I would like to add my voice to that of other bloggers, and share my account of the 3rd GeekFest Beirut.
The experience for me was definitely not a negative one. GeekFest did exactly what it should do; gathered technology loving people, whether they were simply interested in it or are “gurus”, in a casual setting, and introduced them to new things in that field, as well as allowed them to meet new people, or to put it in a fancier manner, to network.
The sheer amount of people who showed up for the event was definitely pleasant, to the point that there were no name tags available anymore. I enjoyed looking at people’s tags to find out who they are on Twitter, usually the majority of people who show up to this event, only to find out that they are either new to the community, or have their name listed as they are not Twitter users.
The presentations could have been better, that is true. The subjects covered were interesting in theory, but it was difficult to keep up at some points, mostly because of the crowd. My personal favorite presentation was GoNabit, as it was very lively. All questions were answered, and many examples were given in order to introduce the concept of “Group Buying” and show how successful and useful it can be.
Other bloggers mentioned that the venue, Plum Bar in Monot, was not perfect for such an event, and I personally disagree. If the GeekFest is “unorganized”, then it shouldn’t be in a formal venue. It should be in a place that can combine fun, interaction and learning. A pub can provide all of that if it is reserved for that purpose. Drinking and music for those who want it and an area for presentations.
There were also negatives. One of them being the music being way too loud before the presentations and during the break. It is true that this is a pub, but I’d prefer talking over screaming. Another one was the people who wouldn’t keep quiet during that presentations, although that didn’t stop me from learning something new. My final criticism is the fact everyone left as soon as it was over; I looked over and the place was empty in a second. I was honestly looking forward to meeting and speaking with the new faces, and the fact they all left made it rather difficult.