So now that the dust has all settled, everyone has made it home safely, and normality has returned I should really post something about the weekend past in Bournemouth.
On the day after the expected pre-match butterflies had dispersed my main emotion was of relief. We made a very conscious decision this year to make the event more professional. We wanted stalls, and talks but at the same time allow for the audience to mingle and create real life friendships. Getting the balance right along was obviously important, and I think the format we chose worked really well for what is an informal event. I had also chose not to look at a preview of the talks even though I had been offered a look, proffering to see them live on the day and I am really glad I waited.
had the ominous task of going first and he not only set the bar incredibly high, he also got the full room to engage with him during his Q&A session. If I am being honest that was one of the highlights of the day for me as that was the point that showed the format worked. As well as talking about wearables (the subject Paul based his talk on) he also shared a little about his real job away for. As a bonus for being well-behaved during the talk, Paul gave away two Pebble steel smart watches which propelled him to near legendary status. Needless to say once his talk was over he was mobbed by the audience, not for autographs or selfies with him, but rather everyone wanted to get their heads into his Google Glass!
Once the crowd around Paul thinned there was a half hour break to give time to wander round and chat. At the back of the hall (a supporter for our event for the last 3 years) had set up a table filled with tech and goodies of the sugary type. As well as a plethora of handsets they were also showing off accessories, a nifty little Archos home security solution and a Bluetooth enabled light bulb with speaker, I never did get round to asking what happens when the element goes in that. This leads me on nicely to our next guest speaker, who gave us a rundown of who Clove are why they do things the way they do. To complete their very own treble they then announced a couple of competitions they would be running from their stall.
Next on the agenda was who was due to give us a talk on IAP’s and why they are a good thing, a controversial subject that would have no doubt provoked a reaction from the crowd. Sadly Tom was unable to attend as on his way to the train station to get here he had an accident with a bloke on a bike which resulted in an injured wrist for him. So step forward super sub who was in attendance to promote his new Android gaming site with an impromptu talk. Tom is one of those guys who has energy and enthusiasm by the bucket and this positive energy definitely filled the room. Off stage Tom had a table full of Android gaming controllers and systems from the Xperia Play through to the Nvidia Shield. In keeping with the rest of the room Tom also had a little competition going for an Xperia Z1 handset and a Smartwatch 2. To win you simply had to complete the first Sonic time trial. The setup was immense using a Dual shock controller connected to the luscious new Z2 tablet and dock.
Our final speaker for the day was representing . Matteo is a veteran of our events, having first come to our very stuttering start in Glasgow. His talk was on beta testing the Skyscanner Android app but not to be outdone he also managed to bride the audience into liking him with a competition for custom hoodies using the app. If we all took nothing else from his talk, we at least know that they hiring right now, so go visit their site!!
There were other stalls including one from Inspire home automation showing off an Android thermostat solution. was demoing his tycka chromecast app which was written for the event but will soon be released as a public beta. and there was a table full of freebies from and . HTC were also kind enough to send us a Desire 816 to show off and let everyone have a play with and even better give one away. On the behest of a certain in the nights leading up to MotD2014 it was decided to run a charity raffle in aide of Cancer Research and I am pleased to say we raised over £160 on the day.
To round the day off we had a prize giveaway. We were incredibly lucky this year getting support from , , ,, and . There were also personal donations from and our very own .
I would like to thank and along with who do all the had work. My contribution tends to be simply setting a date and picking a location then leaving it to the guys to send out the begging letters etc.
March of the Droids is a community event and during the process we get help from so many that there is no way with my terrible memory skills that I can remember everyone, but , , and everyone mentioned above all did their bits.
Lastly but no way least is my wife who takes care of all the administration tasks. She puts so many hours into this for no other reason than she was unlucky enough to marry me and has to make sure I don’t make too big an arse of things.
Onwards to MotD2015, wherever it may take place!!