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We try to set up some sessions for subjects that we think will interest the majority of the attendees. The most important of these sessions are the "Works in Progress" and "Hot Stuff" -- refereed sessions whereby attendees get to give everyone else a quick look at what they've been working on. These may also end up being the topic of other sessions during the conference.
Parallel, and BoF (Birds of a Feather) Sessions
We also try to have a wide range of smaller sessions to get down into the nitty gritty of a subject of interest to a small subset of attendees. The pre-planned smaller sessions are our "Parallel Sessions", and the impromptu ones (determined by the attendees themselves during the conference) are called BOFS (Birds of a Feather Sessions). BOFs can, and do, happen at almost any time throughout the conference. Yes, we've had BOFs start at 1:00 a.m. or 3:00 a.m. just as easily as those starting at 1:00 p.m. or 3:00 p.m.
The Demo room, the munchie room, and in-between
First and foremost, we have impromptu discussions going on at all hours (there are people in these rooms at literally all hours of the conference). The Demo room is our version of an exhibit area -- Every attendee is asked to bring some of the cool neat things that they've been working on (either at work or at home) to show off. The Demo room is the place for this. In there we've had: puzzles, art, performance art, music, multimedia projects, lie detectors, arcade machines, game machines, potato guns, steam engines, HDTV systems, VR systems, casino gaming machines, earthquake simulation rides, stereo-lithography systems, holograms, etc.
Here are some of the things people displayed in the "demo" room: On the far left is a portion of one attendee's collection of interesting physical puzzles; on the left is a robotic device; and in the corner of the room was a variety of interesting equipment including a lie detector and some photo and darkroom equipment we could use there.
The munchies room is also run continuously so that there's always something to eat or drink: cookies, chips, candy, sodas, beer, wine, coffee, etc. There are always several people in the munchie room, the demo room, or the hallway areas in-between. These are key "sessions" of the conference... the "hallway sessions".