We'll be at Albacon (or at least, on the way) when you read this. Getting ready for the con makes me ponder what it is that I like about science fiction conventions.
When I first started going to cons (1974), the world was different. Even more than today, conformity was a major social force. Cons were (and are) an ideal place for nonconformists. (My sister-in-law walked into her first con, looked around, and said, "So here's where all the hippies went.")
For anyone on the autistic spectrum, cons offer a more comfortable environment. The social structures are generally set up for the convenience of auties: behaviors like stimming, perseveration, and social clumsiness are considered normal. Fans have enormous concern for accessibility and low tolerance for sensory overload. There's always someplace quiet to retreat, and no one will make you feel bad about doing so.
Cons are intellectually stimulating. No matter what your interest, you're guaranteed to find someone to talk about it with. The panels and presentations are usually thought-provoking, the participants generally brilliant and well-informed.
The dealer's room is a great place to find stuff you want to acquire, and the art show almost always has a wide range of great art on display. You can even buy original art if you wish.
It's for all these reasons, and more, that I stepped into my first con and felt instantly that I'd found a place where I belonged. Now, 43 years and hundreds of cons later, I haven't changed my mind.