First (and foremost), it wasn’t really about Microformats. The first speaker talked about RDFa and GRDDL, the second about RDFa and FOAF.
Second, the presumption was that we had an extremely high level of technical knowledge; a presumption that wasn’t true, in my case at least. I’m fairly new to Microformats but I have a pretty good idea of what they’re about; both talks went over my head anyway. And my poor wife, who’s learning about them for the first time, had no idea what was going on.
The description of the event said:
We hope that no matter your experience level, you’ll find the evening informative, enjoyable and inspiring.
I didn’t. In fact, it may well have been counter‐productive for me; it took a subject I’m excited about, and made it sound complicated and boring.
I’m sure that some people would have got a lot out of it — the man next to me who’s studying for his pHD in artificial intelligence certainly seemed to enjoy it — but I think the organisers should have been more honest about the technical knowledge required, and saved some attendees a bit of time.
I did get a book for asking a question, however, so it wasn’t a total loss.