However, before I do that for those who are reading this post and are thinking "what happens at GDC to make it so great as I've never been before?" or "I'm thinking about going but not sure if it's for me?" I would encourage you to read my blog post from last year about attending GDC 2016, for an insight into what an incredible 5-day experience GDC is.
The summit that I attended the majority of was the AI summit, which had a number of great talks. There were two sessions that really stood out to me from the other great sessions. The first was about managing crowd AI in Watch Dogs 2 (Ubisoft) and the second was about how asynchrony can be used for AI tasks (Havok).
For the last three days, I spend my time between seeing sessions covering a range of different topics, exploring the expo halls and meeting up with friends, most of whom I haven't seen since GDC last year. This is what GDC is about, not only do people from the Games Industry present the cutting edge techniques and technology they developed in their games and game engines that they've been working on to their fellow colleges in the Industry. But it is also a great opportunity to catch up with friends and make new friends, there are many people who attend GDC for the networking opportunities rather than the sessions.
The networking side of GDC wasn't anywhere near as daunting for me compared to last year. Even before I had boarded the plane in the UK, I was talking with people who were also attending GDC. It's not hard to figure out who's going to GDC and start a conversation (well this bit can be a little bit more difficult) with them when most of the people sitting around you are waiting for the same plane and for many of the same reasons as you. For those reading and looking for ways to make networking a less stressful experience, I'm afraid I don't have any answers for you other than to say the more you do it the easier it is to meet and talk with others which in its self is an easier said than done bit of advice.
A week of attending sessions, catching up with friends, making new friends, networking and travelling are what made GDC 2017 a great week. To answer the question I had before leaving for the conference, the main reason why my second GDC was greater than my first was that I knew what to expect, how to get more out of GDC and did get more out of GDC this time round.