Austin was a matter of quality over quantity. At Space Codesign, we gave many more demos on the floor at the ARM Connected Community (sometimes a second laptop on the tall chair, for a second group to see!). There were fewer gawkers, as in SF last year. I was totally exhausted at the end.
Downtown was easy to get around on foot, much like Portland. And great restaurants!
Brian, my two cents: Something like 60 percent of the attendees were first-time DAC visitors. Dennis Brophy points out that the average is 33ish percent. So clearly the 50th DAC got in front of a whole new world of design engineers.
Second, I like the accessibility of Austin and its convention center. Everything's within a few blocks of each other; it's a great town (yeah, OK, a little hot!). Convention center there is a great venue. I think of San Diego and I think a half-mile walk from one end to the other (and I like walking!). Or Anaheim (might as well be located in Death Valley).
Is Austin an every-third-year DAC location? Maybe. But I think DAC needs a refresh that's over and above where it lands physically every year.
Good to see you there, by the by!