[affs-project] ideas etc

adam at thebowery.co.uk adam at thebowery.co.uk
Wed Sep 8 10:30:33 BST 2004

On Wed, Sep 08, 2023 at 01:27:22AM +0100, MJ Ray wrote:
> On 2023-09-07 16:42:40 +0100 Alex Hudson <home at alexhudson.com> wrote:
> >[...] although, I'm
> >not sure we saw any rise in membership due to it.
> Here's the track record for expos, as far as I can tell:
>  9 members  9-10 Oct 2002 (Olympia)
>  7 members 24-26 Jun 2003 (NEC)
> 13 members  8-9  Oct 2003 (Olympia)
>  5 members 20-21 Apr 2004 (Olympia)

Personally it looks to me like October 2003 was a real success when you count
the number of new members over the amount of days. 
> I feel I did quite a bit of work for Oct 2003, but I found the lack of 
> coordination and preparation really stressful. It is really essential 

Don't be such a wuss, maybe it was uncoordinated and stressful, but it was also
a big success and great fun, in my experience we didn't have to waste time or 
bother trying to attract people to the stand, they just came. Once they were 
there you would hit them with a "Can I interest you in joining AFFS?" or a "do
you understand what Free software is about" with a nice smile, gaining
attention was quite easy also. Oh, the free GNU stickers we were giving out
worked really well also, freebies help at any show now even if they are not of
a huge value, the .com boom days of giving away really nice stuff are over, the
GNU merchandise only seemed to attract the kind of person who already
understands Free Software FWIW, but all the other geeks like stickers. 
Kirsty was excellent at gaining peoples attention (make of that what you will) 
and if they gave her too many difficult questions she would pass them over to 
me, at several points there was a queue of people who wanted to talk in depth
about Free software (and software patents, stupidly I hadn't briefed myself on
swpat and got myself up to date then, but then the info was changing quite
rapidly), put it like this, there was never a dull moment on the stand that 
day. Being put near the coffee stand and at the entrance to the .org village 
was a massive help, people would get their coffee and sandwich and then look 
around a bit blank and confused as to where to go next, just gaining some 
friendly eye contact and saying "Hi..." would work wonders for automatically  
getting them to drift over to the stand, then we wouldn't give them a hard 
sell, just chat with them to relax them explain what AFFS is and does, and send
them on their way with a leaflet if they looked unconvinced. It worked wonders. 
> Well, if you don't trust me, I can send anyone who wants some clips 
> from International Trade's recent article about trade fairs tomorrow 
> evening: email me off-list. Or you can go online and find articles 
> like "Common Exhibit Marketing Mistakes: Ten Tips on How to Avoid 
> Them" by Susan A Friedmann at 
> http://www.frugalmarketing.com/dtb/exhibit-mistakes.shtml

Hmmmmn, your asking me to trust marketing people? If anything from my 
experience of people who are successful in marketing they quite often do things
at the last minute without any firm plan and just see what works on the day. 
> I arrived at the Apr 2004 show, as requested, to deliver an 
> arm-busting box of leaflets and found the AFFS stand unstaffed. 
> Fortunately, the excellent Debian-UK stand team took care of them for 
> a while.

I don't understand this, obviously something went wrong somewhere, was this
before the show had started? (in which case, I don't see the problem, it takes
less than 5 minutes to setup a stand) If the show had started then I would
imagine whoever was manning it had been delayed. The obvious thing to do here
would have been to setup the stand and start running it which is what I would
have done and I am sure anyone who wanted AFFS to be successful would also do.
Standing around looking at a problem and thinking "this shouldn't be like this"
is not a useful response, generally it is easier to take responsibility on the
ground and get on with it. I thought we needed to be more flexible in our
response to problems?
jabberid = quinophex at jabber.earth.li
AFFS || http://www.affs.org.uk/ || Not a filesystem

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