Just as wearing a red shirt was an incredibly dangerous choice during the TOS era, attending a conference marks TNG crew for plot-critical disasters.

St tng s04 e24 The Minds Eye

Not the three-hour shuttle ride to a conference that Geordi was expecting.

Examples include:

  • The Mind's Eye, in which Laforge misses a conference and is instead turned into a Romulan-controlled assassin.
  • Timescape, in which conference goers return to find the Entrepreneur trapped in a slow-time bubble
  • Skin of Evil, in which Troi crashed onto a planet with a malevolent mud puddle on her way back from a conference.
  • Qpid, in which the bridge crew are kidnapped from an archeological conference and taken to a Sherwood Forest.
  • Dark Page, in which Lwaxana Troi falls into a coma while accompanying telepathic aliens to a conference.
  • Suspicions, in which Beverly Crusher hosts a conference after-party on the Entrepreneur, leading to murder and, presumably, multiple court-martial trials.
  • Face of the Enemy, in which Troi is kidnapped by the Romulan underground and used to transport defectors to Federation space...on her way back from a conference.