Last year, one of the most refreshing conferences where I spoke was the Rich Web Experience. Too often, conferences are mono-cultures, and mono-cultures are generally boring. RWE is fundamentally different because it's what I call a condiment conference. The focus is on how to make applications better, not how to make the plumbing better. Nothing wrong with plumbing, mind you, it's just refreshing to look at faucets for a change.
This conference has an eclectic mix of developers. Hallway conversations lack the implicit assumptions you can generally make at main course conferences. For example, all Java developers have an implicit context. At The Rich Web Experience, you have to throw away your base assumptions, both in sessions and conversations. Just like travel broadens you because you meet people with different contexts and experiences, attending the Rich Web Experience does the same for technologists. Instead of the usual low-level animosity that each technology tribe exhibits for the non-tribe members, everyone focuses on common ground. This year, there are 2: one near the east coast and another on the west.