First Time PerspectiveAs a first time ECTS attendee, unlike the majority of my journalist and technology industry peers that I met at the event, I had somewhat of a unique persepective on the way it was run and how it all panned out, compared to my colleagues who'd seen it all before.
Walking into ECTS, hosted as always in London's formidable Earl's Court, dropped you right in front of a big gaming booth, promoting online gaming and cyber athlete activity in a big way. Behind that AMD had a large developers lounge/press area right next to the main press room, run by NVIDIA's UK PR company, Bastion.
With VIA's stand right outside the press room, a stand we had a chunk of to promote our competition, that side of the hall got a lot of people passing by to say hello, watch Fatal1ty do his thing against all-comers (he's a great guy in person) and use the AMD and Bastion developer and press areas.
However, besides that busy section of the Earl's Court floor, ECTS was commented on by many as being very quiet this year. I noticed that too, enjoying extended chats with the companies I was there to speak to, something that wouldn't have been possible at a busy ECTS.
With Gamestars Live down at ExCeL, ECTS was stripped down enough to leave only the people that needed and wanted to be there, with everyone else enjoying the fun and games at EDF and Gamestars. It's that that made ECTS a lot more enjoyable for the people that were using it for business rather than pleasure and many show goers that I talked to hope it'll be like that next year.
So a quiet ECTS by all accounts, but an ECTS that was easy for me to enjoy and put to my advantage. I'm certainly a proponent of it continuing down the same path, should I attend next year for HEXUS.
With a good chunk of the people I've gotten to know over the years via phone and email attending ECTS, it's the chance to meet them in person that stood out most for me, more than the stories I was there for or the information I was trying to find.
Seeing ATI's Richard Huddy stand shoulder to shoulder with an NVIDIA employee, sharing a laugh and a joke (no matter how strained!) was something that's not to be missed. They'd maybe never have bumped into each other as I stood chatting to someone, at a busier ECTS.
A perfect ECTS for the first timer like me, here's to more of the same next year.