In November I'll be attending my first meeting of the American Society For Theatre Reasearch (ASTR) in Dallas. It's always an interesting exercise in naive anthropology to examine how other disciplines do these kinds of things.
The biggest difference I can tell so far is the predominance of "working groups" over paper presentations. With working groups the papers are distributed to everyone in the group a month prior to the conference.* Then in the conference itself the paper is not read aloud at the scheduled time; instead, people who have already read it get together and discuss it.
The drawbacks are that the working group model imposes significantly more work upfront and also might undermine the kind of serendipitous thing where you wander into a session you know nothing about and learn some really cool things. Still, I think specialty conferences that don't have concurrent sessions would be much better served with the working group model than our usual present the paper then take questions thing.
Something for philosophy conference organizers to think about at least.
*Neal Hebert and I are part of the working group in Philosophy and Theatre Studies and are now finishing a paper on the metaphysics of professional wrestling.]