I've just come back from the 2009 edition of the European Lisp Symposium, held in Milan. It was fun! (It was hot, too).
I agreed, at something like the tenth hour, that I would present a tutorial on using SBCL internals; perhaps inevitably, I left it until somewhat past the eleventh hour to actually prepare for the tutorial, with the result that I'm not sure how effective it was – it certainly wasn't the kind of tutorial where the audience follows along each on their laptop, and that meant that I didn't really get any audience feedback during the session. In partial mitigation, the tutorial materials should appear on the ELS website at some point; they're also available from my talks page at work.
My somewhat lax preparation regime meant that I didn't get maximum benefit from the social time, since on Wednesday evening I participated in the steering committee meeting, had a little bit of a drink at the reception, and then went off and worked on my tutorial. I did have a chance to speak to some people later, particularly at the final dinner, but not as much as I would have liked (this was also partly dictated by my travel arrangements, which were extremely tightly placed around the conference's official schedule). The other presentations were fun, though; the accepted papers showed a good range, from very specific aspects of particular lisp evaluation models (stand up, Tom Burdick and OMG1) to using a web browser as the interactive output pane of a Lisp debugging session. I enjoyed the keynotes as well, even those where I disagreed slightly or profoundly with the speaker on the technical or social issues discussed; the debate on the future of CL (the panel: Pascal Costanza, Nikodemus Siivola, Stelian Ionescu, Marco Antoniotti, and Scott McKay) was also a success, I think; there was at least a range of opinions on display.
I'm looking forward to the 2010 iteration (to be held in Lisbon), not least because I will be rather more involved in the organization of it than I was this year. I'll be watching for any other wrapups of this year's event, and if anyone has any ideas for what they'd like to have in the programme for ELS2010, please don't hesitate to get in touch!