Gary Stager has a complaint about crass commercialism turning NECC into a “boat show”.
He has some good points to make but I’m not sure NECC is unique among educational conferences in this regard. Someone has to pay the bills and registration fees probably don’t cover it for any group.
NECC is just more obvious because of its size. The exhibit hall alone is huge, with aisle after aisle of carnival barkers selling their wares.
However, Gary nails the biggest problem when he’s says that “each program slot set aside for a corporate spokesperson denies one or more practicing educators the opportunity to share their ideas with colleagues in a professional setting”.