I was luck enough to be invited to attend ORD Camp this last weekend in blisteringly cold Chicago. ORD Camp is an invite only, FooCamp style unconference targeted at geeks living in the Midwest. Having never attended a FooCamp style event I wasn't sure what to expect. I can now say if you ever have the opportunity to attend an event like this it is well worth your time.
As you can see from the attendee list it was a very diverse group of people, not just the usual crowd of notable Open Source geeks. The amount of brain power in that room was simply amazing and I can't remember when I had as much fun. Some sessions were presentations, others were just focused discussions. Everything from how words work, brewing beer, life hacking, to what not to do as a startup.
While I loved the sessions the most fun was getting into random conversations ( some ended up being NSFW after midnight and many beers ) others were more typical. Spent some time talking with people about PostgreSQL's advantages over MySQL, alternative business models, how a certain entrepreneur might improve the performance of their servers, etc.
It is difficult to determine how important this conference will be to my business in the future, but I can easily say that it has increased my drive, ambition, and overall excitement level. Passionate people, doing amazing things will do that to you! I can't wait to attend next year.