I was one of those tyers in Townsend last weekend. We had a great time, and met a lot of nice people.
Back before I learned to do a hand whip finish, I would tie off a fly with 2 or 3 half hitches, and a drop of cement. It worked great.
Now, however, I do a 4 to 6 turn whip finish. It's not really any better, it just looks more professional, and, frankly, it's easier to do. I still add a drop of head cement, although it's not strictly necessary.