But here's what really made it a great convention for me... I don't remember ever being able to put so many names together with faces. Even in passing somebody in a hallway and having a minute or less to talk, it's such a great feeling to physically meet somebody. Over and over again I had a chance to talk with people I've only met flying through cyber space.
The convention season is still going on with a number of state and regional shows coming up. If you're on the fence and still undecided, just take the plunge and go! Any convention has the potential to be terrific if you walk in with the right attitude.
Years ago Photo Plus had a sister show called Photo Midwest in Chicago. Most companies thought it was terrible, but Hasselblad did a mailing in advance to every professional photographer within 100 miles. I still remember laughing because we even mailed to the nine forensic photographers on the list. (It's one of those totally useless facts that somehow has been lodged in my brain for all these years!)
The bottom line is that we had a terrific show. We were busy, made some great contacts and were happy, even though it was pretty slow for most of the other exhibitors. My point is pretty simple - every convention you attend has the potential for greatness, but it's all in your attitude.
Networking is the greatest reason to attend any convention and physically being able to talk to somebody is so much richer than email, IMs, DMs, Comments and texting! Physically meeting people in your network and getting time with new friends is the mortar that holds the bricks of your network together!