I've been programming for a while now, and have been thinking that I really should go to a conference. I think I will be able to get a lot out of the networking opportunities, but also would love to see new ideas/technologies and other things that might fuel ideas for my work. Since conferences cost a lot, I really want to make sure I find one that can provide value to me personally and to my employer.
I know there have been questions on identifying conference listing sites even ones to identify good conferences. But the crux of my question comes to what makes a particular conference "good"? How would you take the list of all available conferences and filter it down to those that would be a good fit for you personally? What factors do you consider about yourself and your personal situation and how does that drive what features do you look for in a conference? In the other direction as well, if you've stumbled across a conference that may be interesting, what do you look for to know if it would be a good fit? Conversely what red flags do you look out for to make sure you don't attend an unsuitable conference?