So MotD 2017 is over. Event number 6. After an awful lot of problems, it not only went ahead, but in a lot of ways, we think it was the best yet. When we first started planning we once again used MotD 2014 in Bournemouth as the template. So many things about that day just worked, and we were very keen to try and replicate it.
By coincidence one of the attendee’s that day, also agreed to be our guest MC this year. From our first year we always thought James Bricknell was a natural presenting our event, he was not only a confirmed tech head, but he also enjoys his time in the limelight. Now no offense to James, but Mark Dearlove showed a level of professionalism that only comes from standing in front of a room full of people for a living. Mark, if you read this, you just oozed class. Add that to the fact that he also loves Android, has been around the community, plus he’s just an incredibly nice bloke, it makes us want to puke. We don’t know what Tealium pay you, but we hope it’s a right few quid. Seriously, he was superb!
The thing that made Bournemouth stand out among all our previous events was a line up of quality speakers, combined with an ‘Exhibition’ space that kept our attendee’s engaged. This year I feel we not only matched that, but surpassed it. Whereas in Bournemouth we had Paul O’Brien, and Tom from Retro Empire doing an impromptu talk to help us out, this year we had Paul’s return and Graham Wheeler from HTC stepping in at last minute to fill our program.
In all the years of March of the Droid, Paul’s talk in Bournemouth has been a personal favourite, it wasn’t only incredibly informative, it was also extremely engaging. The Q&A session at the end was fantastic. When Paul let us know that he was going to integrate the Q&A into his presentation in real time this year, we thought it was a tremendous idea. Sadly, because the venue re-arranged the seating layout and big screen configuration, Paul was left trying to hack together a working solution. I’m sure even he would admit, that while the mainstay of the content was fine, the question mechanism didn’t work as well as hoped. It’s really a great shame, because the idea would have generated a totally unique and individual talk. At the end of his talk Paul even gave away a new Chromecast, not bad for someone here under his own steam and not representing a company.
After Paul, James Pearce from Honor UK gave us a masterclass on EMUI 5 and a healthy dose of ridiculous pictures of Wilkin Lee. There is a pretty good percentage of our attendees who use a variety of Honor devices and I’m sure they got a lot from it, but personally we just liked the ridicule inflicted on Wilkin. Being generous sorts, the Honor team also ran a ‘For The Brave’ selfie competition on the day, and to say the winner deserved his prize was an understatement. The guys also brought a load of cases and screen protectors to give away and the now famous Honor T-Shirts. Add another 6X donated to the end of event raffle and we really could not have asked any more of them.
Last but by no means least we had Graham Wheeler from HTC. Graham not only gave us a longer talk than he was expecting, but he also brought the amazing VR device, the HTC Vive, for everyone to try. Beside the Vive the full colour range of U Ultra, and the U Play phones just released, caught more than a few admiring glances (they really are stunning to look at). Graham had previously come along to our Birmingham event to go over the design choices of the HTC One, so it was really nice of him to come back this year. His Q&A at the end of his talk was great, going into real detail about HTC’s choices and philosophy.
Back in the exhibition space Asus UK were showing off some really nice pieces of kit. The smallest was the latest Zenwatch and it is another step closer to a full smartwatch looking like a normal watch. With a couple of new Transformers, a Zenbook and a Zenpad 3S 10 tablet as well, their table was a must for getting some hands on time. They even brought a load of goody bags to help cheer everyone up.
When we asked Xtreme Skins to come they were sadly unable to manage along, but they did send us a box full of skins for loads of devices that everyone was free to help themselves to. The Amazon Dot one went down particularly well.
Every year without fail we are humbled by the donations to our event raffle, and one of our biggest benefactors down the years has been Three UK. Once again they dug deep and gave us a Sony XZ, a MiFi with a load of pre loaded data SIMS and a bunch of pre loaded standard SIMS for everyone to get use of. Add some lovely Sony headphones from ever present sponsor Clove Technology and the prize barrel was full to bursting point.
Finally in an attempt not to be outdone, the MotD gang (with the help of our followers) had a History of Nexus & Android devices display. We even ran a Need For Speed Most Wanted time trial with the winner getting a Samsung Galaxy A3 donated by Three UK.
The whole March of the Droids team Gary, Stu, Craig and Angela would like to thank all the individuals and companies who supported the event, and even more so everyone who bought a ticket and came along. You guys really made the day worthwhile and the success it was.