The web events that made a difference in 2014

This year has seen some amazing conferences. Here's the net magazine team's run-down of their favourite meet-ups.

Conferences are great places to learn, share and meet people whom you've maybe only previously encountered on Twitter.

If you've never visited a conference, make 2015 the year change that. And, if you're a regular conference hound, why not consider giving back to the community by speaking at a conference?

01. Webstock - Wellington, New Zealand

The uniqueness of Webstock is that it combines presentations by the current rock-stars of the web on practical topics, alongside presentations by artists, musicians and comedians to inspire us and help see the effect of the web outside our field.

02. Smashing Conference - Oxford

Oxford provided a spectacular setting for this year's Smashing Conference, which took place in the town hall. The architecture was matched by the equally spectacular opening laser show, coded by Seb Lee-Delisle.

03. Future of Web Design - London

A fixture of the web conference calendar, this year's Future of Web Design took place in The Brewery: a haven of calm, creativity and geekery in the heart of the City of London.

The first of the three days consisted of workshops, then day two heralded the onset of FWD's two days of two-track conference talks. In all there were nearly 30 sessions, all energetically tied together by a highly excited Paul Boag.

03. Beyond Tellerrand - Düsseldorf

Tellerrand – for the uninitiated – is German for the 'edge of a plate', and so this popular conference, now in its fourth year, encourages web designers to think outside the box. Impressively, this year's event – organised single-handedly by Marc Thiele – sold out nearly three months beforehand, with more than 100 people on the waiting list.

04. Generate - New York

On Friday 20 June, around 200 web designers and developers gathered at the beautiful New World Stages, off Broadway in New York City, for Generate New York – net's first ever conference in the US, presented alongside Creative Bloq.

After the pre-event and Dribbble meetup on Thursday evening, keynote speaker Ethan Marcotte kicked off proceedings by holding his hands up and admitting he was a singularly lazy person, before explaining how we might do a lot more, using less code. The conference then split into two tracks, and the importance of structured content proved to be a recurring theme throughout the day.

The next Generate New York will be happening on 17 April 2015. Tickets are on sale now.

05. Responsive Day Out - Brighton

When Jeremy Keith planned the first Responsive Day Out in Brighton, he did not think that this low-budget production of an event would make much of an impact. However, the snappy format and friendly atmosphere struck a chord, and it turned out to be a huge success.

06. Indie Tech Summit - Brighton

"Your tools shouldn’t spy on you." That’s the principle behind Aral Balkan’s new venture, Indie, which seeks to empower individuals to retain ownership of their data by providing alternatives to the products of companies such as Google and Facebook.

The summit provided an opportunity for an eager crowd of passionate individuals to assemble, make connections and explore ideas. Speakers included Richard Stallman.

07. dConstruct - Brighton

dConstruct is Brighton­-based technology conference that's been running for 10 years. It's also a conference with a difference, the established gathering is renowned for showcasing atypical aspects of working with the web.

Its strength has always been the breadth of its expert speakers' backgrounds, brought together through an expertly curated theme for the day – this year, 'Living with the Network'.

08. Generate - London

On Friday 26 September 2014, the second annual Generate London conference, presented by net magazine, took place in the lavish Grand Connaught Rooms in Covent Garden. It was attended by more than 300 web designers and devs from around the world.

Photos of Generate London can be found online, and videos of all the talks will are on the Creative Bloq’s YouTube channel. Check out generateconf.com for info on both Generate NYC and London 2015.

09. The Web Is - Cardiff

Halloween this year marked the latest conference from Craig Lockwood: The Web Is. Taking place in Cardiff, the event saw 16 speakers gathering to share with the 400 attendees exactly what they think the web is all about, after its 25 years of existence. Their answers were as broad as the web itself, incorporating a mix of entertainment, information and inspiration.

10. Beyond Tellerrand - Berlin

This year's Beyond Tellerrand conference in Düsseldorf sold out three months beforehand with more than 140 people on the waiting list. So organiser Marc Thiele decided to do it all over again and establish a second leg in Berlin. (Photo Andreas Dantz).

Words: Donn Spencer, Tanya Combrinck, Martin Cooper, Oliver Lindberg, Marc Thiele, Sally Jenkinson, Marc Roberts