The ASME Energy Sustainability conference was a co-located conference with the annual National Solar Conference of the American Solar Energy Society. I found it an excellent conference, although for me it was rather impersonal.
The Phoenix Convention Center was so large that it could easily swallow up a number of very large conferences. Big conferences like these provide a considerable number of parallel sessions, which offer choice to the attendees but also, inevitably, result in some sessions that would be of interest having to be missed.
A conference paper presenter, like me, may find that owing to parallel sessions that are of more general relevance or interest being available, they are left with very few attendees. Only four papers were scheduled for my particular session on hybrid and combined cycle plants. I was to give the fourth presentation, but the first three presenters did not show up so my presentation went ahead as the one and only presentation in the session. Having travelled thousands of miles to deliver the paper at the prestigious conference, I began the presentation (after allowing a short period in case of latecomers) with only about five persons in the huge lecture room, including myself and the session chair. Within a few minutes another three or four persons joined and stayed for the remainder of the presentation. I was fortunate that one member of the audience and the session chair asked me questions about what I had presented. Not many speakers have the pleasure of directly answering quality questions from twenty five percent of the audience.
As there were important development projects underway in Arizona relating to solar energy it was a great pity that no technical visits were arranged.