I think there are a couple different things to address here.
One is the content of talks, which does not seem to have much to do with the "relaxed, social, going-to-the-pub parts of conferences" and, it seems to me, should be slanted to emphasize a workplace or professional atmosphere rather than a casual or social atmosphere. In a one-to-many presentation, there's not a whole lot of socializing going on or friendly relationships being established. What's more, the lack of one-to-one contact and highly public forum makes quick apologies more difficult if you metaphorically trod on another's toes due to the content of the presentation, so keeping things professional is the right thing to do.
Conference events in the more social milieu can run on less formality than the workplace - these are smaller groups or one-on-one occasions - but I do think that participants really ought to consider it like a "workplace social event" - an office party or offsite, where you can let your hair down some, but don't go get plastered and act like a boor, which is something that keeps other people from being relaxed and social. You don't want to keep people from sharing a little of themselves or their outrageous opinions in a smaller group or social setting, but some basic politeness and mutual respect can go a long way here, and isn't going to have a chilling effect on communication or social lubrication.