Huge thanks to everyone who came to BBC Backstage first's North West Networking Bash. We partied right through from 7pm to 3am, and loved every moment of it. I spent most of the night socialising and making sure everything was swinging in the right direction. We did start a little later that expected due to a BBC Taxi which took longer that it should have to get everything moved across. Thankfully I had help from Leanne, so before long the wii was in place (thanks the hodge, which I learned was also Dominic) and there was a crowd of people watching Mario Kart 4 player. While downstairs was filling up quickly, I setup the Skype link on the mezzannie level. As usual I had problems with Ubuntu's multiple display support but it was solved with a restart. Actually the biggest problem of the night was the plasma screens. They were old and only supported Svideo and VGA in, which meant we played Mario Kart in black and white too.
The food paid for by BBC Backstage was top notch and there was plenty to go around, The drink which was sponsored by Adaptivitist and although a small amount, it lasted right through to after midnight. Everyone was being very sensible only drinking singles and bottles, no crazy necking of drinks, just everyone having a good time. Talking about having a good time, the live link up with London via Skype was perfectly placed next to the bar, meaning people could play while waiting for drinks at our own private bar. I seen everything from messages back and forth to Hangman. All good fun, unfortually the London end seemed to cut off about 12:30am and so the fun only lasted so long. According to some people I had some stalker in London who kept asking for me, oh well.
All in all, we had just over 200 people attend the bash which is fantastic, it was a real cross section of the communities across the North too. Thanks to Adrian for stepping in for Kevin at the last minute to speak to everyone about the BBC's role in the north now and in future. Thanks to Dan from adaptivist for drinks again, thanks to Leanne and Micheal sparks for helping and thanks to everyone who came along and enjoyed the night.
There's pictures of not only the Manchester event but also the London one on Flickr. I expect to put the videos up a bit later and it will be linked to from backstage directly. So look out for those.