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Segway Fest was an annual convention of Segway PT users and enthusiasts held in varying locations each year, sponsored by members of the Segway Enthusiast community with assistance from local Segway dealers and Segway Inc. Segway Inc. employees have always been invited to attend, and many give technical or instructional seminars on topics such as the design process of the machine, tips and tricks related to care and maintenance, and legislative issues. In addition to talks, seminars, and meet-and-greets, large groups of Segway rides (known as "Glides") also are scheduled.
The first Segway Fest was organized and put on by Jim and Chandra Reynolds in August 2003, with help from Bruce Hillyer, and Glynn Robertson. Held in Chicago, this was the first large scale gathering of Segway enthusiasts. Notable attendees were Dean Kamen, Steve Wozniak, and Make magazine's Phillip Torrone. Approximately 225 Segway users and enthusiasts from around the country attended.
Segway Fest 2004 was held in Bonita Springs, Florida. Also organized by Jim & Chandra Reynolds and Matt Gelbwaks, Segway Fest 2004's less centralized location led to a slightly decreased turnout, with approximately 187 attendees. The lesser attendance was also due to a major hurricane striking the area before the convention.
In 2005, SEG America (formed in 2004 as the National Segway Enthusiast Group) took responsibility for organizing Segway Fests. With this change of hands, SEG America embarked on an ambitious plan to host three regional SegwayFests with leadership support from John Grohol at Segway Inc. The first of these regional events was organized by Laura Knight, and was held in Sacramento, California. Here, attendees were among the first members of the general public to have an opportunity to ride Segway's Concept Centaur.
Manchester, New Hampshire would see the next regional event, organized by Kelsey Frasier. Manchester was chosen as an event location due to its proximity to Segway Inc.'s factory and headquarters, which were graciously opened to attendees of the Fest. Other notable events included a barbecue dinner at Dean Kamen's house, and a private screening of a near final cut of the film 10 MPH.
The final event, organized by Will Hopper, took place in Washington, DC. This event proffered numerous glides, and included a presentation by Steve Kemper, author of the book Code Name Ginger.
In 2006, SEG America decided that it would return to the tradition of a single, centralized Segway Fest. Fred Kaplan organized Segway Fest 2006 in Long Beach, California. This Segway Fest has the significance of being the first Segway Fest to occur after the introduction of the second generation Segway PTs, and as such many of the seminars discussed the technical challenges in re-engineering the Segway PT user interface systems.
In 2007, SEG America announced no plans for Segway Fest, and in fact, SEG America disbanded due to lack of interest.
For 2008 SegwayFesT 2008 was held in Indianapolis Indiana from August 8 to 10, 2008, by the Indiana Segway Enthusiast Group, with 154 registered attendees. Organizers William West Hopper, Sal and Nora Kulkarni, Florin van Slingerland and representatives from Segway of Indiana produced this event at the Indianapolis Downtown Marriott Hotel. SegwayFesT 2008 also included the playing of the 2008 Woz Challenge Cup of Segway Polo on the lawn of the Indiana State Museum.
For 2008 a Segway Show as well as a Segway Swap Meet were added to the glides, seminars and social events that have made up SegwayFesTs in the past. Awards were given out at the Segway Show, the Best of Show when to Funky-Move.de for their crystal encrusted Segway, Segway of Orange County won the award for best modifications by a professional, Karl Ian Sagal won for best modification by a non-professional, Dan and Nancy Mattausch won for the oldest Segway at SegwayFesT 2008. The People Choice Award went to Funky-Move.de.
The 2008 event included seminars from leading experts in the field, glides and a scavenger hunt around the city of Indianapolis as well as numerous social opportunities.
The large T at the end of SegwayFesT represents the handlebar on the Segway, a tradition that has carried on since the first SegwayfesT in 2003.