As far as I'm concerned, one of the most under-appreciated and most wonderful things about the jQuery community is the humanity of the people within it. Though I'd met several people at last year's conference and made efforts to speak to several of them in the year since, I wouldn't say that I went to the conference with any expectation of being "in" with the crowd. I reintroduced myself to several people and caught up briefly with those who did remember me.
I soon found that I was involved in conversations that I never would have anticipated at a tech conference. Take, for example, an hour long conversation with @codylindley and @mennovanslooten about our families, my wife's pregnancy, and the excitement and life changes that my impending fatherhood has in store for me. Or talking about cocktails with @tdreyno (one of my favorite topics, by the way). Or sharing stories about our misspent youths with @dainbrain. Honestly, these aren't the conversations I'd been expecting to have and I completely welcomed them! It was great to go beyond the concept of, "this is a person who really knows their stuff," and get to the people behind the twitter accounts.
I met these, and many other people at #jqcon this year (too many to list, honestly). Even if the conference hadn't been technically top notch, it would have been 100% worth it just to meet and interact with the incredible jQuery community.
As John @unscriptable Hahn said in a note to the jQuery speakers just after the conference: