I am into organizing Fedora 18 release party in Prague this month and I though it’s time to share my ideas about a smashing Fedora release party.
I know most people are busy, especially in big cities. Start your engagement process at least 3 weeks before the release party.
Whom to target:
- All Gnu/Linux users – we are on the same side of the “war” :)
- Journalists – create a mini-press release and send it to all journalist friends you know and ask them for help. Most of the time they react really quick. This is a news, anyway and a good one, though :)
- Your colleagues – common, you can find at least 3 people to share the news with and they can find 3 more people to share it with. IM tools are powerful these days. Your colleagues are spending a lot of time in jabber or skype during the work time :)
- Programmers and Designers (yes, Fedora is not just for geeks)
- Try your local Hackerspace
- Try your local GNU/Linux and FLOSS related websites. In exchange for the news you can promote them as “media partner” or just call them friends :)
- Create an identica/ twitter/ FB account and #hashtag and use to spread the word about your party.
- Create simple badges and ask people to put them on their blogs
- Create a mini-website (you can use wordpress.com for a free blog for example)
Schedule and timing
- Try to find out what groups you are targeting – hackers. teachers. programmers, designers … and put at least one topic for every group. Keep them under 20 min.
- Ask people to RSVP to the event and to share it at least 2 weeks before the event.
- Good idea is to use name tags. Just provide some empty white stickers and a pen – let them to the rest.
- Start with asking every person to introduce himself/herself shortly. What’s your name, what you do, and why are you here today…
- Start with an introduction – “What is Fedora and Why all we are here today”. Some people may not know anything about it.
- Combine the talks with free discussions – let people to talk to each other, let the knowledge flows. Ask if someone wants to share how they are using Fedora in their work, life, device or just for fun.
- Have a beer and pizza in the venue if possible. It helps! Especially the beer.
- Bring something to giveaway: buttons, stickers, DVD, brochures.
- Don’t do anything alone, find friends/fans/ambassadors to help you out
- Use agile tools like trello to plan and execute your event. Create tasks and ask people to take the ownership and to do it. Community, community, community
- Define your goal. Why you are doing this? If you spread 50 DVDs what will be the impact?
- What about if you ask your attendees to do something? For example in the next meeting to bring someone with them or in one month to share their story about Fedora 18.
- Give knowledge and freebies only in exchange for something else – a blog post, an action, an idea, a possible non-free OS replacement.
- Track the success of your event. Definitely attendees will be happy after 3 beers, but what will be the impact for the community in1 month.