With my student membership & registration, I was given a badge to attend any of the concurrent sessions, which were a broad range of panel discussions and presentations relating to art history, practice, and teaching. Besides the book and trade fair, most of the highlights of the conference were sadly either outside of the conference realm or listed free of charge at the conference itself.
There were a couple of interesting posters, which included the topic of "teaching pranks," courtesy of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Students that enroll in the school's first year-studies freshman seminar study stage pranks to "explore the social, political, ethical and artistic uses of the prank." 4"x6" cards with an image of students tabling in yellow t-shirts reading "UTK Urine Drinking Club" were left on the table as a take-away info card.
As a grad student & MFA Candidate that will be finishing up the end of this spring, I'm still a little perplexed like most of my colleagues about "What's next?" after grad school. Our "exit strategy" has been on similar veins of applying to teaching jobs, residencies, or moving to LA. The CAA Conference offered some free emerging professional sessions, mock-interviews, and brown bag discussions, which seemed like good useful tools in listening to what one can expect in the real world after a graduate degree, learning how to approach a job interview, and basically getting one's shit together.
Karen Atkinson, who teaches at CalArts had some things to say and promoted her website resource for artists, gyst-ink.com. She had a lot to say based on her experience. Some of things she discussed weren't really new, but affirmations of what to do.
I also think this blog post from MFA grad student Daniel Tucker has some constructive proposals and advice of what to do after art school. Though he addresses undergrad art school, a lot of this is still pertinent to grad students as well.