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Re: critics about our presence at LinuxTag 2004


Altough I wasn't Debian Booth Staff this time (but Symlink Booth Staff
:-), I would also like to comment some of the mentioned points and add
some of my own points.

Especially I'd like to show that not everything has to be perfect.

General question: What was the goal of the booth? Was it to inform?
Was it to show presence? Was it to sell merchandising stuff? (BTW: Who
does also immediately start to think of the movie "Space Balls",
everytime the word "merchandising" is read or heard? :-) Was it to
meet other Debian people? Was it to let visitors see the faces of the
people behind Debian? Was it to see what people who use Debian look
like? Was it to show, that Sarge will be ready soon? To have fun? I
guess, the goal was a bit of everything.

But some of the mentioned critics just go into the direction of one or
two goals (maybe towards the most important ones :-) in this probably
incomplete list and disregard most others.

On Tue, Jun 29, 2004 at 12:23:04AM +0200, Alexander Schmehl wrote:
> Possible solution: Threw those who aren't assigned as booth personal,
>   out of the booth. There was an internet Cafe with tables and net-access
>   in the Stadthalle. You could have worked there.

IMHO any solution, which is forcing people to leave, is a bad
solution. If it's crowded, it's crowded. And maybe the booth to small.
Maybe a booth twice as deep could help. Front area for assigned booth
staff, back area for others... Worked very well at Symlink, although
we didn't have any assigments regarding booth staff. ;-)

> - Another part of the problem was, that people were sitting in the back,
>   showing visitors their back, and one showed them (while wearing a to
>   short shirt and bending forwards to hack on his notebook) parts of his
>   body, which didn't saw the sun recently.

Well, there is a problem: If you sit in front of a computer, a visitor
can either see your face or the content of your monitor or none of
them (except if you have one of these nice laptops with dual screen
and a flipable half of the screen.) If this is targeted on
non-computer-using people, a front/back area splitted booth could help
here, too.

>   PLEASE! If you are at the booth:

PLEASE! If you send mail to a mailing list!



... except if you are female. *dg&r*

> Possible solution: Dark sunglasses for all visitors.

That would look really cool. ;-)

> - If you are at the booth, and female visitors come to you, don't stare
>   at their breasts (or at least don't dislocate to do so).
> Possible solution: Don't allow female visitors to enter the exhibition
>   hall.

Better solution: Get some female booth stuff next year. Best would be
some female booth staff, who is used to be stared at. ;-) That should
help to distract from female visitors. ;-) Although: Do Debian Swirl
costumes look as sexy as BSD Daemon costumes? :-)

But seriously: IMHO some female booth staff wouldn't be a bad idea. (I
apologize, if there was some, I didn't notice any during my visits at
the Debian booth...)
> - Don't play screen for the beamer. Even if you don't wear our black
>   shirts, the (nearly) white booth wall does this job much better.

Arne and IIRC Roland (at least two of the really big guys :-) managed
to tape the beamer to the booth walls' top last year quite good. You
could easily pass in front of the beamer's screen wihtout disturbing
the screen. (But I know, the LT organisation didn't like that solution
very much because of possible accidents...)

> - The booth looked like a pigpen at the evening and in the morning.
> Possible solution: [...] Write your name on your mug, so you don't
>   need to take four mugs a day.

Hint: Masking tape (German: Kreppband) is easy to stick and remove on
mugs and also easy to label. Doesn't look nice, but works. One or two
rolls of masking tape and a few pens (thin eddings, etc.) should

> - There was much personal stuff (like backpacks) at the booth, which
>   gave the booth a quite chaoting view. Although you might argue that
>   this matches our project quite good, I would prefer if you wouldn't
>   bring personal stuff which you don't need all the time to our booth.

A back area where the tables which are seperating front and back area
have table cloths down to the floor can hide a lot of chaos. Even on a
smaller booth long table clothing can hide backpacks (err, let's
better say daypacks) under the tables.

One more point: Maybe there were just not enough of them, but when I
bought two Debian posters, there were no rubber band to fix them for
transport. We had to use a A4 Debian flyer and Scotch tape (German:
Tesa, Tixo, etc.) to fix them without destroying them...

And another point, regarding merchandising: When will the "Why Mike
likes Debian" poster be available for selling? :-) I guess, this could
be the most wanted Debian poster. Anyone knows about the copyright
issues on that poster? (Joey?)

> And finally some positive points I like to mention:

I want to add:

- Everybody I met, was very kind to visitors, even if stressed by too
  much visitors at the same time.

- The booth staff polo shirts and the engraved badges looked very nice
  and professional.

> This list is short so I think I should point out, that I really liked
> our booth and how fine everything worked out! Thanks for your help,
> thanks for your time, thanks for your work!

If there would have been a prize for the most visited booth, I guess
Debian would have won it. :-)

P.S.: Thanks to the always busy Joey and his crew for this very fine
      event and especially for the free project booths' organisation.
      Somehow Linuxtag manages it to become more interesting from year
      to year although it was never boring...

P.P.S. to Joey: I was missing Arne _X._ Wichmann. Because that's the
		way, I distinguish the two Arnes in my mobile phone
		since Linuxtag last year... ;-)

	 Regards and CU at the lastest at Linuxtag 2005, Axel
Axel Beckert - abe@deuxchevaux.org - http://abe.home.pages.de/

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