AYE was an unusual conference. Hands-on workshops replaced the usual words spoken to a silent audience from a "sage on a stage". Gaining a better awareness of everyday work experiences and feelings was emphasised over learning yet another "silver bullet" tool. The conversations and self-examination that took place over lunch and dinner were as much the point of the conference as the organised sessions. There were plenty of attendees with over a decade of experience who demonstrated that intelligence, curiousity, and capability do not have to diminish after 30 or parenthood. Like I said, as far as my experience goes, AYE was unusual.
I imagine that an older "touchy feely people person" like myself was always going to get more out of AYE. There was plenty of talk of centering, and grounding, and being present in the present: concepts that are perhaps anathema to consultants who see technical answers to all business problems. But, for those who feel that much of software development is not work with computers but with people, there was a lot to take away and digest. Does AYE actually "amplify your effectiveness"? Perhaps. Does AYE provide tools with which you can start to "amplify your effectiveness"? Definitely.
Postscript: check out these pictures taken by Steven Smith at AYE (including one of me!)