I came away from the afternoon session with HH yesterday feeling pretty blissed, I must say. I had no direct contact with His Holiness. He entered slowly, coming down the aisle from the rear of two rooms (the Peacock Court, a ballroom where the event was held, and an overflow room to the rear).
Patrick by some magic managed to talk his way into getting seats in the blue section many rows forward of Don and me. There were dignitaries on the stage, sponsors and honored guests in a red section up front, important people -- I guess they were considered important for some reason -- behind the reds in the blue section, and then unassigned general seating at the back. There were only three rows of general seating at the very back of the ballroom before the overflow room. Don and I sat in the second, making is in the next-to-last row in the room, meaning quite far from the focus of the day. The good part was that I sat on the aisle, so when HH came in he passed me at about two feet away.
He was surrounded by monks and Secret Service. In fact, we'd each been searched and had one of those wands passed over us by the SS as we entered. I was on the left; HH was facing right, extending his right hand to people on the opposite side of the aisle. Remembering what Michael York had told me about touching his foot, I tentatively reached out my hand just to see what would happen. I ended up gently brushing the hand of a SS bodyguard. I'm guessing he may have picked up some nice vibes from me in the interchange. LOL
Anyyway, it was a very low-key way for HH to have entered. Of course, the poor fellow who'd been addressing the audience when HH arrived had to stop talking and resume again after HH had been seated.