Because of scheduling I only have one conference this year and that was last weekend. In total there were 9 people that requested gluten free out of a total of about 400 attendees.
For the most part the conference hotel was fine - and indeed the final dinner where two gluten free diners were seated was the same for the whole table - ie the whole meal was gluten free. This is vast improvement to having the table served and the server leaving the special requirements until the end or one server finding all the special meals at the start and serving them before the rest of the table! Both these scenes are common.
It was the off site meals that were more of a challenge and neither were catered to be gluten free. Dinner one was buffet style and we did not rush down at the start (mistake #1). The meal had one pasta dish, some multi colored Doritos and some chicken bits in a gravy - oh boy. By the time we got down the Doritos were down to a few crumbs so I took a piece of chicken and tried to extricate the white meat out without the skin or gravy. Thank goodness I had taken two precooked Udi's rolls. They were rather dry but enough to see me through. Lunches both days were a little boring but had GF bread and fruit which worked even though it was messy. Dinner 2 was also off site and saw a reappearance of pasta salad and some little pastry covered somethings. There was a salad and some fresh carved turkey though with the chutney which worked, even if I did go back for more of the turkey. What was rather frustrating was that the servers did not know if the chutney was GF or not and it took several minutes to find anyone that did know. It was gf and decent but knowing these things when you serve buffets is rather imperative! The breakfast between these two events was also offsite and buffet with lots of pastries etc, some scrambled eggs and sausages (which looked questionable).
So overall the rolls and a baggie of Chex saved the day because garden conferences are long days and tiring without the complication of being low on calories. There is no point sitting at home and not going to conference, you just have to take some added 'snacks' along because good conferences are well worth attending!