Although the conference proper starts on Thursday, I'm attending a couple of workshops tomorrow and Wednesday. I don't know how much I'll get out of them, but I'm sure that at the very least, I'll meet a bunch of great, like-minded people before the conference gets into full swing.
The Web Connections website which has been set up for the conference is a great idea. It allows attendees and speakers to register their profile, upload a head-shot and tag themselves with all manner of things, from the hotel they're staying at, to how much they don't like beer. Although my profile page is a little bare on the friends/connections side of things, I'm hoping that by the end of the conference I've got a few names, at least on the left hand side of the page. There are plently of attendees/speakers who's work I am familiar with, but noone I'd feel confortable adding to my list just yet. Living in Country Victoria means that I don't get the opportunity to mingle with many others in my field, at least at my level, so I'm really looking forward to the social aspect of the event.
I'm staying at the Hotel Mercure which is almost literally a hop, skip and jump away from the conference venue. I'm staying in Sydney with my wife and two-year-old daughter so we spent this evening scouting the area for the best places to dine. We found a great little Thai-Aussie hybrid pub/bistro with some tasty, reasonably-priced meals. Methinks we'll be going back there.