters that go on and on giving you tons of data but no actual information. Like the friend who dominates the thread for a bit saying all the places they have been but never actually tells you whether any of them were good.
There are the trolls in the back of the room, making just enough noise to disrupt the main thread without contributing anything positive. This is the friend saying you can’t use lighter-fluid on the charcoal briquettes and then ranting about how wrong it is to use a gas barbecue when really you’re talking about going for sushi.
Then there are the precious organizers. The people who start the conversation, keep it on track and get to an end knowing that it doesn’t really matter where you celebrate, just that you do. Those are the people you need to thank and applaud.
So if you go to a conference, try to figure out who the organizers are. They may be at the sign-up desk or somewhere in the background and thank them. They are the people bringing in speakers to inform and inspire. They are the people managing the supply of water and treats. They are the people letting you sit back and enjoy your peers being awesome in real life.