The recurring theme throughout everything from the Citizen Journalism sessions on Thursday through the Sunday morning keynotes was PASSION. Passion is key to any form of success, but is especially vital in industries or movements that are somewhere between their infant and toddler stages. The speakers at this event were full of passion. You could hear the passion in the questions raised by the audience members.
I'd been to the Comdex trade shows for the computer industry previously, and there was a lot of loitering, a lot of lemme outta heres, a lot of “where we going tonight?” Sure there was passion. Occasionally. I don't exclude myself from this mix. I was just happy to be there. An East Coast marketing guy who wasn't sure what he was doing at the time, but knew sure enough that he was going to Vegas and it wasn't on his credit card. I worked my tail off, but the passion wasn't there.
It's different when you go to Las Vegas over ten years later, knowing full well next month's MasterCard statement will be a good deal higher than the last, attend every session, hit every event, party into the wee hours with folks who spent their day the same exact way, and wake up again at 7:00 to start the whole thing again. And not use an alarm clock for the entirety of the trip. It means you felt the passion as well. I think nearly all the people I met at the event felt the same way.