Well, I am lucky to live in the Houston area (except for the weather) and get to attend the "Big show" every year. I went to MQX last year in Iowa and was horribly disappointed. I specifically went to be able to get into some classes as I was a brand new Millie owner and wanted to learn from a few of the teachers there. I was shocked at how during class the teachers would have friends come in and talk with them, the same people seemed to get all of the attention as they were "groupies" or something of the teacher. I will not go back.
Also, my friend, a very good quilter, entered a quilt in the "bread and butter" category. It was to be exactly that, quilters bread and butter, what you do quickly to earn money etc. The quilts were so crazy over the top quilted that she was not even a contender. I stood at that area a long time and listened to peoples comments and 99% would say "wow, that's their bread and butter quilting" It saddens me to see these things happening.
Anyway, just my experience. If you find yourself in the Houston area late October, I hope you go to International Quilt Festival!