The nice thing about this convention is it tends to concentrate the things I like about SF cons in general, and pass on the things I care less about. The only downside is that because of that concentration, things can get a bit insular. Which is not to say that I ever felt unwelcome - which has happened occasionally at larger events - but I was reminded of how I've felt at family reunions. That sense of being part of the group, but still a bit of a stranger; everyone else already knows each other much better than I know them from length of prior association. I don't quite get some of the in-jokes. And while I know/know of and recognize a fair chunk of the population, the reverse isn't always true.
It was close to blissful to attend panels where no-one from the audience tried to hijack the topic into self-aggrandizement, to be sure. Everyone there seemed interested in participating intelligently rather than listening to themselves talk, and had interesting things to say.
I was proud of myself for attending the banquet 'by myself' - meaning there were people I knew there, of course, but none with whom I was very well acquainted. I can be kind of shy about eating in public. I sat with Jack Bell and Anita Rowland, who I'm friendly with - the rest of the table were friendly pleasant people whose names have completely deserted me. But they included the new board secretary for Clarion West and the chair for next year's Potlatch, I do remember that at least.
I crossed paths several times with holyoutlaw, who very sweetly took time from his busy schedule to chat, and ask me how I was doing. I decided (after a panel where it was revealed during the discussion that a good 80% of the audience was on LJ) that it was bootless to try and list everyone I thought I recognized.
And of course I came home with books. Heh.