Black and white images can impose a nostalgic caste on your shots, but they can also prove useful in more accurately capturing an event. Photographer David Hurn, who popped up on this site recently extolling the virtues of photography as a cure for shyness, argued at the same Focus on Imaging event that black and white is better for documentary-style shots:
Picture by cwalker71
Colour is a dominant thing when you look at something. Your eye instantly goes there. If I shoot in black and white, you see the content. If I shot in colour, I'd move around for balance and the picture would be a lot like the colour in the room instead. Colour tends to be better when you stage direct it. I don't want to have any effect on what I'm shooting.
If you do want to try black and white photography, consider shooting on overcast days.