There's no question about it--conventions are here to stay.
Remember the first "Worldcon," when a whopping nine fans (all men) showed up in New York? Now the annual event always draws hundreds of attendees, and I suspect someday soon it will break the thousand-fan barrier. Since the War, a number of regional conventions have also sprung up: Westercon, Boskone, Eastercon, Disclave, Midwestcon, Lunacon...
And those are just the big formal ones. There are plenty of smaller events--irregular gatherings associated with local clubs or movements.
One that I've enjoyed over the past several years is a little Seattle event run by a gang of highly motivated and talented female fans. These are ladies who have seen the 90/10 split between male and female authors (on a good day) and want to see things improve. As always, the shindig was a great opportunity to engage in intellectual discussions, meet like-minded fans, and learn about up-and-coming female science fiction and fantasy talents.
(read the rest at Galactic Journey!)