Well I'm still pretty speechless about yesterday's Geekdinner with Chris Anderson. Not only was it the most popular geekdinner I've done to date (between 80-90 people came along, not including the @media social) but it was also the most stressful in a good way. Before I go into details, I would like to say thank you to Dr Jo Twist, Rina Gill, Nizam Shaikh and of course Chris Anderson.
What made the geekdinner stressful was the amount of time between announcement of the event and the actual event, which was a total of 7 days. I found a venue the Bottlescrue on Holburn Viaduct which allowed me to have the back room free on a Friday night. The room held about 40-50 people maximum, but there was space outside of the room for overspill. This was great because according to the signups on Wednesday it looked like we may get about 35 people. (The maths I usually do according to most other geekdinners I've done is, take the signup half them and add a few more.) Well this time my maths was badly wrong. Almost everyone who signed up, came along and then some. So we quickly ran out of food. So half way through the night just before Chris talked, I pleaded with the manager to buy more food. And in the end all the extra cash went straight back into more food. Honestly, ask Nizam, we bought everything they had. Nothing was left after the geekdinner, no chips, no pittabread, no crisps, no nothing. So big cheers to the Bottlescrue for doing everything they could and coping under the massive pressure. I'm sure there profits for the night went through the roof. I'm also glad I didn't have to run to tesco and buy tons of stuff.
The only other negative for the night which was also related to the huge crowd of people who turned up, was the move to outside. Outside was fantatstic and the London summer air was warm and inviting. But it also meant traffic and noise from the street. When it came time for Chris to talk, he was always fighting against the background noise of the street and general bar area. I positioned him where I thought it might be best, aka noise behind the crowd but there were so many people it was hard for Chris to shout that loud. I'm very sorry to everyone who were around the fringes who found it very hard to hear him. If we were inside it would be very different and usually at geekdinners, I have a microphone and PA system setup. Oh and for the record, I did try and rent one from work, but they wouldn't let me take it out of the building. So I might have to invest a cheap one from ebay or something.
Ok finally on to the positive and frankly amazing night of fun the geekdinner was yesterday. Chris was on top form, I was worried because Rina did say he had just done 3 talks that day and was slightly tired but was very much up for the geekdinner. Actually talking to Chris briefly, he said he was actually look forward to the geekdinner more than anything else, simply because it was his type of thing. Who could say no to Beer, food and good conversation in a nice London bar during Summer? Anyway he was a little concerned about projecting his voice when he finally got to the venue but was happy to hang out and speak to people after a 45min Q and A. So while the food was being consumed quickly, I hit two glass bottles together and got the talk going.
Now I didn't record the whole thing but Kosso did. So as soon as he uploads the video, I'll link to it. I did however start to record the question and answers. And will have them up soon. As usual there are tons of photos by myself being uploaded to Flickr using the tags londongeekdinner and geekdinner.
I was highly impressed with the amount of new people who turned up and I have to say the percentage of women to men wasn't that bad either.
Thanks again to everyone who came, I'm planning the next one with someone from Amazon for late July. So keep your eyes on the geekdinner site for announcements.
The videos from yesterday are now up.. There a quarter of the size and encoded in Mpeg4. Quicktime and VLC will play it back no real problem.