Stack Exchange sponsors members from SE sites to attend conferences in that field. Since EL&U is a smaller SE community than some of our peers (although I would say, in some cases, of much higher quality), I think it would be a good idea to promote EL&U to other linguists, etymologists, and (serious) English language enthusiasts, and conferences may be one way to help us increase the number of quality members. Does anyone know of any conferences that are specifically for the English language that SE might be willing to sponsor a member to?
I suggest that the group we need to reach out to the most is actually teachers of English at the secondary and post-secondary level. English language education is basically what this site is for, plus as almost anyone who went through secondary school in the U.S. will tell you, English education in the U.S. is a disaster, particularly when it comes to grammar and basic linguistics, two of the things that this site excels in.
With that in mind, I quickly googled up a few options:
(These are all US-specific, but I have no idea whether conferences in other parts of the English-speaking world would be interested.)
I made a quick google search to ignite the discussion, as I would like very much to see more expert coming to the site, so I could learn from them.
First, the International Society for the Linguistics of English organize a conference on June 17-21, 2011 at Boston University.
Second I found mention of the Cambridge Postgraduate Conference in Language Research (also known as CamLing). Until now, there is no information about the 2011 edition, and searching google about CamLing brings results about camping...
Finally I found a site listing conference on English Literature and Language. I wouldn't be able to found the good ones from the bad ones, so I will simply provide a link.
I hope it will help.
Just wingin' 'em out there:
Constellata - this seems like an especially appropriate possibility
JALT -- hey, I'll go to Japan...