We staffed our public stand on Saturday and Sunday in a marquee with the National Museum of Computing (from Bletchley Park). Most people entered the marquee to see the Museum’s personal computers and other equipment from the 1970s/1980s, but also to view our data projection of the 3D models from the Competition.
By the end of the first day we were running out of flyers to engage the visitors, so we had to re-stock those overnight. Many people came just to gaze at our rolling video clips of the iconic buildings as they rotated through unusual viewpoints; apparently not caring that these were computer models. They also read through various of the many information sheets we had on display.
When we explained what this stand was about, we were frequently asked how the digital modelling was done. Out brief explanation with the ‘four steps of SketchUp’ was inadequate, so we did more on day 2 to inform the visitors as follows:
- We put up the largest posters. Passers-by were reading the one outside the marquee before they entered or reading the one above and behind us as they faced the stand,
- We reprinted the flyers with starting instructions for modelling with SketchUp + Google Earth on the reverse, and we referred to it.
- We set up a second PC with Internet access just to demonstrate the SketchUp/Google Earth process (plus a 1.5 minute video with subtitles for standby). That required a third person on the stand. Thanks to Matt Heaton, the demonstration facility was in demand from when we offered it at lunchtime on day 2 until the close around 3:45. From the public point of view, that provided continuity with the Museum’s computer systems in the rest of the marquee – but with up-to-date interaction and results to show from the application.
- During the afternoon of day 2 we ran a simple poll consisting of a list of the 3D models, asking members of the public to tick any that took their fancy. This had no firm basis and will not count toward the judging – which is now closed – but served to focus closer attention on the 3D models.
- For added variety on day 2 we considered adding the 3D models that are outside of the Competition (apart from CJ’s – who has chosen not to enter). However we did not do so as we had not recorded video animations of them and had no time to do so within the event.
On the second day we recognised visitors from the first day returning for more information or just for a second look. Many visitors with whom we spoke said that wished they had known of the Competition earlier so as to take part. Overall, numerous visitors took an interest in the results of the Competition and took away details of the Awards Finale, some with the expressed intention of taking part.
THANK YOU to everyone who took part in running our Festival Stand!