I have to support Ankur here. I've been to countless events of various
kinds and with different audiences, often as a Fedora event owner. I've
also been running swag&marketing material production and distribution
in EMEA for the last couple of years, so I think I quite know what
works and what doesn't.
First we need to admit that we have a problem. Our booth materials are
not good, at least not good for all our target audiences.
I'm frankly a bit tired of producing swag with just Fedora logos
everywhere. This works for people who have some attachment to Fedora
(contributors, users,...), but it doesn't do any marketing outreach.
Yes, there is a small group of geeks who put whatever sticker they get
at conferences on their laptops, but doesn't help anyway since people
without any prior awareness of Fedora just think it's some variant of
Unfortunately our current swag offering doesn't work for potential
users who come to our booth out of curiosity and might be willing to
try Fedora. Giving them a sticker or button with Fedora logo is useless
because they don't have any attachment to the brand (yet). I want to
give them something that will help them look for more info and ideally
give them some incentive to try and install Fedora. And that's not a
Fedora sticker which carries zero information.
DVDs have worked that way a bit. They don't carry a lot of information,
but it's an incentive to try Fedora: take the disk, put it in the
drive, here is some info how to spin off the live session,... But DVDs
are going away and we don't have anything else for this audience.
Flyers might not be the best idea, but they are still the best thing I
have had at a Fedora booth for the audience I described above. I
remember when we had Fedora Cloud flyers at LinuxCon Europe for the
first time. They were running out much faster than Fedora stickers or
badges. And they were not very nicely done because we made them very
In the Czech community of Fedora, we're currently working on "Getting
Started with Fedora" guide which should be tailored for the audience
described above. It should get them from "I visited a Fedora booth" to
"I've installed Fedora and am getting familiar with it" (where to get
it, how to get it on a usb stick, how to install it, how to get
oriented in it). If it proves to be working in CZ, we'll translate it
to English and offer it here as a global effort. So hopefully we will
have some replacement for DVDs and something better than flyers.
BTW when you think of a typical consumer of our marketing materials,
please don't only think of audiences of conferences such as OSCON or
FOSDEM. We're well-known there, we go there mostly to maintain a
relationship with our user base and image in the open source community,
not to get new users. But if you go outside the open source community
shell you'll find out that awareness of Fedora is pretty non-existent.
And that's where we should focus to get new users and that's where our
current swag, which only carry our brand and no information, won't
P.S. I would argue about the low return on investment. The equation is
not only about return, it's also about investment and at least from the
production point of view, flyers are one of the cheapest marketing
materials to make.