The Art Clay guild runs a conference every year. See http://www.artclyguild.co.uk/ . I think this year's programme is particularly strong with new techniques being shown- all top secret at the moment apparently!
Also, lots of opportunites for networking i.e. talking arty bollox and buying things you dont need but want!
There are hands on workshops, including yours truly doing a 3 hour slot showing techniques for polymer clay- the ultimate blank canvas. The website also has tons of information about classes, certification programmes, techniques and tips etc. I think there are places left as I type.
See you there?