It's becoming cheaper to host your own event than attend one. And it's really cheap not to host or attend with all the remote participation and podcasting options out there.
With the right social software, you can promote, coordinate and self-organize events with near zero cost. Location does matter, but not for everything. Now cost can be a good thing, as some events are better with a little exclusivity, but inclusive options provide alternatives that help the ecosystem as a whole.
A more wild thought is that event models almost correspond to the three modes of production identified by Benkler:
* Firms and contracts: invitation is the barrier to participation
* Markets and prices: price is the barrier to participation
* Commons-based peer: reputation is the barrier to participation
Think about this for a minute, even if you are not in the conference business, and expect an explosion in events and venues. Easy group forming is creating the same disruption for the event market as personal publishing has for media.