Meredith Farkus, over at Information Wants to be Free, also commented on the conference space at CIL:
Crystal City seems to be just one big concrete jungle and with the weather being horrible for most of the conference, it was difficult to get to the restaurants (most of which are at least 1/2 a mile away). The hotel rooms are really nice, but the restaurant facilities are not really set up well for a conference. Also, the conference rooms were not great. One was way too small and one had big pillars that made it nearly impossible to see both the speaker and the slides. I also think that there were certain tracks that maybe aren’t as hugely popular as they once were (search engines) and others that are now hugely popular (anything involving Web Design, Community, Social Tools, etc.). Probably it would have made sense for the Web Design track to be in the big room and for the search engine track to be in the smaller room. Pretty much every talk for the Web Design track required an overflow room, and sometimes even that filled up beyond capacity.
Now I’m not picking on Meredith and David (see my previous post). I’m just pointing out problems with ANY conference venue as a precursor to NASIG’s conference in Louisville. Every year we get complaints from conference attendees – the rooms are too cold/too hot, there’s no more coffee, there’s not enough chairs, the chairs are uncomfortable, the room is too small, the food is too hot/too cold, too much carb, not enough veggies/fruit, the elevators take for – e – ver…
Bottom line: Until you’ve lived/walked in the shoes of someone on a conference planning committee, don’t be a whiner. Definitely do not yell. Find the good things and tell the CPC how great things are! If you can do better, we’d love to have you volunteer to be on CPC in the future!