Last week, like many others working on the web, I took the trip to Nottingham for New Adventures 2012. I’d seen the wonderful praise dished out for it last year and felt like I wanted to see what it was all about first hand.
I’ve learnt from experience that the most important part of any conference is not the talks or speakers involved, but the community around it and therefore I headed up the night before to ensure I didn’t miss a thing.
Colly and his team had done a lovely job of organising enough to keep us busy what with bowling, screenprinting, fr00tball, the after party and of course the main event.
Despite not actually branding myself as a web designer, it was great to feel welcomed and able to chat one on one with others about our day to day work. Dan Mall’s talked helped somewhat here, forcing introductions with everyone around me. I’m pretty much work in solitary confinement as a developer and to discuss the thoughts and ideas I have with other like minded creatives is always welcome.
During a dinner following the conference, another dev commented that the most of the presentations weren’t specific to web design. They were in fact so abstract, that it was more a “Self Help Class for Web Designers”. I pretty much agree with this. But that’s with a caveat – what else do you attend these presentations for? NA Conf is there to share, inspire and enable designers to be better designers. I want to leave giddy eyed with possibilities. Remember there are workshops too for specifics…
After the whole conference, I feel like there’s a whole lot more I could do to better myself at my craft. Hopefully over the course of the year I’ll do something about it. Most of the notes I made are to this effect too and I’m sure I’ll take away something different each time I look at them.
There’s only so much that can be covered in 45 mins, and for me I want to see a speaker paint me the big picture. After NAConf, I’ve got a whole bunch of big pictures to get through.