I did not volunteer for CraNma. I have been abducted.
As for your questions:
I have concluded that conferences are simply cults-in-progress. They either help rich businesspeople rationalize their practices, or help poor artists and activists find spiritual solace. Sometimes, these conferences help academics reassure themselves that they know their tiny plot of informational soil better than anyone else.
Conferences should be more like festivals,
where the "public" (whatever that is) gets to be exposed to the minds, work, and words of people from different places. The only reason I go to conferences is to share what I've got with others, and glean what I can from the participants who are smarter and wiser than I am.
For the most part, though, conferences suck. There are too many, with too little reason.