To paint the picture for those unfortunates who could not be here, the Magnolia Hotel is on one side of the street (and a nice hotel it is -- more on that later) and the Ballroom on the other. We are sitting here in this giant room at tables 6 deep on each side of the room facing a giant screen. This is the venue today because the conference rooms in the hotel are being used by someone else (the nerve!), so it will be a single track of sessions today broken up by lunch in the main hotel. Tomorrow and Friday we will use the hotel's conference rooms for two tracks of sessions throughout the day.
Why is the hotel so nice? Aside from the usuals (clean, comfortable, convenient), they put out milk and cookies in the lobby every night from 8-10 pm. They had me at "cookies".