I spoke to 250 middle school students this year and we covered the conference rules right off the bat. However, instead of just covering the rules and moving on (which would have been very boring), we had some fun with them. We actually had fun with the name "rules," not the rules themselves (which were very serious.) The students were in teams and I gave the teams a challenge to come up with the funniest, most creative new name for the word "rules."
We just so happened to have a huge beach ball on hand and some sharpies, so once a team decided on their contest submission, they sent a representative forward and we inscribed it in the beach ball.
The students had a blast, their creativity was sparked and we started the conference on a high note, not a down one. The winning team also had the honor of having their creation mentioned all conference long.
So, the next time you are called to cover the rules, cover the Conference Wooblycootins instead.