I'd just visited the group to do a bit of pre-visit research but hadn't considered posting about my interview plans, until I saw your post…
Everything above is true, I'm doing a PhD at Northumbria's School of Design (in Newcastle), looking into low-volume manufacturing. I'm interested in the tools, skills and collaborations people use to make prototype or one-off objects. So far, I've spoken to design degree graduates and model engineers ( http://www.tsmee.co.uk/page44.php ) about their work and am really looking forward to meeting all the makers in Manchester.
I'll be walking around with my dictaphone all day on the Saturday and hope to be able to talk to as many of you as possible about how the objects on show are made. Like Cat says, they'll be consent forms to sign before I start recording anything and you'd be kept informed of the project's development (there might also be chocolate bars offered, by way of thanks). I'll be setting up a research blog after summer, to document the progress of my first design project, which is best described as a more practicable version (rip-off) of Thomas Thwaites' Toaster Project ( http://www.thomasthwaites.com/the-toaster-project/ ) and can put anyone who wants to be included on my mailing list.
As I'll make clear to those I speak to, any participation on Saturday will be entirely voluntary and you can opt out at any time, even after the event.
Best of luck with set-up and I look forward to meeting some of you in a couple of days.