Ater reading kos' diary and thinking back and forth about what he said and the readers posted in the comments, I have to say that I don't accept any excuse anymore to not organize a Netroot Nation conference (or an alternative conference like Yearly Kos) in Washington DC at the Washington Mall.
Follow me below for why I suggest it:
As long as the conference is held directly on the lawn of the Washington Mall, this conference will have NO problems to accomodate as many visitors, as many "activist tents", as many speakers, as many outdoor parties as you would like to have.
The media coverage would be HUGE. Candidates would LOVE to speak. And listeners would LOVE to give the speakers HELL in form of questions and answers, and boohs and hurrays. That alone makes it an alternative endeavour.
Washington DC doesn't have to be expensive. You don't have to have a centrally located hotel, there are plenty of less expensive solutions and instead of squeezing hundreds of panels into two or three days, you can spread them out and organize one fun event in the evenings after the other. You could have a lot of music, may be even a daily evening "Blues Festival".
Washington DC has ALL the people, ALL the issues, and it has the PEOPLE's MALL. So, why don't you use it? It should be even cheaper than renting a conference center.
Markos, stop avoiding Washington DC. Your hesitation is understandable, but not necessarily justified. K-Street is quite something else than the Washington DC Mall. If you want to meet the people, you go to the Mall and not to DC, not to the WH, not to the Hill and not to K-Street (you just step them on the toes a bit).
3000 people at the Mall feel really like a very small group. Do you remember Glen Beck "Restore Honor" rally (sorry to remind you of that one) and John Stewarts "Rally to Restore Sanity" together with Colbert's "March to Keep Fear Alive" ?
Now think about what all the kossacks would like to "restore" and then you have the rally of all rallies. It could be an unforgettable event. May be one that needs to take place.
Think about it. I said my thing.