- The caliber of the people. Big names not just for the sake of their names, but for their wit and influence and variety.
- More on the people: The openness of Martin Varsavsky, the cleverness of The Guardian’s Emily Bell, the charisma of Jason Calacanis & Ev Willams, plus, Jeff Pulver and Scoble popping up everywhere.
- Presentation fun: Jacob Share’s DIGGs live; Robert Scoble replying to TechCrunch announcement live, and good improvisation by several presenters in light of technical glitches.
- Israeli startups (and fellow iDrink members) take silver and bronze in the Startup Competition
- Blogger friedly: The networking lounge, the Ad-Click booth with seats and power outlets, the guy from Google who helped me find the nearest store to get a new power supply for my dinosaur laptop, and WiFi after they fixed the first day's glitches.
And now, some suggestions for next year
- Did you notice that none of the names I mentioned before were women? Except for a couple of presenters (and our host, Cathy), there were no women spekers (and a very small percentage of attendees).
- Please ban “advertorials” from the keynote presentations. Some really went overboard in trying to promote their companies when they should have made it more generic.
- Day 2 ended in what was perceived as rushed improvisation and with very few people in the room. Better call it quits at 4 and then have people mingle for coffee downstairs if they want to stay until 5 or 6. (On a positive note, I glad they gave the stage to http://www.ninemillion.org/)
- Parties are a place where people want to mingle and dance. LaScala was loud & awkward, and as somebody pointed out, they finally got around to playing tood music, but "have you ever tried to dance to Led Zeppelin?"
- Online updates: many people didn’t know about the wiki or official site until late in the event, and then, it was not really participatory. Would have been great to follow changes in the schedule live throught these sites.
We know Loic and Geraldine and Ouriel and the rest were stretched to the limit, but still, appointing someone else would have been great. (ehem, if iDrink sponsors me again, or ResearchTrail takes off as we'd like it to, or if I'm invited as a speaker or otherwise find a creative way to get there next year, I officially volunteer :-) )