The venue is different. So was the audience. I started working at Network World in 1998, and I've attended a fair number of conferences over the years. The JAMF Nation User Conference (JNUC) felt fresh. The audience seemed younger than usual -- an unconfirmed observation by me.
At most conferences these days, the dress is casual. It was casual at JNUC, too, but it was a little edgier. More beanies, dapper shoes and leather bombers. Women were still a clear minority -- I'd guess in the neighborhood of 5%, though that's just a rough estimate. (I've asked if JAMF has demographic details about the audience; I'll update if they do.)
Apple has often been associated with creative types. That stereotype fit the scene at the Guthrie. But that's not the whole story.
Many JAMF users are managing sizable fleets of Apple devices and heterogeneous environments. JAMF provides management tools, including its flagship Casper Suite, that are built exclusively for Macs, iPads, and iPhones.
As more businesses have brought Macs into the workplace, the community of Apple admins has grown. This year's JNUC is the software maker's fifth user conference. Attendance has grown steadily: there were 100 attendees in 2010, 250 in 2011, 350 in 2012, 700 in 2013 and 1,300 this time around.