Prisca Schmarsow’s coverage is particularly excellent, and I thoroughly recommend you give it a read.
What I will say, however, is that every single one of the speakers were truly fantastic in their own right, talking about multiple diverse subjects. Much like last year, emphasis was on taking risks, expanding your horizons, and thinking about your craft and the way you work. A special mention will go out to Wayne Hemingway’s talk – while the web is unique in so many ways, I believe we have a lot to learn from other, much more mature industries.
Since New Adventures, events without cupcakes are now considered inferior. Photo by Andreas Dantz.
The afterparty was hosted in a casino – a most excellent choice. The large amounts of space and reasonable music volume facilitated both insightful discussion and hilarious banter, and the novelty of a casino made for plenty of talking points – I watched a guy lose £200 on a single round of blackjack – he seemed on the verge of crying. As seems to be the case at every conference, ever, I met a few people I wanted to meet, had a couple of new acquaintances, and spectacularly managed to miss even more people I wanted to chat to.
Unfortunately, the highly anticipated fr00tball tournament the next day was cancelled due to an unexpected amount of snow on the pitch. As a result, football was replaced with a visit to BrewDog. Beer is an adequate replacement for football, right?
Upon catching a train back down south that evening, I have never been as happy and inspired, and yet so incredibly, incredibly wistful. While I have never had a career in anything other than making stuff for the web (a few stray jobs here and there), I remain utterly convinced that it’s truly one of the world’s finest industries to work in.
It’s wonderful to meet up with a bunch of fellow colleagues, who, in many cases are technically competitors, and still share so much information, knowledge and inspiration, and strive to do more of it every day. Looking at the careers of most of my friends and family, I’ve found very few communities that are remotely like ours. I paid for the ticket, travel and accommodation out of my own pocket and took holiday days off to learn more about my craft, and I did so very happily. I have this feeling I wouldn’t be doing anything of the sort if I were still scrubbing toilets in a youth hostel or translating marketing material as my job.
I may be soppy and sentimental, but I believe New Adventures so far has played an instrumental part in realising how fortunate I am. New Adventures 2012 was the elephant-sized eye-opener I needed to truly realise that I was entering a special industry with wonderful, talented and friendly beyond belief, and New Adventures 2013 cemented this even further. Thank you to Simon, Greg, and everybody who has been a part of these special conferences; from the fantastic speakers to the lovely attendees. I owe you all a great debt.