Last night was probably the most spectacular event we have been the biggest part of with over 4100 people present, clear skies, excellent craic and a fabulous evening had by nearly everyone. I gather there were indeed some problems with the logistics of dealing with that many people and it's something that we'll need to learn from and address with the various partners involved in future events.
All of rose to the challenge and delivered a fabulous evening for the guests and we are getting excellent feedback through social media and other channels.
For my own part, I thoroughly enjoyed doing the Star Walks. I expected to guide a dozen or two people through the heavens and it turned out that I had upwards of 100 people gathered round me and my laser, so in the later shows my BBC colleagues supplied me with a microphone and portable boom box which worked very well indeed. The queues at all of our exhibits were a measure of the level of public interest in our hobby and our National Broadcaster has done us proud in promoting it.
So many thanks to all involved, you gave your time and dealt patiently with long queues at the scopes and delivered great satisfaction to the public - the smiles and gasps were proof of that.
I have to say I really enjoyed last night. A couple of friends went and they were very impressed. One was disappointed because a woman in front of him got the last ticket to the astrophotography talk and the other was expecting just a couple of dozen people at it. Both of them had a great time and one them took photos which they've put on flickr www.flickr.com/photos/jonathanfrancey/sets/72157639599044564/
I told them I had a brilliant time and all I did was stand beside a telescope making sure it pointed at the Moon :-)
What makes it really worth while is seeing all the childrens' eyes light up when they look through the telescope and hear them shout "cool!" or "awesome!" I got a lot of people asking if they could see the flag. At one point I decided to say "No because there is no flag" as a joke but I said it to a person who actually believes man hasn't landed on the moon and never will! I'll never joke about that again :-)
Thanks for that Keith, it was a terrific night all round. If we had a problem it was that too many people came! Not a bad problem to have though we need to look at how we deal with it better next time around. Loved your friend Jonathan's photos, some real gems in his gallery there.
i attended and had a great night. some long waits for telescopes but the views were excellent. i'm not sure it was intended but at the back of the church there were 5 telescopes in a row, so at least after your wait you got plenty to look at!