Conferences are great, but I think it's good to mingle with other writers on a regular basis. I belong to two writing groups, the GSHW (Garden State Horror Writers), and the Monmouth Creative Writing Group. I like the GSHW because of the speaker program and the in-depth, written critiques available there. I no longer attend the Monmouth Writers' meetings, but I still maintain most of my online friendships through their Yahoo Group (which I moderate).
I guess everyone gets something different from these things, but I'm curious; if you belong to a writing group, what is it that drew you there? What keeps you going back? If you used to attend one, but don't any more, what made you leave? Maybe you've never felt the need to join an organization. Why is that?
If you could create the perfect writing group, what would it offer?