This statement is not meant to be a criticism of the events -- actually quite to the contrary. Both events were very well planned, organized, and had large engaged attendance (in fact Atlassian Summit was sold out a month in advance; stopped counting the waiting list at 200+ over...).
It is the people though that each event drew in -- top talents of the Atlassian and Enterprise 2.0 industries, trekking in from all corners of the world -- that make made the events so amazing. Having that much top-tier talent all in one city, let alone single venues, all at the same time, is just a do not miss experience on so many levels.
Endless exposure and share in conversation, stories, visions, designs, knowledge, tricks, insights, examples, networking, and simply inspirations over short periods of time is exhausting, seemingly unrepeatable, and very cherry.
And then comes the streams of blogs, write-ups, opinions, and tweets moving the experiences and knowledge even more. The After-Conferences are almost more intense , actually. These are NOT passive conference attendee folks!
For the Enterprise 2.0 Conference, here's just a few notable recap/"archival"-like blogs, samplers -- of the tons out there:
- Summit Starter Day Roundup and videos
- Summit 2010 - the Boxset and session videos
- Post-Summit Blog Roundup and session highlights
- Adaptavist LaunchPad Review
- Contegix - Atlassian Summit - a Recap
I always find this criticism quite ironic - since it really is a cheapshot .and also kinda short-sighted and lame. You need the vendors for conferences - they are critical, ; but indeed, with some thought, a balance in the planning and preparation can help.
If I recall a year ago, Atlassian Summit 2009 had the same criticism and I applaud Atlassian for really taking the bull by the horn on this issue for this year.
For the 2010 event, alot/most of the sessions were by Atlassian employees/experts, or real-world customer case studies, sharing their knowledge, and really trying to change the conference flavor to be less vendor-centric, yet to keep the conference enticing for both vendors and customers at the same time. Not easy.
For the conference sessions that were dedicated to vendors, Atlassian did a good trick to up the ante (quality) on those sessions.