If you live on the East Coast or can afford to get there and are a serious children's, middle grade, or young adult author/illustrator, this is a wonderful opportunity! (Follow the link above.)
I won't be able to attend this winter conference due to time off and expenses, but I made it to the summer conference in Los Angeles and it was an incredible experience. It was inspirational to listen to some of the most respected names in children's literature speak, but it was also a valuable opportunity to network.
At the New York conference, an entire day is dedicated to "intensives," one of which allows new authors who have a full manuscript ready for submission to share the first 500 words of their work with a table of other authors, editors, and agents. What a wonderful, rare opportunity to share your work with potential buyers, receive feedback, and interact with possible future colleagues!
Check out the SCBWI site for more information. If the conference is anything like the summer one, it will be an unforgettable experience.