I attended the Joint Statistical Meetings 2011 this year, and I think it marked a turning point for me as a professional. In years past, I diligently attended something every session for something interesting. This year I was determined to broaden my horizons, and ended up volunteering for best contributed paper coordinator of the biopharmaceutical section. I think I went to only three or four talks, but a learned a whole lot more from the one-on-one conversations and posters. I wrote up most of my thoughts over at the Statistics Forum, but I just want to reinforce the idea that most of my value from the conference came from the lunches and chatting that went on in between sessions. My only regret was not seeing the Google and Facebook talks.
And I managed to avoid a sunburn from the Miami sun this time.