Having attended 22 of the last 23 DAC's, I completely agree with Mark - DAC is more about meeting with your compadres and actually hearing about the next-great company. We all place our bets (needing a Vegas DAC soon) with our careers on the company that we feel stands the best chance. Most of that data-gathering happens at DAC - whether you are searching for your next project saving tool or career-advancing move.
So pity the Cadence minions - they will be missed for their endless expense accounts and lavish parties. All the better for the smaller companies in this space. Maybe we can leverage our HUGE investment in DAC to a smaller contengient of decision-making technical managers to better deliver our message without the added noise of a CDN amplified marketing preso filling the convention floor with swag-seeking attendees.
Thanks as always for your insight - yes, even headhunters need love too!