This is big event for Apache users. 60% of web sites use Apache. That means this is the event for 60% of Web site administrators.
I presented a paper on planning and programming for cross platform operations plus a paper on what works in web sites.
Unfortunately ApacheCon was "Produced by" Camelot Communications Corp, 18 East 41st Street, 19th Floor, New York, NY 10017. Camelot contracted to pay expenses for every ApacheCon speaker plus a fee for each paper presented at the conference, but did not pay the money and have now shut down their company, leaving an unknown number of presenters owed thousands of dollars each.
Camelot appears to have traded while bankrupt, a situation that is illegal in some countries. When I called them saying I had mentioned their possible trading position on my Web site, they shut down the company within minutes.
Santa Clara was cold, wet and windy compared to Sydney. The conference hotel was on a tram line connecting to the San Francisco train, but San Francisco was too far to provide relief from the boring industrial area of the conference site. I enjoyed the conference because of the people. For a holiday, choose San Francisco or somewhere on the coast.
The conference presentations were worth the trip but, with Camelot's financial performance, I do not recommend you trust your money with a conference unless there are financial guarantees. If they are paying you a fee, get it paid up front. If you are paying them, check if your credit card company will cover charges for products or services that are not delivered.
ApacheCon is organised for the Apache Software Foundation. They eventually scraped together some money and refunded airfares for those speakers who missed out on payment from Camelot. ApacheCon is now alive again with new producers thanks to all the hard working volunteers in the Apache Software Foundation. Their future conferences are listed at apache.org/foundation/conferences.html.