I am looking through the ICA website with the links to the papers presented, and something is dawning on me, slow, naive Norwegian that I am.
Most people regularly participate in and present more than one paper (three seems to be a common number).
People cooperate in order to have their names up in as many papers as possible, or
people cooperate in order to give their advicees a chance to present as many papers as possible.
It is more important to have a paper presented than to actually engage in debate and discussions.
What do you get from this? A conference that is packed with presentations and has no room for discussions during, after or between presentations, has no common break-times for hooking up with those unknown-to-you special contacts, and has no organised space for socialising. And yes, I know, it would be impossible in conferences at this size. And they are this size because everybody needs to be at and present at this conference, or else.
It makes perfect sense, really.
I am ever more nostalgic for the Nordic media conferences, although I miss it again, this time for the Women in Games in Dundee.