So I wanted to ask a question about the benefits of attending a conference and then found this: Advantages of attending a conference
I realized from the answers that there are two advantages of attending a conference:
While I believe that for the second point, by not attending one can just grab a copy of the proceedings and then he will have a pretty good idea of what happened and learn better (because you really can't learn much from presentations), the first point was harder to compensate for.
Suppose one made connections from a conference, then what are the potential benefits of making those connections? i.e. how to make value out of them?! Because I personally believe that a lot of people make connections but they just end up knowing each other without any collaborations or a value that I can see. Also the majority of the connections would be with researchers and students, not hiring managers so I wonder if there are any value for job search after graduating 4 years from the PhD.
Edit: I've never been to a conference, but I hear what my friends say and also I see couple online videos.