If you've never gone to this symposium (Life, the Universe and Everything), you are missing out. First of all, it's a weekend of scholarly geekdom where they have everything from "World-building a religion" to "Interesting Facts about Killers," costuming workshops to "Saturday's Werewolf: Vestiges of Pre-Mortal Romance in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight." You can walk around and see people dressed in the occasional costume, but regular people as well.
One of my favorite things about the symposium is the laid-back kind of atmosphere that comes out because it is a small symposium. Two years ago, I was on the organizing committee and got to take Gail Carson Levine out for a leisurely lunch where we discussed writing. Today, I was standing in the registration room, started talking to someone who wanted me to read the new Brandon Sanderson book and then Brandon Sanderson turned around from his place nearby and started debating his comedic style in his various series with us.
Whether or not I ever have hordes of readers and fans, I want to be that kind of writer. Someone who will hang out with the fans at signings or be willing to talk about what I meant by certain things in my books.