Even if it's not your first time to attend a tech-related conference, you should take a look at this refresher course from Keith Casey on the Zend Developer Zone for getting the most out of your experience.
To be able to go to any of [the conferences], most likely you had to convince your boss that the conference is relevant to your job, worth the cost, and you'll bring back the best ideas to share. After days (or weeks!) of making your case, they relented and you're getting ready. First of all, congrats. Many bosses don't have the foresight to send their people go to conferences. But that means above all, you have to keep your side of the deal.
He suggests a few things that you can do to not only help you get the most "bang for the buck" when it comes to the content of the conference, but also on the people side of things:
- Meet people
- Take notes and share them
- When in doubt, ask questions
- Eat lunch with different people each day
Of course, as he states, these are just recommendations and what you get out of the conference(s) you attend is really only up to one person - you.