It’s been a fabulous four days for the city of Derry as the very first CultureTECH festival has been in town.
If you’d checked in to the #culturetech twitter stream or the live TV feed of the Big Ideas and Keynote sessions on Friday then you probably thought this was a great festival. You’d be wrong – this was a fantastic festival. The online buzz was a real reflection of the event itself.
A huge amount of work has gone in to getting the idea of CultureTECH off the ground, getting people to come and then getting all the different strands executed so a very big well done must go to Mark Nagurski (@iddictive) and the efficient and highly competent support team he had around him.
There were a lot of great moments, but here are my top 5:
- The buzz was friendly from the word go – I was greeted with a bear hugs upon registration and so were others. Old friends were meeting up again and introductions were being made. There were others, like me, who were making face to face acquaintances with people they’d only previously met online.
- There were a lot of great speakers. I particularly enjoyed CognitoComic’s Daniel Burwen, Tourism Ireland’s Ciaran Doherty, iON’s Niall McKeown and Nichola Bates from Grown Sales Online. Some were informative, others were challenging.
- Navigating through the throngs of people around town was a big thing on the last day. The lady in front of me in the queue at M&S was tutting about the crowds. I explained that there was a festival on but I’m not sure I swayed her. She’ll know more next year.
- The Hubb.it launch party on Friday evening was great fun. Last year’s Seedcomp finalists have had quite a year and made big strides forward with their online festival meet up business so it was fitting that they celebrated, 1 year on. One to watch.
- I’ve been on the other side of registrations desks a few times and know how hectic it gets, and how everyone always arrives at the same time. Nevertheless, the supreme efficiency and professionalism of the team stood out. I wasn’t alone in thinking this – I joined in the conversation in the ladies loo during one of the breaks and they all agreed how well organised the event has been.
Other highlights include hearing Ben Hammersley announce the twinning of London Tech City with Digital Derry; as one Tweeter said it’s great to see London and Derry joined together on a postive note.
Plus I loved getting my own kids involved on the family day – it was hard to drag them away from the gaming areas dotted through town. The digital funfair, with its virtual coconut shy, was a real hit. It was only after promises of coming earlier next year, as well as extra Playstation time at home, were made that we were allowed to leave.
Roll on CultureTECH 2013.
Here are some photos of the festival courtesy of Brian Deeney (@donegalcottages):