When Stack Exchange announced the cancellation of DevDays, many asked for an alternative event to take place in its stead. Some community members, most prominently VonC who was also set to be a speaker, started drumming up support for it, looking for a venue etcetera. The Meta question was frequently updated throughout the process.
Eventually, Jon Dickinson offered to take care of organization, and CodeKen 2011 was born. And it was a blast! Perfectly organized in the London Docklands, with Wi-Fi and great catering, it featured top-notch speakers (almost 100% the original lineup), and the relatively small number of people made for a cozy and informal athmosphere. There is talk of one happening next year too.
However, not present at all was - Stack Overflow!
The facts as far as I managed to find out (please correct me if I have something wrong):
Stack Exchange, Inc. did not sponsor, nor offer to sponsor the alternative event in any way. It was sponsored solely by Equal Experts.
Jeff Atwood managed to be at Øredev in Malmö, Sweden (via London) to speak there November 11th, but was apparently unable to come to the alternative event November 14th - at exactly the planned date of the original DevDays - in London.
Stack Exchange did not send anybody to the alternative event at all.
The alternative event was not mentioned once in the Stack Overflow podcast. In podcast #26 on November 9th - five days before the conference - Joel, when asked whether there is any news on DevDays, even said that there was "no news", even though he must have known of Codeken. The podcast did however manage to mention and promote Øredev, which Jeff was speaking at.
The only thing Stack Exchange did for Codeken - after several SO users stepped up and created pressure - was E-Mail all the people who had originally booked a London DevDays ticket to inform them about the new conference. (Update: According to Alison's answer below, this was much more extensive than it sounds, and there was a lot of behind-the-scenes cooperation to ensure a smooth handover.)
Now, of course there was no obligation for SO to sponsor Codeken or be there or to do anything at all. Also, some things may have fallen under the table because Jon is not a SO veteran.
Still: taking all these facts together, it looks like a bit of a disappointing display on SE's part. I mean, there's an event that was clearly going to be attended solely by very dedicated Stack Overflow users and SE doesn't acknowledge it publicly at all?
What the hell happened here?