I spent most of last week and the weekend in (rather rainy) Amsterdam for the Dutch PHP Conference. This is an event that is in its 4th year, although I was attending for only the 3rd time. Two years ago, I spoke at DPC - my first conference talk. This year, I hosted the event, which was quite a different experience. The event is organised by my employers, Ibuildings, and I was astonished to be asked late last year if I would like to be its host. Hosting an event is quite a different set of anxieties from speaking at one, and although there were a few minor emergencies along the way (lost speakers, really "interesting" CfP submissions, a moment where only half the venue would have wifi and some sessions failing to run to time), nothing worth getting stressed over!
The event was great (can I say that myself?) and with a world-class schedule, excellent speakers who all delivered on the day, sponsors who supported the venture and of course the attendees who showed up, took part, joined in with the uncon and generally made the whole thing into the fun it was - I could not have asked for more. As for the community friends who kept on sneaking up on me with a hug or a word of encouragement ... I can't ever thank any of you enough. On a very personal level it was fanstastic - I've enjoyed DPC for a few years and although the weather in Amsterdam was not so kind this year, the friends at the event (both the people I had already met and the friends I made while I was there) made it more than worth it.