Digital Drinks March 2017 – Round up
How many people? The 2nd Digital Drinks event in Salisbury was another huge success with over 100 people turning up on the night.
On March 27th we held the 2nd Digital Drinks event at the Old Fire Station TEN offices and Danny’s Craft Bar in Salisbury. The event itself is very new, and there’s not really anything like it in the area. We had over 60 turn up to the first one back in September last year, and we just didn’t know how many people would come this time around. Would previous attendees turn up? Would we reach a new audience? Would we have enough people presenting technology? Well, yes, to all those questions. We had old and new people turn up this time around, and there was plenty going on for people to see demonstrations and get hands on.
What was goin on?
We had the Blueflame Digital team helping out, but also demonstrating our EduDrive demo driver sim software with the Atomic motion chair. Along with Graham, Roger & Bill from Motorsport Management Solutions, we demo’d the HTC Vive, where people could experience PC level VR for the first time, and familiar VR people could try a few new experiences. Again we were demoing our King’s Court software which v1 will soon be in Gillingham Museum (Dorset). Thank you to everyone who played the game and broke it, your feedback was crucial in making a better product.
This time we had Jess Pitman and her sister at the door to welcome everyone to the evening, which left me to run around the venue making sure everyone was happy.
Big thanks to Pete Hare from In2TheReview also helped out massively by demoing the HTC Vive in the main area.
Exonera joined us again to demo the voice recognition software and how you can make use of it in your work place.
Stu Robson demo’d how web technology can be used differently, approaching web development from a different angle. Like writing games in CSS.
We had planned the robotics club from South Wilts school to demo their cube picking up robot called Geoff (who’s a girl). At the last minute the pupils couldn’t make it, but the teachers represented and showed Geoff.
Becky Twigg from the Secret Garden came along to talk about the Bee City project which we’re working with her on producing an augmented reality app for her Bee Trail project. Find out more about the project here: https://www.secretgardensalisbury.uk/bee-city/
The Salisbury branch of GAME came down too, they were able to bring with them the latest Playstation VR and the recently launched Nintendo Switch. This was popular all night long, and they even moved all their kit from the office to Danny’s Craft Bar next door to carry on the fun. Yes I played Resident Evil 7 in VR, yes I screamed like a girl.
You may have noticed Roger Nicholls wondering around with a microphone and asking questions, he kindly put together a radio program of the evening, I will post a link to the show shortly.
Of course, THE PEOPLE, everyone that turned up had really interesting conversations. Everywhere I went I could hear such a range of topics being talked about. From complete newbies finding out more, to techy people talking, well tech. The room was filled with people sharing ideas, thinking creatively and having a good time.
An apology –
I had planned to have a handful of people talk in the middle of the evening about a range of digital topics. This didn’t happen, and a few of you have asked me why, and it even added a little confusion. The reason I didn’t go ahead with the talks, although they would have been really interesting, is that it would have changed the entire pace and tempo of the evening. At the time I’d planned for the talks, the event was at it’s peak, I didn’t want to be that rubbish wedding DJ who puts the wrong music track on at the wrong time and everyone leaves the dance floor. As with developing digital products, things change and you have to work around them. I made the decision to not have the talks and save them for future events where it’ll be more suited.
We’re grateful for everyone that got involved to make it happen, there’s just a couple of people I need to mention. This time around we had help with branding, print media, ideas and general support, this was generously contributed by Eddie from AN.X Agency.
We also had the amazing support from Ben of Pashley Events who provided amazing lighting and sound. He transformed each area with simple lighting solutions at such last minute.
For the people
This event is put on for the people of Salisbury, because there just isn’t anything like it locally. I think it’s really important to bring people together with the simple mechanic of, grab a drink and chat with the people around you. Oh and the theme is Digital, interpret that however you like! It’s just incredible the conversations you hear, people from different backgrounds, skillsets, work sectors. Then add the bonus of having demonstrations, people will either get stuck in or watch from afar. Still you can see their minds whiring with thought.
What do we do next time?
We really enjoy putting on these events, but what do YOU want next time? Our plan is to put on less frequent larger events, with regular smaller events specialised in niche areas.
Also we have a group on MeetUp.com where we’ll also post updates: https://www.meetup.com/Digital-Drinks-Salisbury-Old-Fire-Station-Dannys-Bar/