For the first time I was able to attend Develop Conference, which I had been wanting to for a while.
Many people suggest that you can go without a ticket. Just turn up to Brighton! Unless of course you actually want to attend the talks. I have no doubt they always have top notch speakers, but for those of us going as an individual and not being able to afford the tickets, it’s still worth going for the many fringe activities. They do have some free talks, roundtables and also an expo area where your can try gameplay demos. However many devs go mainly to mingle and network, there are lots of networking events and social events outside of the conference itself.
I attended a free talk about Dreams by Media Molecule, a few roundtables, and the Women in Games 10th anniversary lunch, as well as a few networking parties!
Admittedly I can be quite introverted, so despite having pushed myself out of my comfort zone and attending many games industry events and conferences over the years, I can still find it awkward and difficult to network. But it was still a great experience, and as a bonus Brighton is beautiful and it was also like a mini seaside holiday!