Registration was a bit tricky to find. The concourse is the lowest floor of the building (several floors below the lobby) and there weren't really any signs pointing the direction to it. You actually had to walk through the continental breakfast areas and the table top exhibit area to get to it. Registration itself was a breeze. Even though there were only four checkin areas and only one was for full conference attendees, you just walked up and gave your name.
Conference swag included a backpack, a conference guide, a notebook with a USB stick and lots of literature from the vendors, including a copy of PBDJ. The USB stick contained the presentations that had been submitted by mid July, which in the case of development tools was only4. The rest of the presentations will be made available on the SDN site after the conference.
My photos from the conference are available at fotki.
There's a daily newsletter as well. One of the things the newsletter gives is the password for free wifi during the conference. Too late for me, already bought a 5 day account of my own. Oh well. The free wifi is supposed to only indicated to work on the Concourse level (the lowest level of the hotel), but I can hit the hotspot find from my room on the first floor.
The conference guide indicates that they will be doing a "hall crawl" this year, though if the table top area is all there is to the "hall", it won't be a particularly long crawl.
The special event is a trip to the National Museum of Crime and Punishment. Didn't realize there was such a thing. This may be the first special event I've gone to in years.
Perhaps new this year is JAGTAG. There are logos around the conference area, which you are supposed to take pictures of and text to a particular number. When you do the first one (which is in the conference guide), they text you back a picture of a coupon to pick up a prize.
There are also confernce text alerts you can subscribe to by texting a particular number.
This year they've got the "Ask the Experts" area open again. TeamSybase folks used to help out at those events, but it hasn't seemed as popular as when the originally opened it 15 or so years ago.
The conference guide also had maps, but I just took a picture of them and then transferred the pictures over to my iPad.