It is important to have projects on your belt to prove that you can do the work. Afterwards it's finding companies that you can take part in their projects to build your portfolio. You will not get your skills until you have skin-in-the-game. A lot of projects are easy to start but the ones that stand out are the ones that finish them.
GDC is a game design conference that a lot of developers, designers, and industry experts get together and share information.
Vincent recommends the following next steps: