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Tech Bash to turn Marlins Park into field of geeks

Last year’s TigerDirect Tech Bash at Marlins Park attracted 10,000 people.
Last year’s TigerDirect Tech Bash at Marlins Park attracted 10,000 people. WorldRedEye

Marlins Park will become geek heaven Friday night, as TigerDirect throws a Tech Bash for the community.

Tech Bash, now in its third year and second at the park, will include 120 vendors, including Intel, Dell, Samsung, H-P and Lenovo, showing off their latest technologies in interactive exhibits. There will also be a startup section, entertainment and concessions, all in a carnival-like atmosphere, said Steven Leeds, director of corporate marketing of TigerDirect, the Miami-based subsidiary of Systemax.

Tech Bash is free with advance registration, and the company expects “a nice increase” over the 10,000 attendees last year, Leeds said.

New this year: You can shop until you drop.

Twenty-five concierge stations will be available to order products for delivery — like that gazillion-inch TV — and there will also be a TigerDirect Xpress Shop for items you can buy on-site. Leeds said there will be some exclusive deals with Black-Friday like pricing. For instance, ImmersiON-VRelia’s The GO, a head-mounted virtual display unit that uses your cellphone as a screen, will be debuting at Tech Bash and selling for $89, Leeds said.

Last year’s most popular exhibit, Oculus Rift, will be back for the party, “but this time in a much more immersive setting,” Leeds said. SMS Audio, in partnership with Intel, will be showing off its wearable technology that will be built into its headphones. Dell Alienware, which will have one of the largest displays on the field, will be bringing X51, a massive gaming system.

Another highlight will be the 17th annual Build Your Own PC Race for Charity, Leeds said. Initial competitions were held around the country. “We are flying down the finalists to compete in front of thousands of people in the middle of the field,” he said. “All the systems are broken down, there will be extra pieces to throw them off, it’s an intense three and a half minutes.”

The Best of South Florida Tech section will feature partners like eMerge Americas, which is putting on its next tech conference in May; Wyncode, Florida’s first state-licensed coding school; Rokk3r Labs, a company that helps create and launch startups; The LAB Miami co-working center; and startups such as LiveNinja, GADA Secure Pay, AdMobilize, Public Reputation and MIAMade. Consumers with the entrepreneurial itch can make their way to Venture Hive’s mentoring section, where they can engage in one-on-one idea pitching sessions with the Miami-based tech accelerator and incubator’s top entrepreneurial talent.

Admission to the TigerDirect Tech Bash, which will be from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, is free with pre-event registration at www.TigerTechBash.com. Otherwise, it will cost $10 at the door. Event parking is $10. For the first time, kids 13 and older will be allowed to attend.

Leeds said TigerDirect has been working on TechBash for a year, with eight full-time staff members devoted to the project since last November and several expert event-planning firms involved.

“The long-term goal for Tech Bash is to build it out into a major destination for tech enthusiasts,” Leeds said. “We are based here and South Florida is very important to us. This is a unique way to interact with our customers and our fans and it’s a lot of fun throwing a baseball stadium-sized party.”

Follow @ndahlberg on Twitter.

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