Conference papers are often the only record of new, important research developments, but they are not always published right away. If you are unable to attend a conference, you can stay current by browsing for speakers and their presentations in conference listings.
To find published conference papers, see our guide on How to Find Conference Proceedings.
Almost every discipline has a professional organization that hosts one or more conference per year. Try doing a web search for your field or specialty and "association" or "society" (e.g. if you're interested in psychology try searching for "psychology" and "association").
You can also search World of Learning, a database that lists over 30,000 societies and associations.
Here's a list of some of the most common associations: