There is essentially no better place for a scientist to make new relationships than at scientific conferences. Conferences provide the opportunity to meet people who are interested in the same things you are on a deep level. Right away you have something in common. Namely, the scientific question you are interested in and this is a great ice breaker. Of course, real relationships go further and grow over time, but being interested in the same phosphate of your favorite kinase is a good start.
Perhaps you think that meeting other scientists is not a priority for your career. Actually, it is crucial for all scientists, academic and non-academic, to always be meeting as many other scientists as possible.