TechCrunch50: Grading the Conference

Grading what Jason Calacanis now says was the final TechCrunh50 Conference.

Location: C. The hotel they were pushing was a mile and a half away. Much of the area between the conference center and the hotel was pretty deserted. Tried to meet someone at the Starbucks, but found it closed at 7.

Staff: A+. Special thanks to Peter Sauer who among other things helped us before the conference, got me Kosher food, and got us a power cord for our laptop. I had some problems connecting to the WiFi, and guys came over and fixed it. There were a lot of people on staff and lots of volunteers. Everybody seemed friendly, competent, and helpful. Nicely done.

Pre-Conference: C. Agenda only went up 10 days before the conference. I understand that they don’t know the presenting companies etc. at the beginning, but they could have presented more info. Their special hotel deal ran out weeks before the conference, and the rest of us had to pay normal price and pay for internet at the hotel (I hate that).

Panel: A. I didn’t catch that much of them because I was in the DemoPit most of the time. But what I saw and heard were people who were tough but fair, on the ball, no punches pulled, but also not obnoxious. If TC50 is American Idol for StartUps, the judges were mostly civil and respectful versions of Simon. Good

Companies: ?. I missed most of the presentations. Feel free to suggest a grade in the comments section.

Facilities: A. Internet worked. Enough power. Lots of drinks. As mentioned, lots of friendly and helpful staff and volunteers. Sounds simple, but not everybody pulls it off.

After-Parties: D. When many of the cool kids like co-organizer Jason Calacanis skip the official party and go straight to a breakaway party at the W, that’s got to say something.

Post-Conference Fireworks: A. As shown in the video above, after the conference Calacanis announced that he was never doing this again. He broke the story to a sock puppet before telling Michael Arrington, so zero points for class but an appropriate step for the expert of self-promotion through manufactured conflict.

The conference is (was) for start-ups, venture capital, and the media to meet each other. As we were none of the three, my perspective was more limited and perhaps clouded by some others’ lack of success which may or may not have been deserved (no offense). I’ll have co-workers at Demo next week. Hopefully we’ll have a post comparing notes.

What were your thoughts?