Totally agree that investing in conferences is something we should all be doing. Even if you can't get to the biggies, there are always face to face networking events which are free or very low cost.
I recently had someone I met at an affiliate marketing conference 2 years ago call me. She said she'd seen my posts on LinkedIn and now she's a client.
I'm very selective about the events I do attend though. They need to be relevant to me, my growth and to what I'm trying to achieve -- as you all know, time is so precious. Generalist business conferences don't do it for me. I love network