"So, what makes an ideal conference? There's no single-purpose
format that works for everybody -- what works for the Open Source
Business Conference attendees is going to have nearly zero value
for the audience that attends FOSDEM.
"Oddly enough, going pro doesn't mean a conference will be
better. Perhaps I'm a bit biased, but I've found that community
organized conferences like SCALE, Ohio LinuxFest, Linux.conf.au,
and so forth tend to be much more enjoyable and useful for
attendees. In part, that’s because the shows are not
organized with a profit motive in mind -- and thus, they don't
cater as much to the sponsors. (Read: The speaking schedule is not
"pay to play," so the keynotes, talks, and format are chosen to
benefit the attendee rather than the sponsors.)"