Last summer, there were several excellent summer schools in my field that I learned of only after the application date. The events I did attend were chosen without too much care. I'm planning for the coming summer, but don't really know how best to go about this. Relying solely on the posters that appear on bulletin boards at the local math department seems inadequate.
How do you learn about the exciting summer schools and conferences in your field? Do you rely on word of mouth? What listings do you turn to? I imagine answers will diverge based on position, so please state at what stage of your career you used this approach.
How do you decide which events to attend? What factors play into your choice? Obviously, speakers and location make a difference. How do you weight such factors?