> Am I just going there to network, or am I learning new cutting-edge techniques and getting enlightened by awesome training sessions? Or is it just a fun way to get a free trip to Las Vegas?
Yes. You're going there to network - not just with companies who might hire you away, but with potential future colleagues you might help to recruit. You're going to talk to other attendees about what they're doing, compare notes on what works and what doesn't, and meet subject-matter experts who you can tweet if you get stuck. You're going to get invited to the local tech community Slack, where you can do all of the above (and more) even after the conference is over.
You might well be enlightened by the sessions - you'll probably run into at least a few things you didn't know about before. You're unlikely to learn all the details, but you'll at least find out that the thing exists, and probably enough information to decide whether it's worth investigating further at work (or away from work). Speaking of away from work, it's likely to pique your interest about things which aren't relevant at work (yet), possibly enough that you'll investigate them on your own time.
The free trip to Vegas (/ wherever) shouldn't be ignored. Having a good time, and associating that good time with work having paid for it, shouldn't be under-valued - it's likely to be reflected in your productivity and loyalty.
Many of these things are great for your employer as well as for you. What manager doesn't want a team filled with well-connected, loyal, enthusiastic developers who are interested in the latest developments in tech and may well do some learning on their own time as well?