I’ve made it back home in one piece and after sitting around in a daze for a whole day, I’m ready to make a report.

Event management seems to be a very particular and peculiar lifestyle. You’d have to have boundless personal energy and integrity to do it on a regular basis. You’d have to be interested in what you’re putting on, and interested in the people you’re putting it on with. Although this was the first time I managed to make it down for the expo it felt like, and other people said that, we’d gelled as a team as well as we could under the circumstances.

So what went down? Thursday’s “bump-in” was probably the most draining, although that could have been due to my early start (managed to get return air tickets for $96!). The cherry pickers, forklifts and army of construction people were a clear sign there were big things to come. Saturday got busy fast, the harder core of the gamers even getting up early I dare say, to attend. Every single machine/console/screen was occupied for almost all of the day (with the exception of the evacuation due to fire alarm at around lunch time.. fortunately everyone stayed calm and we didn’t have to wait too long to go back inside..) and by the end, I’d given my OLPC XO demonstration dozens of times. Sunday was bigger, though, especially in terms of the XOs. Families and groups seemed to dominate the final day, and the attendance for the semi and grand finals taking place on the main stages was good.

I didn’t have a huge amount of time to take photos, but I did get some. Pus there’s a tape’s worth of footage that I have yet to compile. Below are some of the highlights:

[singlepic=86,200,100] [singlepic=87,200,100] [singlepic=85,200,100]
[singlepic=100,200,100] [singlepic=104,200,100] [singlepic=110,200,100]
[singlepic=123,200,100] [singlepic=131,200,100] [singlepic=144,200,100]
[singlepic=146,200,100] [singlepic=155,200,100] [singlepic=158,200,100]
[singlepic=166,200,100] [singlepic=178,200,100] [singlepic=177,200,100]
[singlepic=174,200,100] [singlepic=172,200,100] [singlepic=171,200,100]

Naturally there’s some good phonecam footage of the evacuation on saturday:

At least it gave us a chance to have a look at the size of the crowd, and in the end everyone stayed around potentially thanks to the efforts of the guys from australiangamer.com, although the jury is still out on that one…

more post eGames links to follow…