The facility, Moscone West, is jam-packed to busting; the organizers slammed on the attendance brakes weeks back, worried about militant fire marshals, breaking the hearts of outsiders and Googlers alike. It’s a nice building, full of light even in a grey California spring.
Apple and (formerly) Sun and Oracle have always plastered their branding all over the city for their conferences; Google does none of that, except for a single big Google-Maps-style location marker outside the venue.
The crowd is eclectic; more Android fans than any other sub-group, but lots of other kinds of people too. Geeky. Male. All ages. Friendly. Eager to laugh and applaud. Tolerant of slow patches in keynotes.
Here’s our Vic Gundotra launching the Day One keynotes. Vic is super-polished; so much so as to put off certain geek-purists inside Google. Personally, I think he’s excellent, and I think I have enough geek standing to say that it’s perfectly OK not to be all-geeky-all-the-time.
If I develop a coherent overall impression of the event, well, I’ll write it. At the moment I’m just stickhandling the flow of posts over on the Android dev blog, talking to people, and taking pictures.