Good conferences create a range of stages for members of the cohort to try things out on. Workshops, seminars and meetings happening alongside the keynote and plenary sessions create value for presenters (a chance to meet interested people and try out material) and for the cohort (a testbed for discovering new ideas, finding new contributors and new speakers and leaders).
If you’re organising a conference, it’s worth being deliberate about making an on-ramp of smaller opportunities and chances for attendees to contribute.*
*The focus needs to be on contribution – opportunities for members of the cohort to share something valuable with peers, rather than to get on their own private soapbox or achieve five minutes of fame.