Monday, November 17, 2008

Check in

Check in went smooth. Adobe sent out an email a couple of days before the conference with a bar code I was supposed to print out and then scan in when I showed up.

Great, except that I was already doing some business travel just prior to the conference when I got it, so printing it out was a bit of a problem. Fortunately, you could check in by just doing a search on your name as well.

Check In Station

Once you did that, it directed you to one of several stations where you picked up your badge and bag. They then directed you to another station where you picked up your conference t-shirt. It went much more smoothly than many other conference check ins I’ve done.

Badge pick up

The bag sucks. I feel like I’m carrying around a purse.


The badges are a mixed of a mix. There’s no option to place them on your belt, you have to wear them around your neck (I hate doing that). And the participants have to constantly spin them to make sure that the front is facing out. On the other hand, they are equipped with RFID. The idea is that it’s supposed to be easier for them to be scanned when you enter a session. That didn’t turn out to be the case, the room monitors had to place the readers pretty much on the badge to read it, and it often takes multiple attempts. Note that you can only attend the session you signed up for.

Badge and event guide

There is an Adobe shop with clothing as well as books. Lots of books.


Not only is there wi-fi, but there’s also laptop recharging stations (tables that are left blank except for outlet strips). The only problem I had was finding a charging station that was close enough to one of the wi-fi stations to get a good signal.

Recharing station

There’s a MAX Playground with a couple of Playstations, a Wii, video games, etc.

Max Playground

They had a real breakfast on the first day, none of this “continental breakfast” stuff. Breakfast on the remaining two days was the typical “continental breakfast” trash.

Warm breakfast on first day

Cold breakfast on remaining days

They also didn’t have anywhere near enough seating area for the number of attendees (5000+). That’s a bit of an issue throughout the conference. I’m not sure the conference site is really large enough for this many attendees. There are three floors on Moscone West, the first which is the exhibit hall and the third which is where the general sessions are held. So the only area left for technical sessions is the second floor. They’ve got that broken into 19 rooms. There are a lot of products being covered, so with that few rooms there’s often not a lot of choice on sessions if you’re only interested in a single product. All the same, it’s a lot of people, and there are 2 other locations for this event later this year, this is just for North America. There are lines everywhere. Lines for the bathrooms, lines to get into sessions, lines waiting for the escalator to get between floors, etc.

Lines for escalators after general session

What’s unique about this conference is that it goes until the evening (6PM) of the third day, rather than ending in mid afternoon. Also, a feature specific to Mascone Center: you can check in for your flights from the convention center. In fact, you can check in your bags there for a nominal fee ($10), and they will deliver them to the airport and put them on the plane for you. You just go to the airport, catch your flight, and then pick up your bags at your destination. (Domestic flights only though).

Checked baggage

One thing that was a bit different is that most of the presenters seem to be using Mac laptops and carrying iPhones. As a result, the presentations appear to be largely done using software other than PowerPoint (e.g., iWorks). I noticed that a great number of the attendees are also carrying around Mac laptops. I had one guy ask if he could take a photo of my AlienWare, as he had never seen one in person (which I allowed him to do).

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