Based on my experiences with other conferences, I had expected to walk away from my first IA Summit with notepads of information, a handful of business card, and a suitcase full of swag. Meh.
However, my experience at the IA Summit provided far more value than what I had expected to cram in my suitcase. What I discovered was a diverse and vibrant community of practitioners that think like me, talk like me, and do what I do. It is a community where I can learn, share, and teach. I am thrilled to be a User Experience Designer and I have found a place where I belong.