The best way I can think of to describe this year's TransVision conference is likening it to a tattoo convention where the only things on display are bottles of ink, needles, and transparent paper. Technically, yes, those are some of the base elements involved in the craft - but on their own, they tell you absolutely nothing about the subject. More than that, even for beginners, they're a useless starting point.
What is the purpose of conferences for distributed, loosely organized advocacy groups - be they futurist, healthy life extension, or other? Clearly only a fraction of those associated with the group attend, and even the phrase "associated with the group" describes a continuum of shades of involvement and sympathy. Pro-technology futurists, like transhumanists and healthy life extension advocates - or actual scientists performing actual work - are largely self-organizing. Conferences are a high-profile manifestation of this process of organization, just as they always have been. Whether conferences are aimed at deepening the shade of involvement of periphery associates, cementing ties between core activists and advocates, recruiting the uninvolved, or even necessary at all is largely a function of the group involved. I'm not sure what the intended purpose of the WTA conference was, but Ginsberg was expecting something different.
Transhumanism has bled into the mainstream in any number of ways over the past two decades, in much the same way as the culture of science fiction, but has somehow managed to retain true minority status. To a certain degree, I believe this is because founding transhumanist advocates and thinkers of the present day movement have already succeeded in their goals. Ideas - such as radical life extension - that were once firmly fringe are now seriously discussed and considered far and wide. People have picked up the ball and are running with it. More traditional means of advocacy, education and funding to make the future real are now the name of the game, and developing the technologies of healthy life extension has become no different in practice than working to cure disease.
The 21st century is here - all change, all the time. But we wouldn't be in this presently favorable position for the future of healthy life extension without the advocacy of transhumanist groups over the past few decades.