I spent about half of last week in Budapest. (Yes, with a semi-functional computer before it crapped out entirely when I got back to Szeged.) There was an SPE conference on Thursday and we made a good showing there with a couple presentations. It wasn't anything too fancy or high-level, just some stuff that feels somewhat routine to us, though admittedly it's a bit unconventional for most places.
Ideally, design and preparation are so strong and robust that good execution is almost an afterthought, but that's not even close to true. There's a huge gap between what's on paper and how execution in the field actually goes down and much of that owes to the vagaries of how the field simply is, a bit of lost in translation, and the desire for people in the field to take the path of least resistance which rarely equals to strictly proper way to setup and perform the job.
That is for another time and place. Budapest is where we are. Or at least, where we were. It was good. Had a couple good interesting meals with colleagues/managers. Evidently, some people never grow up.