Gadget Show Live: The Review

April 13, 2010 Off By Chris Hinton

The Gadget Show, every monday on Five, gives gadget geeks a weekly roundup of what’s hot in the technology world. It’s one of my favourite television shows, and last week I went to their live event at Birmingham’s NEC with my wife and friends. The Gadget Show Live ran for four consecutive days, and we went on the first public day – Thursday 8th April. So, how was it?
Prepare to queue – or not?
We had been warned on The Gadget Show Live website to expect very long queues first thing but, being British, we relished the thought of a good queue and went in time for opening at 9.30 anyway. It brings back patriotic memories of standing in line for rations, you see. We got there at about 9:20 and there must have been a couple of hundred people ahead of us. The doors opened ten minutes later, though, and we were straight in. So, bonus points straight away: the queue wasn’t as bad as we had been led to expect!
Once we were inside we were immediately struck with the scale of the show – three exhibition halls were given over to stands from a variety of companies, while a fourth hall housed the Super Theatre where live performances took place. We’ll get to those later, but the exhibition halls deserve some proper consideration first.
Something for everyone
There was a great mix of companies at the show, and something for pretty much anyone with an interest in tech and gadgets. 3D televisions? Check. Want to see 3D technology in a computer monitor? Yep, got that. Radio-controlled toys, electric bikes, cameras, puzzles, even vacuum cleaners. If you wanted to test the RC flying toys there was an area you could do that, and if you wanted to try out the bikes there was a test track for that too. All in all it was a very good setup where you could talk to the exhibitors, get a good look around, and try out some of the toys.
The only downside was that it was very busy – hard to move at times. The best periods were first thing and last thing, but I guess with a show this popular you just have to expect that it’s going to be crowded for much of the day.

Jason Bradbury on Jetpack

Jason Bradbury competes against Suzi Perry in a "jetpack" race.

Live performances
The Super Theatre show, which is a separate ticket to the general admission, lasted for an hour and featured all four regular presenters from the television series. There wasn’t much in the way of in-depth information, so if you go next year don’t expect a live version of the TV show. There was, however, plenty of cool tech on display including the impressive Titan robot/suit. There was a brilliant moment when Suzi Perry got stuck on a “jet pack” strung to the ceiling that added some unexpected comedy to the proceedings!
Come 5pm we headed home – seven and a half hours after arriving, having seen loads of gadgets, technology and toys and enjoying a fun live show. My feet were certainly aware of how long we’d been there, but the time just flew past. If you’re into gadgets and tech, I’d definitely recommend this as a brilliant day out. You do need to be aware that it will be very busy and, perhaps, not great for taking small children to, but I thought it was fantastic. Keep an eye on The Gadget Show Live website for details of next year’s event.
The Gadget Show Live, with premium SuperTheatre seats cost £21.40 per person. If you were there why not let us know what you thought in the comments? What was your favourite bit? What could be better? Go on… tell us!