MINNEAPOLIS--The streets of the twin cities were relatively quiet Wednesday afternoon: convention attendees were busy wandering from one private event to another. For technology lobbyists, the choice was Chambers, a self-described luxury art hotel here.
A large crowd of Silicon Valley types mingled at a Washington-esque party hosted by trade associations including the Business Software Alliance, the Computer and Communications Industry Association, and the Consumer Electronics Association. Folks from Facebook, Oracle, Advanced Micro Devices, and other tech companies sipped cocktails amid sleek, minimalist design and large pieces of contemporary art.
The late-afternoon event had a festive feel, though perhaps not as much as similar events last week at the Democratic convention. Though well-attended, Wednesday's event likely did not attract as large of a crowd as last week's simply because the Minneapolis location was a half-hour drive from convention headquarters--and was scheduled right before the night's highly anticipated convention proceedings, featuring vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.
Unlike at the technology reception in Denver, there were no members of Congress to be seen at Chambers, even though the cuisine was ethics rules-appropriate-- all finger foods such as mini-cupcakes, springrolls, and sliders.