We just got back from the WWW2008 conference dinner at the Great Hall of the People, China's parliment building and center of state ceremonial activities. How the conference got permission to have the dinner there, I don't know. I do know it wasn't cheap. Extra tickets were $150 and they said that was cost.
In any event it was quite an event. The banquet hall was huge, the food was first rate and quite varied, and the entertainment well planned. I enjoyed the whole evening. I've posted some pictures of the event. Unfortunately, they told us we couldn't take a real camera, so all I had was my iPhone. Given that constraint, they didn't turn out too badly.