The first external conference I attended was at the end of my first year as a PhD student.
Narrative in Interactive Learning Environments (NILE 2008) was a small conference that took place in Edinburgh in summer 2008.
I didn’t present a paper, but I later blogged my conference notes. Something I learned was
Always give a paper at a conference. Unless, you’re so well known that everyone knows who you are and what you’re working on. Otherwise you have to explain your work umpteen times, and keep wearing the name badge.
I noted at the time that the conference was rather left field for me, as I wasn’t focusing on narratives. Nevertheless, it had two enduring benefits. Firstly, for my son – it linked me in to the NeverwinterNights Aurora toolset that, aged seven, gave him his first taste of programming. He’s been unstoppable since. And, second, it gave me a link into virtual worlds education, and to a future collaborator.