One of the advantages of attending different academic conferences is that you can share your academic work outside your comfort zone and meet talented professors from other institutions. Furthermore, in casual conversation, we learn what is going on in academic fields.
Recently, I went to Rutgers University to deliver a paper and attend the 55th annual conference of the American Association for Chinese Studies. I have been a member of this organization for close to 40 years.
After a series of serious meetings, several of us went to a local bar to have a beer to enjoy our down time. One of the group was a young and ambitious scholar. During the past several years, he has proved to be a potential scholar in his field. We respect his professionalism and like him as a person.