Easier Scanning using OpenOffice.org or Easier Scanning for Great Results by Marlo E. Schuldt had some good suggestions about scanning, such as scanning with nothing on the flat bed and then you can see any smudges or fingerprints that may be on the glass. One thing about going to conferences is that the presenters always seem to have one or two ideas that are so new and challenging that it starts me going in entirely different ways.
One difference (advantage? disadvantage?) in attending a local conference is that you might end up knowing a few people besides those who came with you. Realistically, one of the major reasons for attending a genealogy conference is the opportunity to interact with other genealogists. There is a huge quantitative difference between attending a national conference and a more local one. Both have their advantages and you should make sure you take the opportunity to go to a national conference but don't forget the local ones.
It looks to me that there are more people at the Expo than there were last year. The Mesa Expo Center is a very nice venue, but would not work with a conference much larger than this year's attendance.
Back to scanning, although anyone can purchase a scanner and get to work, as Mr. Schuldt gave a good introduction to the complexities of getting good scans. The quality of the presentations is excellent.
Last class of the day from Lisa Louise Cooke on Google Earth for Genealogy: Rock Your Ancestor's World! Last year her class on Google Earth was worth the whole conference. This year's class was just as good. If you have missed coming to the Mesa Family History Expo, you should make sure to review as much of the online webinars or recordings as are possible to find.