I never got to go to mine due to weather, but I helped play a role in the initial announcements and such. Some of the issues were location, since if you're going to bring any sizable collection, you need adequate parking and for it to be in an easy to access area. But since they weren't going to rent a non O Store location just for the event, they had to pick the ones that could hold the needed amount of people.
The awards almost felt like popularity contests at times, and the rules weren't really enforced. I would have preferred an Oakley panel of judges. Forfeiting awards altogether would even be nice since then it's just about show & tell.
On the plus sides, I liked how they brought in designers. I suppose athletes would be a plus, but they probably are on time sensitive schedules, and cost more than a plane ticket out there. I enjoy hearing from those who have a direct hand in the process at Oakley, but if they can get some public figures, that would be cool too.
Seeing the next wave of products early is a big plus. It's hard to pull off since most get leaked so early now, that by the time the official release hits, it's not really new. Although we did see the Torch Inferno and Windjacket 2.0 show up at the recent sales summit, so in theory it is possible.
For me, the main thing would be a chance to mingle with other collectors. Event draw more people than home brewed attempts, so it's a chance to get quite a few people chatting.