Reflecting on New Adventures

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A couple of weeks ago I attended the third and final instalment of New Adventures in Web Design in Nottingham (official photos on Flickr). I have been lucky enough to attend all three events and once again it proved a great start to the year.

For the past three January’s the trip up to Nottingham has provided the perfect opportunity to meet up with old friends and make new ones. 2013 was no exception.

It will be sad to see it go but I fully respect Simon and Greg’s need to have a hiatus. Running events, especially ones with over 600 attendees, is a mammoth task for their three person team. There’s promise of it returning in some form, let’s hope that happens.

The Warm Up

The night before the main event I headed over to the Second Wednesday (official photos on Flickr) event hosted by Christopher Allwood who I had the privilege of meeting at the first Pragmatic Web Design workshop Elliot and I ran last year.

Chris put on a great night in a fantastic venue – if you are local and haven’t attended I recommend you get along to the next installment. Both Rob (AKA “The Voice of Newport“) and Rachel gave great talks – be sure to catch them if they are speaking at a conference near you. Oh and buy Rob’s book – apparently I never plug it ;)

A very special mention, with tongue firmly in cheek, must also go to Louise who not only showed off her exceptional driving skills in an impossible to exit car park but also managed to drop us off in another impossible to exit car park miles from our intended destination before heading home to feed her dog! Thanks for the lift.

The Conference

As always the day was packed with great talks. My 2013 favourite was the session by Wayne Hemingway, the co-founder of Red or Dead and now heading up Hemingway Design.

I read lots of interviews and articles on companies and people from other industries as i find that it helps give perspective on the way I work. As such I found Wayne’s talk very inspiring and a rallying cry to take a few risks and see what happens.

Kieran and I talked about our highlights of the conference on Episode 2 of The Back to Front Show and Marcus blogged about the sessions over on the Boagworld blog – well worth a read for more in-depth analysis. Further reviews and photo sets are available on the NA site.

The Newspaper

New Adventures newspaper

2013 also saw me get involved in the conference. As well as helping get Shopify on board I was very proud, along with Elliot, to contribute to the conference newspaper.

Towards the end of 2012 Colly got in touch to ask if Elliot and I would be interested in interviewing him and Greg about the New Adventures journey. It was a very easy decision – of course we would.

I have known Simon for a number of years and he kindly gave up his time to be part of the Manchester leg of Insites: The Tour as well as being one of our 20 interviewees in Insites: The Book. A third interview for the third and final New Adventures, very fitting.

We chatted on Skype with Greg and Simon for about an hour and the newspaper team did a great job of trimming our dialogue down into a readable form. It’s a very open and hopefully engaging “insight” into the why, the how and the question of what happens next.

You can download the PDF version as well as previous issues from the NA site.

What’s next?

I have a feeling New Adventures will be back in some form or another. It will certainly leave a hole in the January calendar. If you are reading this and decide to put on something to kickstart the year do let me know!