The answer is, in a word, community.
|Geeking it up outside PhilCon 2011|
This is usually reflected in a con's speakers and panels. I've attended panels on topics as diverse as copyright in the digital age and alien life on non-Earthlike planets. While I enjoy talking about craft and the biz, the focus of your average speculative fiction panel tends to be instead on the stuff of life that makes fiction itself so interesting. Each time I attend a con, I come back full of new ideas for books, inspired by the passion of the speculative community around me.
If you're a YA writer focused on genre work--horror, fantasy, or science fiction--or even if you just enjoy reading it, you might give your local SF con a try. It's a great place to meet like-minded geeks, and an even better place to be inspired.