I'm interested in knowing, observing how my field - applied research, technology, imaging, innovation... whatever you call it - is evolving. Working full time on one project is of course a good solution to see what's going on, but it's also taking the risk of being stock in daily routines. In that sens it's always wise to have a look of what your neighbors, competitors are doing, how they try to solve the same problem you are working on.
From my own experience I know that we - let's call us/me applied/data scientist - are very fast categorized in sub-fields, as experts and that it is sometimes difficult to extract yourself from the prism of how people are perceiving what you can do. Having said that, to be able to attend events, meet a new crowd, hopefully interesting people, exchange information, re-present yourself, feel how an industry is growing is something vital.
A few days ago I did spot an event Data Natives 2015 scheduled in Berlin the coming 19-20 of November. The keywords combination used to introduce the program is almost too perfect: IoT (internet of thing), FinTech (Financial Technology and not tech from Finland which sounds pretty cool too) and Big Data of course. Needless to say that I'm pretty excited to attend this conference!