The Gadget Show Live
ExCel Centre, London
30 November – 2 December 2012
Reviewed by David Savage
I was recently invited to attend the Gadget Show Live @ Christmas at the ExCel Centre in London’s Docklands and as my friend’s 10 year old daughter, Rosie, is gadget mad I bought her a ticket and took her along for a treat.
The ExCel Centre is very easy to get to and with announcements on the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) as what stop to get off at you should have no problems. The centre is very large but everything is very well signposted so there was no problems finding our way around.
On arrival we went and got our passes and tickets to the Super Theatre (I definitely recommend seeing this, it is worth the extra money) and entered the large hall full of tech gadgets and toys. As we had tickets for the 11am show in the Super Theatre to see the Gadget Show Live @ Christmas with the presenters from the TV show we headed there first. The large stage has 4 enormous screens so you are guaranteed to see all the action. For an hour Jason and Pollyanna entertained the audience brilliantly with tech gadgets, humour and audience participation. If you attending the show you will see some great gadgets and the audience have the chance to win all the 12 prizes on shown throughout the show by texting the number they give you and a winner is selected at the end. With special guests throughout the show it was great fun. If you are taking very young children I would suggest some ear plugs for them as it can get very loud at times.
When the show ended we decided to get some lunch from the food court. There was quite a lot of choice with plenty of seating inside and to my surprise wasn’t as expensive as I expected.
After finishing lunch we went back into the hall and Rosie couldn’t wait to start playing with the toys in the Game Zone starting with the new Nintendo Wii U games console with its touchscreen gamepad. I think this is going to be the must have gadget for kids this Christmas – using the touchscreen (a bit like a tablet PC) as the controller is great and gives much more interaction with the game that you are playing.
There is plenty to do and see there for all the family with phones, laptops, Windows 8, TV’s, sound systems, the new YouView boxes, cameras, remote control cars, helicopters, fighting robots and my favourite an inflatable Star Wars R2-D2 remote controlled model. I think Rosie’s favourite was the Formula 1 simulator at the LG stand.
There are also some great educational toys too with the Kurio tablet (available in 7” and 10” versions) – this is a family friendly tablet PC loaded with games, ebooks and educational programs but with each user having their own profile allowing parents to control and filter what each child can use and have access to, when and how long for. Around £150 for the 7” version and £200 for the 10” version it is value for money.
Overall, we had a great day out and Rosie was over the moon getting to play with the gadgets and seeing new products. There is plenty to do and see and keep the whole family interested throughout the day and you will need as much time as possible if you want to try out a lot of the gadgets (including making your own animation video with Zu3D).
The staff and exhibitors were all very friendly with my only criticism being upon entry, I know they try to get people in as fast and safely as possible but when I asked at the door the way to the Super Theatre I was told, not rudely, to look at the map rather then him just saying go to the bottom of the hall. But other than that the whole experience was great. Geeks, nerds, kids and the kid in you will love it. Whether you are technically minded or not there is something for everybody and full of great ideas for Christmas gifts.
With tickets starting from £5 for entry into the exhibition and from £8 for a Super Theatre ticket (prices if booked online, more expensive on the door) I feel this is excellent value for money and you can pick up some great bargains at the show as you can buy direct from the manufactures on the day.
If you can’t get tickets for this show there is another one at the NEC in Birmingham from 2-7 April 2013 but book fast as they do tend to sell out very quickly.
If you already have tickets you will enjoy the show, if you haven’t booked yours what are you waiting for?
Rating: 5/5 and a massive huge grin from Rosie
For more information or to book tickets for The Gadget Show Live at the NEC in Birmingham 2-7 April 2013 visit www.gadgetshowlive.net