It must have something to do with sitting indoors, behind a computer screen all day. Bloggers, especially those that work independently, freelance, or run their own sites, turn into conference whores. Eventually, they stop going because they are actually interested in the conference. Instead they go for two things: validation and socializing. That's it.
In the early days when people start getting into web publishing, they attend conferences to truly learn things and network with others. Typically, I would go to learn more about a specific subject like layout, organic traffic, and advertising.
After a while though, you really have learned all you'll ever learn at these conferences and trade shows (doesn't take long!). But for whatever reason, you just keep going every year.
The shows become this weird annual reunion of otherwise strangers. No one has any intention of actually working the show floor. Maybe just to visit an old rep or seek out that hot new vendor. If you're smart, you know which vendors are having private parties or have drink tickets, and you become friends with them. For free drinks, most will swim through the soup of trade show nerds.
None of the veterans have any plans of attending the conference sessions to see speakers other than those led by their blogger buddies.
The rest is just a giant get together. People compare notes, bitch about Google/SEO, compare how big theirs is [traffic that is], etc.
For a lot of guys, these events are their only social outlets for the year. It is only among these people that they feel important.
If you've read this far, I'm sorry. I didn't really have a point other than to make note of my observation. Really, I've just noticed the quality of the events and quality of attendees really drop of in the last couple of years. I believe this is why.