Friday, 23 September 2011

Sugar and Spice

It took four months in the end. We were originally scheduled to hold GeekaFest - One for the Girls in June, but put it back so that construction of the New Shelter could finish. That slipped to late July and it didn't seem worth doing as August and Ramadan coincided.

So last night was something of a memory test - would anyone remember what a GeekFest is? (if anyone has a nice, glib answer to that question, I'd love to know) More to the point, would anyone manage to find the New Shelter? The answers were respectively yes and no.

There was much 'I can't follow the Shelter map' chaos, with successful arrivals talking lost friends in. GeekaTalker and notable Emirati film maker Nayla Al Khaja got awfully lost, sending me a stream of increasingly infuriated Tweets as I was busily selling my old (and unloved - it's the phone I finally flung at the wall when I went Android) Nokia N86 for a princely Dhs450 to the nice chaps from Jacky's.

That was a hoot, I can tell you. The Jacky's guy told me the price and misinterpreted my incredulity. He was still defending the price when I managed to get through and tell him I wasn't complaining, I was truly stunned that the steam-driven anachronism was worth more than a few pennies. By the way, if you missed these guys at GeekaFest and want to get shot of any old laptops, phones, MP3 players or consoles, you can still pop along to Jacky's and Do the Deal.

Locational challenges aside, the New Shelter turned out to be a great venue, although the open nature of the space meant the talks took place in a background of hubbub. The workshops upstairs were packed and seem to have been a stunning success, so we'll be doing that again, won't we?

Blog posts have been posted - Aida's linked here, Divena's linked here and Mohamed's linked here. I'd be interested in any feedback on the evening, particularly ideas for the future.

By the way, the next GeekFest will take place at The Sharjah International Book Fair on the 24th November, so mark your diaries. I think we might just put in a bit of an effort this time around and pull something very different indeed out of that hat.

In the meantime, a huge thanks to everyone who contributed so much to GeekaFest, from our talented iconographic angel Naeema Zarif through the speakers and workshoppers, to Debbie for pulling together the small business showcase (and the businesses that came along and gave us their time) and, of course, everyone at The Shelter, Lochal Archade and TechnoCases PickaPic and Jacky's.

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