I admit -- the main attraction for me in going was a chance to meet up with the other women of the 3rd wwwave site. The JAWS sounded interesting, but I'm a veteran of MANY conferences and symposiums from my grad student days!
But the conference itself turned out to be a smashing success at capturing my attention and drawing me right in. Friday night's dinner gave some hint of this -- the only conference I've ever been to that had EVERYONE introduce themselves after dinner. Took probably 30-45 minutes but it was just fascinating to see who all was there and what all everyone was doing. Finding out that Anita Borg was seated at our table was another big plus! I had no idea she was attending (OK, so I didn't go over the panels very carefully until I actually got there.)
Saturday's panel started with us -- Sidra was the designated spokesperson for our group, and there were several others on the panel whose names escape me at the moment. Very interesting points, both on the panel and in the questions afterwards.
Anita Borg's talk came after our panel and she's a great speaker -- dynamic, inspirational, doesn't miss a beat, very impassioned about what she is doing. Just listening to this presentation would have made the entire trip worth it.
We detoured into politics after that, examining what it would take to get a woman president, hearing from a White House staff member about her job, plus looking at getting more women into politics overall (governorships being one traditional steppingstone to the white house).
Films and breakout panels rounded out the rest of Saturday, and we had an extended discussion with the filmmakers on Sunday morning about their films. A presentation by a reporter who covers theater, also.
Sunday afternoon was free and we went horse riding along some spectacular scenery. I had no idea Sundance was so beautiful this time of year. As we flew in to SLC, we were looking out the window wondering "what that red stuff" was. Turned out to be trees changing into fall color! Sunday night we also participated in a hilarious "bra burning" session.
Flew back Monday morning, exhausted but exhilarated.