My schedule lined up last week and I was able to attend the NMRA National Convention that was being held in Cleveland, OH.
I have now attended the last 3 National conventions; 2012 in Grand Rapids, 2013 in Atlanta and now 2014 in Cleveland. Next year is being held in Portland, OR. Unfortunately, the late august timing of the convention conflicts with the beginning of the school year, so it won't work for me personally, but if you have the chance to go, I would encourage you to attend and experience a convention.
Venue wise, I think Cleveland's new convention center was the best venue from the last 3 conventions. It was clean, spacious, convenient to hotels, food and transportation links. The kicker is that it backed up to the NS (ex-Conrail line) and the RTA line, with nice big windows so a convention favorite was to get a seat, enjoy the A/C and watch trains roll by if you were between clinics.
I attended just a few clinics this time, less than I attended in Atlanta or GR. Primarily this was due to the clinics not being on subjects that I am interested in currently. From the clinics I did attend, quality was very good and talking to other modelers that attended, their feelings were very close to my own.
I did not partake in any layout tours, but did participate in a few operating sessions, as again the OpSig did a good job identifying layouts for sessions and getting everything set. The local coordinator, Scott Benson, did an outstanding job on that front and he was recognized at the meeting as well.
At the OpSig meeting, Steve Benezra, the current editor of the DO, announced to the membership that he will be leaving the editor post after 6 years of doing it. He had already informed the BOD, and his intention is to give us a year to find a successor, after which he will work with for another year to help he or she get started.
Of the layouts I saw, Bram Bailey's HO Scale Ontario Central Railway was absolutely outstanding. I was able to run the West Bay yardmaster job during the session and came away very impressed.
The pictures that I managed to take are in the gallery on the main site - here.