Serious writers need to strive to improve their craft. Last week I talked about writing magazines, those specific to the genre that you write and those that cover the general market. Both have benefits and tips to help you build your career.
The same is true of writer's conferences. If your budget permits, you should try to attend two a year, one that covers various types of writing, the other should be specific to the genre that you write. Now, that advice is sometimes easier said than done! The area that I live in it's hard to find writing conferences that are close for my romance writing. For my children's writing, we have a wonderful regional SCBWI chapter. So, I usually budget for a large two to three day conference for my romance writing, and find a smaller one day conference close to home that either covers children's writing or writing in general.
Another I thing I consider is the size of a conference. The ACFW conferences that I've attended have up to 600 conference attendees. That's a lot of people and noise. It's easy to get lost in the crowd and harder to get agent/editor appointments. Although I enjoy large conferences, they are not everyone's cup of tea. If you are in introvert, this can be over whelming for you.
At a smaller conference with a 100 people or less, it's easier to actually meet an editor and have a conversation (that doesn't mean a pitch session). I've dined with many editor's at the smaller conferences and learned how their publishing company works and what the editor's needs are or just their general interests.
Any size or type of writing conference is beneficial to writer. Other than meeting editor's, you get tips to help you hone your career, meet critique partners, network and make friends!