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on Thursday, 26 April 2012

Suffolk Business Exhibition 2012

Early yesterday morning, the Virya Technologies team left our office at Basepoint to go and setup Stands 8 & 9 ready for ISSBA's Suffolk Business Exhibition 2012. By the time Chris and Ruth arrived at the Office, I had already set the coffee machine brewing in order to provide the caffeine dependant amongst us with a much needed early-morning kickstart!

Upon arriving, we met up with Chris Pond who had helpfully agreed to help us run the stand and began setting up our little area (which felt far, far more organised than our last minute dash at SBE 11!). The guys at Trinity Park helpfully provided us with the power outlets we needed to run multiple machines (a true geek will always use more than one!)

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Being young enough to actually have a sensible lung capacity, our Web Design Apprentice - Chris - inflated Tux for us whilst we carefully tried to work out how best to lay the stand out.
After a few attempts, the stand was finally set-up and we were able to take a brief wander and see what other exhibitors were bringing to the event.

We'd already been tipped off that Basepoint would have Pick 'n Mix, so it was an obvious first point of call. Luckily, conscience took over and so we moved on so that there might actually be some sweets left when doors opened a few hours later (not a concern we worried much about later in the day)!

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Having wandered around and taken a few pictures, we decided to stream  the event live to a Google hangout. So thanks to the 90 people who sat in the hangout at at different periods throughout the day. Our sincere apologies to those who struggled with video quality, but unfortunately the bandwidth available on the Wifi was very, very limited (a sign of how many were using the infrastructure!)

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Once everyone had finished setting up their stands, things became a little busier for us as others began to look around. This seemed like a good opportunity to 'warm-up' before the doors opened officially, so we began interacting with anyone who was interested! It proved a fantastic opportunity to meet other exhibitors and to find out what areas they operate in, as well as to get a feel of what their overall feelings were with regard to the importance of IT within business!

Within minutes of the doors being opened, our stand was enveloped by a swarm of people. It seems having an inflatable penguin on the stand is something that attracts attention (both from those who failed to recognise the significance, and those who easily recognise Tux!). 

Caption Competition

Our LolCat caption competition also proved very popular, with plenty of people trying to win themselves a 10" Tablet. Great effort was obviously applied by all who entered, even if some of the jokes were truly groan worthy 

"after his unsuccessful audition for the part of Chewbacca, Tom decided to make his own version of Star Paws!" - @naccoaching

Thanks to the Guys and Girls from HTK Horizon for their numerous entries, they all made us laugh!
The title of winner, however, could only go to one entry and its mix of geeky humor and adherance to the LolCat style ensured it stood out from the crowd.

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For those who don't understand the joke, a quick browse of this wikipedia page should set you on the correct path!
Congratulations to Frank on your win, and we hope you enjoy the tablet! 

Young Indian Futures 

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In order to try 
and raise some money for the charity Young Indian Futures we offered visitors the opportunity to have their photo taken with Tux in exchange for a small donation. As a result we raised £25 for the charity, so thanks to everyone who donated (photos will be sent out later!).
The work Young Indian Futures does is incredibly important in helping under-privileged children develop the skills they will need to enter employment. For many of those living in extreme poverty this is an essential lifeline which can make the difference between lifelong poverty or a gradual improvement. Whilst the Indian Nation may be considered quite wealthy, the reality is that many of it's citizens still live in abject poverty.
Young Indian Futures aims to help improve this situation by offering vocational training to as many as possible, and was started as a result of the passion many of these children showed for technology.
If you didn't donate yesterday, please consider donating something to the charity so that they can continue their important work (if you did donate yesterday, you can always donate again!).

Although long and tiring, it was also a very enjoyable day for those involved. The Virya Technologies team would like to thank ISSBA for organising the event, and to thank everyone who came to our stand. For those we missed, we hope we'll catch you next year!
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