Today saw (and in fact still sees, because I left early) An Adventure in Technology in central Bristol – an event for gathering interesting software, hardware and people together and sharing what they know.
Given that it was all organised by Ben Mankin in just four weeks the event came together really well, but had definite signs of haste, and Ben put out a plea for people to help with organisation, publicity, scheduling and, well, everything for next time! (that ‘next time’ will probably be in late Feb/early March 09 rather than a lovely summer’s Glastonbury weekend!)
Even though I only popped in for a couple of hours, I really enjoyed myself, seeing some great hardware, software and meeting some very interesting people – from hardware researchers to large-node cluster agencies to Red Hat employees and researchers from Edinburgh demo-ing the next-gen in motion capture (some short mobile-phone videos here and here).
I do, of course, have some suggestions for next time, in no particular order:
- it really needs a schedule for the speakers, the events etc. – this will help people decide on whether to come and when, and hopefully shut people up whilst a presentation is on
- either the presenter needs to be closer to the stage or needs a bigger/better laser pointer
- just rename it to “Tech Adventure” – it’s easier to remember, tag, describe etc. and hey! it is the URL after all!
- some better introduction for people arriving other than starting to aimlessly wander around; don’t know if this means someone on the door or a post-it note floor plan or what
Most crucially: give more than four weeks’ time for arranging the whole thing! In the end it all came together in terms of presenters and suchlike but it’s just not enough time for people to arrange to come. We need more notice in order to make preparations and book that day out.
The one thing that was very definitely lacking was the number of people attending – it’s not as if there’s not an audience for this kind of event, indeed people came from all around the country, but a longer run-up with more chance for advertising and providing at least a rough schedule would really encourage people to turn up (it also gives people a chance to decide what they want to bring and what they’re going to do with it!).
After all that though, I want to repeat that it was a very good, fun event that I was totally not expecting to happen but I’m extremely pleased that it did! Well done to all involved!