I wrote this post a while back. The content can still be relevant but the information I've linked to may not be available.
Last year, I attended d.Construct 2006 in Brighton. It was a great conference and particularly convenient for me because I live in the same county. This year, d.Construct 2007 has expanded into a multi-day event with pre-conference workshops and a larger venue.
The main theme this year is user experience design which will be interesting. It's an area that sounds more geared to larger companies and it's not really a term that I use in everyday vocabulary. If I started talking 'user experience design' to some small business clients, they would probably tell me to take a hike. In contrast, telling a client that it will improve their website is probably easier to understand. I hope that the conference avoids 'user experience' jargon.
This year will see 600 web professionals gather in Brighton to consider the topic of 'user experience design'.
One of the things I'd like to see this year is more Q and A built into the presentations. Last year, the timetable seemed to take over and several presentation ended without a discussion. In a previous life, I used to go to chemistry conferences and sometimes the most interesting points arose through Q and A.
One of the good things about last year's conference was the dConstruct backnetwork (built by Madgex) which was a website for conference attendees. The website made it easy to see who was attending and enabled people to show that they knew lots of famous web design people [only joking]. In my case, it showed that my network is pretty small - but that's beside the point. I promise to try and expand it this year [not difficult coming from a low starting point].
Assuming I get a ticket, what am I looking for from the conference? The main thing for me is to take something that I learned from the conference and use it in my own projects. Last year, it was microformats which I have used a few times since. This year....I'll let you know after the conference.