In order to know what his happening in your field (and elsewhere), you probably check tables of contents, read journals, chat with your friends and colleagues in the lab... but for me, there's no better way to keep up to date than to travel to a conference. At Nature Reviews Microbiology, each editor tries to attend 3-5 conferences every year, so the year usually starts with us compiling a list of (mostly) international meetings and deciding which ones we'll be traveling to. You can find the list here, and we're always updating it, so please let us know if we forgot something.
In the next couple of months, Naomi Attar will travel to sunny California to attend the GRC Sensory Transduction in Microorganisms (starts next week); Ursula Hofer is headed to the Royal Society for their The New Bacteriology meeting (if you're in or around London, make sure to check it out); and I'll be visiting Israel for the first time to hear all about the microbiome during the EMBO conference: From Host Genome to the Microbiome.
Hopefully the list can help you find some great microbiology meetings in 2016, and if you see us during one of these, please come and say hi.