If the recent round of industry Awards events is anything to go by, the UK consumer electronics industry is in surprisingly good health. The sheer scale of the recent T3 Gadget Awards was awe-inspiring. With 500 attendees, Stephen Fry and Jimmy Carr as hosts (the latter jumping in as a late replacement for a no-show) and Sky News in tow, it was quite some achievement. Along with everyone else in the room, I played Guess the category winner on my table. I came joint first, which was quietly pleasing if financially unrewarding.
I didn’t do so well guessing the winners at the Hi-Fi Choice Awards, held at the altogether more compact Pizza Express Jazz Club in London. A more eclectic bunch of winners you couldn’t imagine. Still, the food was predictably delicious.
However my inaugural Steve May Media prize for best industry bash (of the year so far) goes to What Hi-Fi? Sound & Vision. The magazine’s black tie event, sponsored by Hi-Spek (celebrating an impressive 25 years in AV retail), took over London’s Dorchester for a lavish party that certainly warranted dusting down the cummerbund.
The pre-Awards set from comedian and musician Tim Minchin was particularly entertaining. Providing a refreshing change from the usual stand-up fare, Minchin regaled us with his unique brand of piano-based wit, opening with the crowd-pleasing Inflatable You before moving onto more bespoke hilarity. Clearly the ivory-tinkling star had done his industry homework, and his astute demolition of all things 3D brought the house down (even those who should know better were weeping with laughter).