I will of course enjoy following the event via webcast, but for me the real promise was to meet (in some cases for the first time) others with whom I have been in virtual contact for many years, and of course, to share ideas and experiences. I'm sure there are a lot of other frustrated attendees (also of eComm) who share my sense of disappointment.
I guess if there's any positive spin to this, it's that you probably couldn't find a better illustration of the potential value of fiber than the unprecedented travel chaos we're experiencing in Europe. A single-angle webcast video feed is one way to experience an event which you are unable to attend, but it's a pretty anaemic representation - passive, one-dimensional and unidirectional. With telepresence, virtual collaboration spaces, augmented reality tools, and the ability to toggle between multiple conference tracks and/or points of view, we would be talking about quite a different prospect altogether. As Blondie sang, "Dreaming is free."
Anyway, to all my erstwhile Fiberfete comrades, have a great conference, and have some gumbo for me. Also, if you're attending and have any insights, anecdotes, or other color from the event, please get in touch.