Gadget Show Live - Hall of Fame - 2011

An Amazing Show ...
So we're back from the Gadget Show Live 2011 and what an amazing show it has been. It's been a long a week consisting of 2 days setting up the stand and then 5 days of show. Well worth every minute though!

Setting Up
We arrived on Sunday morning (10th April) with two vans filled with equipment and set about creating the display. The main four walls were already in place and were being wallpapered so we concentrated on connecting up all the equipment, creating displays and the general layout. It took a solid two days to create the finished stand, just in time for the press day ...

The Display
We had two stands; the main one was split into four quadrants each representing the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, whilst the second stand was a retro arcade with classic games to play from Space Invaders and Pacman to the later Street Fighter and X-Men games.

The Sinclair C5 electric car was also on display and always gets a phenomenol amount of interest and sparks lively debate!

Press Day
The first day of the Gadget Show Live was the press day. We had a great deal of interest from bloggers, TV programs, tech writers and radio shows. Because our display was the complete antithesis of the rest of the exhibition the interest in our retro nostalgic experience was hugely appreciated.

We've already seen some nice blogs including :
Windows Home Server - GSL 2011 Report
Dial A Phone - Gadget Show Report 2011
The Digital Lifestyle - Gadget Show Live 2011

The Show Begins
The first day of the show was fantastic. The tannoy system announced "The Gadget Show Live is now open" and a cheer came from the far corner of Hall 12. The rush onto the stand was not as dramatic as last year since the stand was in the opposite corner of the hall and over twice the size of last years stand! However, it wasn't long before people found their way to our display and what seemed a huge empty stand quickly became a bustling and excited celebration of lost childhoods.

Apple Macintosh at Gadget Show Live 2011Exclaimations of "I had one of those as a kid" and "I remember dad having one of these" came thick and fast! The occassional "I still have one of these!" was heard but I have to admit the "I think grandad used this type of computer" whilst pointing at the Apple II did make me feel prematurely old! I can only take solice in the fact the culprit was quite young herself!

With over 80 exhibits on display it's impossible to detail all of them but the stars of the show surprisingly seemed to be the 60s typewriter with its reassuringly clackety action, PONG in the 70s, the drum machine from the 80s, and the Mega Drive in the 90s. Other classic gadgets included brick mobile phones, hi-fi, video and TV from each decade, whilst the Acorn BBC Micro, Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, the first Apple Mac and Apple II computer were always busy.

Our Retro Arcade got lots of love with orderly queues forming behind Street Fighter and the other classic cabs.

Two of the machines offered a selection of over 60 classic arcade greats including Space Invaders, Pacman, Donkey Kong, Burger Time, Centipede, Galaga, Xevious and more ... Retro Gaming Heaven. Some gamers found it hard to leave stand :-)

I have to say, now I am coming to write up the event, the following days and nights have become one concatenated experience in my mind. They were a closed loop day dream that can be expressed as :

10 Wake-up
20 Have early (7:30am) breakfast at McDonalds
30 Drive to NEC
40 Do { set-up and clean stand } until SHOW OPENS
50 Do { have nostalgic chats, laugh, re-boot machines } until SHOW ENDS
60 Tidy stand
70 Do { walk half mile back to car park } while COMPLAINING OF BACK ACHE
80 Drive back to hotel
90 Freshen-up in hotel room
100 Do { lay around exhausted } until 7:30pm
110 Goto Peechy Keens
120 Do { over-indulge in 'All You Can Eat' Buffet } while ENJOYING GOOD COMPANY
130 Do { have a few drinks } until FALL OVER or until BAR CLOSES
150 Crash out while { giggling to self }
160 Do { sleep } until 6:30am
170 Goto 10

The Video

Special thanks to Aeon Pulse for providing the soundtrack. Check out his awesome tunes here :


The Ryan Hart Interview

Half way through the week we met the brilliant Ryan Hart, Street Fighter Champion. Bowled over by our enthusiasm we didn't set up the correct microphone, so the sound is quite poor. However - listen closely and you'll hear a true pro and gentleman.

Thank-you for the interview Ryan, :)

The End
The loop was broken on the last day of the show (Sunday) when the sad (and back breaking) process of breaking down the stand commenced. It's always sad to see all the hard work that people put into creating exhbitions ripped down and packed into vans within just a few hours of the show closing :-(

But ... it didn't stop us having a bit of fun and whilst other exhibitors were packing away their wares, we took it in turns to ride round the stand in the Sinclair C5. A great way to end any show!!

From our point of view the show was a fantastic success. Very well organised, extremely well attended (sold out on all days), buzzy, vibrant, exciting and generally the best fun you can have with your clothes on!

The comments we had from visitors to the stand made all the hard work worth while. Whilst being a trip down memory lane for some, it was an educational eye opener for the younger ones.

It was great to see that it was enjoyed by the widest spectrum of people. Male or female, young or old, normal or geek :-), there was always something in the display that had appeal.

For a good overview of what we had on display, take a look at this interview I did with Dionne South on the Gadget Shows Web TV channel :

Hall of Fame at Gadget Show Live 2011

As well as putting on the display for the public, the Gadget Show Live was also an opportunity for us to meet potential sponsors, discuss other event opportunities, and arrange meetings. We hope to bring you you more exciting news soon ...

Thank You
It has to be said that the stand would not have been possible without the hard work, dedication, and commitment of time from our volunteers. We thank : Andy Taylor, Saphron Proudfoot, Steve Bryant, Simon Hewitt, Angela Makepeace, Tim Porter, Alasdair Kergon, Jason Sharp, Charlie Robson, Peter Robson (no relation!), Sarah Goodey and Steve Curl for their invaluable support. We really apprciate it.

And if you visited our stand ...
We'd like to thank all those who visited our Hall of Fame stand. Your enthusiasm, smiles and kind words made all of the hard work well worth while.

Story By: Jason Fitzpatrick

Date : 19-04-2011

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