[affs-project] ideas etc

MJ Ray mjr at dsl.pipex.com
Wed Sep 8 23:56:07 BST 2004

On 2023-09-08 10:30:33 +0100 adam at thebowery.co.uk wrote:
> 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.

13 new members for a 2-day fair with 4-figure attendances each day 
doesn't seem much to me. However, I wrote "Doesn't really seem enough 
data to read much into and there are a lot of effects combined there" 
and I stand by that. I hold a first class honours degree in this 
stuff, have given statistics conference papers and am waiting for my 
thesis on short ugly time series to be examined (must follow that up 
again). Please either point out the flaw in my reasoning or get a 
second opinion from someone at least as qualified. I'm pretty sure 
that you won't get many people recommending inferring much from four 
unevenly-spaced integer time series observations with average modulus 
8.5 and multiple aliased factors.
Even if using school-level stats, it illustrates why you're SOL. The 
members per day for the 3 other events gives estimates for the 
population mean 2.28 and SD 4.63 (use a calculator if you can't 
remember how to work them out). Assuming normal random distribution 
and some other stuff (actually violated here anyway, but let's wave 
our hands a lot), you would expect 90% of observations to be within 
2*SD of the mean. So, Oct 2003 still looks likely to be from the same 
population, as far as we can tell.
>> 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

You are being unreasonable. On the one hand, I am told AFFS needs to 
appear more professional. On the other, I am called a "wuss" when I 
ask for it to be more professional. There is absolutely no point 
appearing professional if it's all a front. Most people would call 
that a con.
Oct 2003 really wasn't fun for me. It wasn't a success on balance IMO: 
we ran out of key items too early, couldn't replace them (someone had 
given out the originals of photocopies, for example) and simply didn't 
have others to start with; I ran around like a headless chicken trying 
to make sure materials weren't just dumped after the fair; and so on. 
However, there was no definition of success to compare against, so 
I suggested many possible improvements to look into and I give big 
thanks to those who have acted on them. It is frustrating that AFFS 
seems unwilling to do so.
Stand staff are very important. Indeed, good stand staff can make a 
terrible stand work (like you and Kirsty did) and bad staff can make a 
good stand fail. However, it's easier if everything else supports you 
rather than hinders, isn't it? You can get more done and be a bigger 
success. Quoting from "Countdown to exhibiting" by Declan Gane in 
September 2004's Overseas Trade: "Set out your objectives and design 
your stand accordingly. Some 80 per cent of stand success is down to 
staff, so choose staff who want to be there, train them on 
presentation skills and brief them on company objectives. They need to 
be enthusiastic and engage with visitors." (Sorry for getting the 
wrong publication title yesterday, but I was only passed this today.)
> 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.

Far be it from me to question your experience.
> [...] If the show had started then I would
> imagine whoever was manning it had been delayed.

I don't remember whether I ever found out. Everyone who I phoned that 
morning who I thought was going to be manning it either didn't pick up 
their phone or didn't know what was going on. I thought there had been 
a time to set up the stand the day before, but ICBW.
> 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.

I only had three types of leaflet (and not many of two of them) and I 
needed to be elsewhere in London for work that morning. I returned as 
soon as I could, rescheduling work. I believe that's more than most 
people would do. I had been very clear about the situation to ctte 
nearly a month before the event (Thu Mar 25 17:13:02 2004 was the 
dateline) and you replied to that email AFAICT. I did the best that I 
could in the time and I think it's very unhelpful to suggest I don't 
want AFFS to be successful.
I think that is far more true of those who deny that AFFS has problems 
with fair planning instead of fixing the bugs and then continue to 
insult the bug reporter.
MJR/slef    My Opinion Only and not of any group I know
http://www.ttllp.co.uk/ for creative copyleft computing
Visit the AFFS stand, .org village LinuxExpoUK, 6-7 Oct

More information about the AFFS-Project mailing list