One-day workshops and training programs serve a different purpose from week-long conferences. One-day seminars tend to be tactical: focused on a particular technology or skill (TCP/IP, Storage, Backups, etc). Week-long conferences are strategic: offering opportunities to discuss broader topics, to network, to build community, and to further the craft of SA as a respected profession. Week-long conferences give you "vision".
LISA is one of those week-long conferences.
My favorite part of LISA is what I call "the moment." There's always this moment when I realize that someone has just said something that makes me want to shout, "Oh Damn! That just paid for the entire conference!" There are many little "ah-ha!" moments too, but there's always one big one. Some years there are two or three.
LISA is very cutting-edge. Many times I've seen a new tool at LISA that only became popular years later. I had been using it all along. People wonder where I find out about these things, the answer is usually "LISA"! That's really helped me stay ahead of the pack.
Week-long conferences have a powerful effect, providing a much-needed opportunity to relax, and they provide a supportive environment where you can take a step back from your day-to-day work and consider the big picture. Attendees return to their job brimming with new ideas and vision; refreshed, motivated, and with a new outlook.
This year's conference is on the east-coast in lovely Washington D.C. I hope to see you there!