Deltas/ :idea:s :
It would be nice if there were a venue or time set aside for those of us who like to jam/play unplugged. The hospitality suite seemed to be outfitted for or more oriented to the amplified crowd. The picnic was naturally suited for acoustic playing, but by then many folks had already left.
Set the practice times and locations for the ensemble groups in advance. The jazz ensemble had their act together, but the classical ensemble--not so much.
To kick off the official start of the Gathering, it would be great if Steve could (formally) address the attendees with: brief words of welcome; who to contact if we have questions; where to post suggestions or other communications (like announcements of group gatherings) (maybe I'm unobservant, but I didn't know where the flip chart was located); perhaps even recognize the people who've attended previous years, or people who've travelled long distances, by asking for a show of hands. Not a long boring speech, but an informative 5-10 minutes, either at the Meet & Greet or the first all-attendees session. I think that would get us energized and give a cohesive feel to the start of the festivities.
I also agree that the hospitality suite was a little cramped and noisy, making it difficult to freely interact with one another during the Meet & Greet.
It seemed like not a whole lot was going on the first 1-1/2 days, while Thursday afternoon through Saturday night was jam-packed. We could schedule in jam sessions, ensemble practices or other activities during the times that Steve is busy with the "8 on 1" (a/k/a private) lessons.