Last weekend saw a crowd descend on central Manchester in the UK for the first PHP North West conference. We had almost 180 attendees, 12 sessions, 16 speakers, and lots of fun. The day itself went off very smoothly and although I didn't manage to see many of the sessions, the atmosphere both at the conference and at the socials was absolutely buzzing. I found myself doing the introductions which was a bit scary but apparently the audience were more scared than me when I laid down the law about not moving around during the talks!
On a personal level, I met up with lots of friends and also made several new ones - one of the best things about the conference for me was being able to meet "in real life" the friends I've made online, either on IRC or through my site or the phpwomen site. There were people there that I've met through my work and through attending other tech events - and to be able to shake hands and chat in person was great.
We also had a phpwomen stand at the event - which generated quite a bit of interest. For the record, we counted around 15 women in the 174 attendees, which is actually quite a lot - or rather, its more than usual - and it was great to see it. Also there were 2 female speakers out of 16 which was accidental but is also quite a good ratio so I'll mention it (hi Steph, hi Zoe!)
All in all, it was a pretty stunning first conference - I'd like to personally thank Jeremy and the people from his family and company that he dragged in to help, and Jenny who also did a great job. The speakers were ace and the helpers on the day were also really excellent. The main sponsors were my employers, Ibuildings and it was great to have them around for this - and of course to catch up with my colleagues!