Upon returning to work the following day, the #NottTechparty event had filled me with so much wow, my eyes shone as if on fire. Not a single co-worker could meet my gaze. A+++ would attend again.
— Dom Finn

Tuesday 1st December 2015 saw an event the like of which has never been seen before. 130 people from across the Nottingham tech community spectrum joined together to celebrate Nottingham’s burgeoning tech scene with a spectacular Christmas party: the #NottTechParty. The venue? Nottingham’s very own National Videogame Arcade (NVA).

Attendees were greeted at the door by a curly-haired-tiny-santa-hat-wearing pixie and a slice of watermelon*. Pink and orange wristbands were distributed, free drinks were served. Guests were treated to a heart-felt speech by Andrew Seward, new tech events were announced, the Hack24 video was debuted, and the party tournament was kicked off by Iain Simons, founder of the Gamecity Festival and Co-Director of the NVA.

The NVA opened up the entire venue exclusively for us for the evening and soon every floor was buzzing with activity. Team pink was pitched against team orange in an evening-long tournament organised by the fab staff of the NVA - games were played, pizza was eaten, the bar was emptied, and friends were made.

If you haven’t yet visited the NVA, go. Go with friends, go with your family, go with anyone - just go. It’s an AWESOME place. Floors and floors of fun and games, old and new. Think you’ve got a good centre of gravity? Try the bucking bronco. Have children (or maybe it’s you?!) that are obsessed with Minecraft? There’s a minecraft room. Marvel at the development of gaming through the ages in the galleries, and enjoy a break with a tea (other beverages are available), toastie and board-game in the toast bar.

Big shout out to the NVA staff too - what a team. Super friendly, super helpful, they really made it a night to remember. From Laura and Annie who arranged everything, to Joe (the big scary shouty man in the lounge, who compered the tournament in the lounge), to Nicole who handed out wristbands, to Tom who managed the rabble at the bar, to Iain who gave a brilliant and charismatic introduction at the start, and to everyone else behind the scenes. The NVA is a truly fantastic venue and we look forward to working with them again next year for #NottTechParty2!

Oh, and Team Pink won. Glory to Pink!

*The Watermelon™ has recently become popular in the Tech Nottingham slack group as an alternative to a thumbs up or smiley face; it's basically a symbol of approval. And it’s got out of hand**.

**In a :watermelon: way, of course.

Such :left-melon: . Many :smiley-watermelon: Wow.
— Rob Redpath

Tickets to the #NottTechParty sold out in under three minutes and we had a huge waiting list - a testament to the enthusiasm that the local tech community shows for these important events. We hope that the event inspired you to attend some of the many tech events that Nottingham has to offer - these events are organised by working professionals, like yourself, in their spare time and for free, working hard to make Nottingham a better place to live and work in the tech industry.