Ken Ristau provides a short report, with more promised, from the International SBL at Groningen in his blog, my firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update (Wednesday, 01.32): Ken Ristau now adds a much fuller report:
Day by Day at the I-SBL
Ken makes a couple of interesting points along the way. One relates to the considerable cost of the conference and the difficulties this presents for some Eastern European scholars to attend. He also comments on the expense of the hotels selected, both at this meeting and at the Annual Meeting, asking whether the SBL rates represent a real saving on booking with the given hotel directly. This is a question I've heard people voice before. The only time I have looked into the comparison between rates was for the annual meeting in Orlando, Florida in 1998, when I know I made a substantial saving in my hotel by paying the SBL rate rather than the standard rate. But since that occasion, I've never investigated the difference again -- I've just assumed that the SBL rate represents good value. Since this is a question that often gets asked, I would be interested to hear an SBL response to it. Ken has some interesting comments on the need for scholarships for students.
It's perhaps worth mentioning that in the British New Testament Society we do have a "travel fund" and each year take up a collection at the conference. This enables several post graduate students to receive help with their travel to the conference; and British universities will often help out with the conference fee.