I pitched to two agents, had a one-on-one query critique with the Query Shark herself (which was amazing!), and did more socializing than I normally do in a period of several months. On the way home, I was thinking about how comfortable and relaxed I felt the whole time—a complete 180 from the way I felt before attending my first conference back in 2012. I remember sitting in my car in the parking lot, literally shaking as I psyched myself up to go inside the hotel where the conference was being held.
That conference, by the way, was where I met friends and critique partners I still keep in touch with (hi Stacy, Jenn, and Lauren!). I learned that agents and editors weren't scary people—they were just looking for something they loved that they could sell. I also got the expert advice I needed to improve my writing to the point where I finally started getting lots of requests for partials and fulls from agents. If I hadn't been brave enough to sign up for that conference (and actually leave my car), I firmly believe I would have kept spinning my wheels for much, much longer.
We writerly types often (usually?) would rather sit at home with a good book than spend two or three days interacting with a ton of people. But it's so worth it. It's impossible to describe how good it feels to find people who think and feel and write just like you do. And I guarantee that your writing will improve.
If the very idea of a conference still makes you want to throw up, try starting small. Many SCBWI chapters have mini-conferences where they bring in one or two publishing professionals to do a day of workshops. You can also attend an online workshop (like the fabulous WriteOnCon) to get a taste of what an in-person conference might be like.