Web Design Conferences

So providing that there are Student Tickets available I intend on attending two Web Design conferences this year! And these will be my first two! I plan on attending dConstruct and [URL=“http://www.flashonthebeach.com/”]Flash on the Beach both in Brighton, UK. I’m looking forward to both of them and hopefully meeting up with Alex Dawson (you better be there! Haha).

Whichever I go to will be my first conference. I’m not too sure on what happens at these conferences. If anyone has ever been to any Web Design conferences, what happens? What was it like?

I seen a photograph once of a Web Design conference (although may have been general IT) where all of the audience had Apple Mac Books. Is it customary to take your own laptop or Mac Book with you to these conferences or have I jumbled up this photograph with what may have been some other event?

I’m not really entirely sure either on what I should take with me really. I mean, should I take a small bag with me to carry stuff like paper, pens, business cards and stuff with me? Or will I have enough little bags of goodies from the conference stalls?

I’ve also been thinking about the people that go to these conferences. My view is that the type of Web Designers / Developers that go to these conferences are the type that are doing this full-time on thousands of pounds a year and some of the audience have also published their own books on Web Design. You know the type of guys and girls - Hardcore Web Designers and Developers who really know their stuff. I know they sell Student tickets for a reason, and I am a student (College but finish in July and off to University in September) studying on a Web Design course. I’ve got around 25 books on Web Design / Development and do it as a job too. I’m in the industry for the long run. But am I a suitable attendee for these conferences? Or am I the type of person that would stand out of the crowd as a total newb who thinks he’s good enough to sit by the side of the professionals at a conference?

What are your honest and personal thoughts on Web Design conferences (whichever ones) and experiences, if any? Have you ever been to any or would you recommend any to someone like myself or anyone else in the SP Forums?

Thanks for the help!

Andrew Cooper

Flash on the Beach sounds like it could be raunchy.

But am I a suitable attendee for these conferences?

I’ve never been to a webdev conference but I wouldn’t worry about that. Who cares? Take your Windoze laptop and ignore any Mac fanboys who are immature enough to think having a Mac makes them a part of some special “community”. I’d like to think there wouldn’t be any of them, though. Just get out of it what you intend to get out of it and don’t worry about what other people are there for.

I’d like to go to one of these, there was one in Brighton recently (a JavaScript one) that I would have liked to go to, as there were several JS eminences speaking, but it was during work time and a cost I couldn’t justify to myself (since I’m not even in the industry).

If you’re in this for the long run, then I can’t think of any reason why you shouldn’t go other than if the material discussed is going to be way over your head. If so, then perhaps you should find a conference better suited to what you already know, or just wait a bit. It’s probably a good time to go to these things, while you’ve got the impetus, the thirst for knowledge and while you’re still learning.

Raunchy as in…? :confused: I don’t think it means people flashing things on the beach :stuck_out_tongue: Hehe

So does this mean that it is customary to take a laptop with you to these Web Design conferences? Do you think the attendees of dConstruct and FOTB will be taking laptops / Mac Books with them?

I’ve watched a few videos from different Web Design conferences and seen some of the materials too from sessions at conferences and it isn’t that the material is over my head or anything. I’d be interested in other topics more than others so I’d go to them sessions rather than another one. It’s more that I feel I wouldn’t fit in because I’m a student, rather than a professional who’s been at it for over 5 or 10 years. Or maybe it’s just my perception of conferences being for professionals who’re the best in the industry?

Andrew Cooper

Andrew, I’ve never been to any web design conferences! Can you take us some pictures please :smiley:

ps: you sound all nervous :rofl:

If I do go then I’ll be taking plenty of pictures! :smiley: And of course I’m nervous! It would be weird and downright embarrassing if I went to one of these conferences and stuck out of the crowd like a sore thumb! I don’t want to go to one of these conferences to find that I don’t belong there or feel like a total beginner who’s in the wrong place! :eek:

We’ll see what other people have to say about Web Design conferences and the atmosphere when students are there. Has anyone who’s ever been to a Web Design conference ever met or seen a student?

Andrew Cooper

Where’s Alex, you should pick his brains on these issues!

I can understand wanting to be organised, I’m the same when it comes to going anywhere or planning stuff! :confused2

Ps: I can only imagine if it’s like an ordinary conference you will be mingling and chatting, networking I guess, wouldn’t carrying a laptop around be a bit of a nuisance? :scratch:

ps2: Why are you so focussed on being a student :stuck_out_tongue:

Probably sleeping! Haha. Hopefully Alex will see this thread tommorow or I’ll PM him :slight_smile:

I’d hope so too because the laptop I have is old and crappy in the sense that it doesn’t really work! I use a desktop and I don’t really want to fork out a few hundred pounds for a new laptop or NetBook just for a conference that will be cheaper than the laptop itself! Carrying it around would definitely be a nuisance too!

Because I am a student and I’ll be buying a student ticket…The price is a big difference from a normal one you know! :stuck_out_tongue: But apparently they don’t cost that much for dConstruct and FOTB so they may not have student tickets available but the normal tickets may be affordable for me - i.e. not £700! :eek:

Andrew Cooper

Hey Andrew, I’ll let you know (if I remember) when the tickets go on sale for both, if you follow @FOTB on twitter they’ll give the announcement! I certainly don’t mind meeting SP crazies if you’re about (I’ll probably regret saying that when I’m abducted and Sarah’ll have to fly over to save me :eek:) As for what happens at conferences… I’ve no idea, I’ve never been to one before, this year will be my first too. I don’t know what I should bring with me (laptop or otherwise), what I should wear (smart or casual) or anything else (so your guess is as good as mine). Now you have me nervous :stuck_out_tongue: In regards to what makes an average attendee, I would say it’s anyone who wants to listen to other industry guru’s talk on cool subjects, network with other people (get to meet other crazy people) and just have a day away from the keyboard. I doubt it’s about guru’s talking with guru’s, after all I’m going to be there and as you all know… I’m a nut. :lol: As for the prices, I don’t know if it’s accurate but their meant to be pretty affordable (like under £200 for a full ticket) - travel will probably be your biggest expense. :slight_smile:

Was that at ClearLeft? They hold those here and as Andy Budd and Jeremy Keith are employee’s, it’s one of the UK’s “all star” web design businesses.

No, it was called full frontal. Peter-Paul Koch, Chris Heilmann and a few others, like Jake Archibald (BBC guy).

Speaking of conferences, I idly visited the TED website today and noticed the upcoming 4-day conference in Oxford costs $5200 to attend. With 700 places available… that’s an insane amount of money.