we saw Howard Lyman [http://www.madcowboy.com/] speak - very inspiring; i'm going to buy my parents his book for christmas and tell them that the only thing i want for christmas is for them to try and go vegan for a month.
the entire gala event was catered by Isa Chandra Moskowitz! afterward, we were able to visit her in the kitchen and get her to sign my gf's copy of vegan with a vengeance. it was pretty awesome and my girlfriend [who never gives a crap about celebrities] was totally starstruck.
everything was really tasty and there were lots of yummy free samples to try out, including 50 cent tofutti cuties! delish.