It gets easier every year. I think Teri and I have this down to a science of sorts, we know what to do, what each other is doing, when to do it and how. But there is no way to alleviate the hustle of the last two weeks prior to the conference. So many things that need to be done but can't be done until toward the end: conference handbooks to bind, conference bags to stuff with pamphlets, magazines, and catalogs, speaker name badges to make, schedules to print, box lunch lists to total, registrations to keep up with, as well as scholarship recipients, volunteers and vendors. Whew!
I don't stress as much over these things now. I know how long each item on my list takes, and I check them off my list one by one. I can smile while I am doing it. I don't get a headache the day of the conference any more, an accomplishment for me. And Teri hasn't had a headache since the first conference (of course her headache was due to meningitis...what a conference goddess). We can laugh when unexpected bumps come along, problem solve to resolve issues or work with/around them. It is amazing what doing this for years teaches us. Like what things truly are "little things", most of them.
We also know what to do with diva speakers and problem vendors- muahahahaha.
So when you go to a conference, know that there is a LOT of behind the scenes work going on. People put in lots of time and effort to make your day go as smooth as possible. Stop and say hello (we LOVE meeting conference attendees), think about offering to volunteer for the next conference, say "thank you", and above all else, enjoy yourself.