A reminder to myself more than anything, with explanations as to why. Items are not numbered for importance, but just for reference.
When traveling to a conference, if it makes financial sense, arrive the night before the night before, so I can get a 3/4 day in the city before attending and at least one good sleep.
even better, arrive a few days early to get some sightseeing in. After the conference I'm likely to be worn out.
Start conversations with people well before the conference.
If there are multiple tracks, attend sessions to learn something new or, even better, not apparently related to the overall subject of the conference
why would someone speak at a conference about a subject not related to theirs? To encourage people to connect the dots and learn something completely new.
As quickly as possible, identify the level of knowledge in the room. If people will cover the points I will make, leave immediately. See point #3.
The law of two feet usually applies.
Exception: when I can make the conversation or experience better. If my leaving worsens things, I've made things worse.
small BoFs over large presentations. The presentations will be well-documented, usually with video at tech conferences. BoF's are smaller, more conversational.