Written by Tom Ewer on 10 March 2014
Attending conferences, expos and other events for web designers and developers is a great way to expand your skill-set, keep up to date with industry news and brush up on business related skills like marketing and product development.
It's also an excellent opportunity for networking and meeting others in your industry, both for social reasons (freelancing can be lonely) and to meet influential contacts who can help you further your career.
It may seem like all the big web events are held in the US, but there's no reason to buy a transatlantic plane ticket to benefit from all this. We've compiled a list of eight events that will be held this year in the UK and cover topics ranging from general design to technical programming.
1. Smashing Conference
Date: 18-19 March 2014
Price: Workshop tickets available from £349. Conference tickets are now sold out but you can join the waiting list by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Run by the same company behind Smashing Magazine, one of the web's biggest publications for web designers, Smashing Conference offers two days of workshops and talks from industry experts. If you weren't quick enough to grab yourself a ticket earlier in the year, there's still time to sign up to one of the workshops covering UX and psychology, designing for touch screens and mastering CSS.
2. Future of Web Design
Date: 7-9 April 2014
Price: from £120
Future of Web Design is now in its eighth year of running and continues to provide value to the UK web designer community with every year. The event is designed with a two-track schedule so much like a music festival, you can choose between "main stage" or "rising stars" speakers.
3. Industry Web Conference
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Date: 23 April 2014
Price: from £199
A good option for web designers based in the north of the country, this one-day event featuring eight industry speakers offers practical and inspiring advice and insights into the world of web design and development. In addition to the main conference, there are a number of workshops being held the day before, covering UX design, working with the command line, on/offline app development and digital product design.
4. UX London
Date: 28-30 May
Price: from £325
UX London is a 3-day conference for user experience designers including a number of talks from influential speakers and hands-on workshops. The event is split into three sections with a focus on products on day one, people on day two and platforms on day three.
5. Devoxx UK
Date: 12-13 June 2014
Price: from £300
Devoxx is a 2-day conference focused on Java, HTML5, Android and mobile development. The program for 2014 is still to be confirmed but will include presentations and hands-on labs as well as open-table sessions with other developers and the opportunity to join collaborative projects.
6. Internet World
Date: 17-19 June 2014
Price: FREE to visit
Internet World is Europe's biggest digital marketing event, with more than 300 exhibitors attracting over 10,000 visitors in the 2-day period. Previous keynotes have included speakers from Google, Microsoft and Facebook, amongst others. As well as talks from industry leaders, there are hands-on learning workshops and masterclasses, a 'Hack Day' and 'Hackathon', a tech-startup mentoring and pitch programme, an interactive display of cutting-edge technology and a networking bar and lounge.
7. The London Design Festival
Date: 13-21 September 2014
Price: most events are FREE to visit
The London Design Festival is one of the world's biggest design events and runs over a 9-day period, made up of over 300 individual events. Events include exhibitions, installations, talks, tours, workshops and more. It's a great opportunity to get some fresh design inspiration from the real world. See the website for more information on 2014's events.
Date: 9-10 October 2014
This small Bristol-based conference is in its second year of running.Talks and workshops for 2014 are still to be finalised so keep an eye on the Twitter feed for more information. Last year's lineup included talks on interaction design, coding clubs for kids, and social media. Smaller events like this are great for networking so don't overlook them in favour of the giant conferences.
Make a Note in Your Diary
Wherever you are in the UK and whatever your specialty, there's something for everyone so be sure to try and get to at least one industry event this year.
For more workshops and conferences in the UK, be sure to bookmark our events calendar and check back later in the year for more events.