It's a fact. Conferences are generally held in great destination cities. The organizers know that you will travel farther and spend that hard-earned money on steep registration fees if you can get more out of the trek.
See the sights with your loved one. Party with new friends. Bring the fam to amusement park heaven.
Conferences also give you the opportunity to travel to places you might not have put at the top of your list. I can think of lots of other places I would have put in front of the cities I have been to based on conference location. I find that when I travel internationally for business, it presents the opportunity to make side trips or extended trips to multiple locations. Vienna turned into Prague, Porto turned into Ibiza, and Adelaide turned into Sydney. You get the picture. Don't waste the opportunity to take a few extra days to travel somewhere reasonably accessible from your main destination. Heck, if the conference location isn't that great, make that city the "side trip" and spend most of your time where you want to make the real memories!
You want to choose wisely on which meetings to attend. Organizations and associations generally have annual regional or national conferences and international gatherings are usually spaced out to every other year or so. Depending on your profession or speciality, there will likely be several to choose from. I suggest getting on the mailing list, which is usually a given if you are a member, or scour the association websites for upcoming conference info. Destination cities are generally announced a year in advance so it's easy to start picking out your top choices. Register early to save money and pay attention to "call for abstract" deadlines if you wish to present. Presenters often get registration discounts.
I've also taken opportunities to travel when it didn't directly have to do with my work. Once you build a network of friends and/ or family with travel opportunities, you will have plenty of excuses to make a trip to visit. In a future post on England, I will highlight my sister-in-law's semester teaching at Oxford University and the wonderful family trip that was an obvious opportunity.
Lots of people save money or find excuses to buy things. I seek reasons to travel and bring home experiences.