With the explosion of technology I wonder if our denomination ought to move to internet video events instead of “come to us” events. Even our medium to small church has an excellent big screen video projection system and high speed internet connects. I think conferences could attract a significant local church grass roots audience if some effort was put into it. Beyond that, some folks might even tune in from home.
Personally, I think “come to us” thinking is going away sooner and not later. People are more and more accepting of training, etc. in a distance learning format.
By the way, I think local church events are headed that way too — in not too many years, most churches will be quite comfortable with “Welcome to our worship service, both you here in the sanctuary and those participating from home.”