[Ambassadors] [Design-team] SxSW photobooth awesomeness and its future

Máirín Duffy duffy at fedoraproject.org
Wed Mar 16 07:05:18 UTC 2011

Hi Clint,

Thanks so much for kicking this off! You have some great ideas -

I started adding some more info about a specific point you brought up
and it turned into a long ramble. Sorry! I wanted to write up the info
while it was fresh in my brain. Hope it's helpful.

On Tue, 2011-03-15 at 22:59 -0600, Clint Savage wrote:
>  Logistically, this could be a bit challenging when you have only an
> 8'x8' space, but this can be handled pretty easily.  One way is to
> move the table and chairs to one side and stand in the booth, or sit
> behind (tightly) the table and work from there.  The other half of the
> booth could easily be used to take pictures and show off our cool
> stuff!


Something we learned on day one is that if you only have the monitor
facing out, people do not go into the booth on their own to check out
the materials and flyers.

Our day 2 improvisation:


We lifted up the monitor and placed the brochure racks just below it in
front. We placed the CDs stadium-seated below that. We noticed some
conference attendees just don't like talking, but they would come up and
grab the brochures and disks. We noticed a LOT more brochures were taken
with this new layout.

The flyers we put together we're still kind of struggling to get rid
out. Something like this freestanding:


or this


Would have been ideal and would have taken up *way* less space than the
flyers ended up taking on the table. We have so many different materials
I think it's overwhelming folks.


Another huge issue we noticed is that while we have the Fedora
tablecloth, there is no Fedora banner to hang from the poles at the top
of the booth. We have this:


Which came with the booth and we decorated it, but people struggled to
read it. All the other booths had huge custom logo banners hanging up
there. I guess at Linux shows it's obvious who we are but not at all at


I had a laptop out and offered demos of individual applications. It
seemed to go over well, I just hung out with my tablet drawing in
MyPaint and Inkscape and offered demos. I tweeted during lulls for folks
to come see a demo too. Stuff like, "learn what inkscape does that
illustrator can't"


- We started the pitch one way by offering stickers. We'd ask folks if
they wanted stickers, and hand them the stickers with a CD (and maybe
opensource.com postcard) and say they came with a free operating

- Sometimes people would ask, what's on the disk? That gave us an
opportunity to explain what Fedora was and what the design suite was.
One line we were able to use, "everything in this booth including the
banners, postcards, disc labels and sleeves, stickers, and flyers was
designed using the software right here on this Cd.) 

- If they seemed interested we showed them the brochures and talked
about how they highlighted apps according to use case (musician, graphic
artists, photographer, etc) and that the apps were on the CD. 

- If they still seemed interested (about 15% reached this point with me)
I would pitch not only do we want to tell you about open source / free
software, we want to tell you about open & free content. Then I'd go
over the highlights - CC licensed 3D models, openly-licensed fonts,
public domain vector illustrations, cc licensed music, cc licensed
photos - and hand them the flyer.

- A few folks seemed even more interested so that's when I pulled out
the 'how to join floss as a designer' flyer. Although some folks from
the mozilla talk came specifically for that flyer.


Dave Crossland came up with this one. He took one of each of the four
brochures (graphic artist, photographer, film maker, musician) and
displayed them in his hand in front of the booth:


He would ask passer-by to choose which one they were and then give them
a software-specific pitch.

PITCH #3 (least successful)

On day one we'd ask people if they wanted to win a free Wacom Cintiq.
Bad move. Maybe 80% of folks had no idea what it was. Day 2, we set out
the Cintiq and had a little station where you could see it, grab a
Fedora Cd, and grab a qualifying postcard. We got more interest then but
still not as strong a pitch to get the materials out.


The original idea with the Cintiq giveaway is that you'd get a postcard
on day 1 with slots for stamps. Come back to the booth each day, get a
stamp, and you are eligible for the cintiq drawing.

Well... whoops. The SXSW Interactive conference ended today, Tuesday.
The music goers arrive on Wednesday. A lot of folks leave Tuesday, but
some stay thru Fri and Sat. So a lot of folks simply weren't going to be
around. And some folks weren't going to arrive until wed.

So we changed the rules. We have raffle tickets. We started telling
people, for each stamp you get a raffle ticket, so come back to increase
your chances up to four raffle tickets, one for each day. 

One thing we also didn't work out is what time the drawing would be. I
made up a time - 4 PM on the last day. 

The stamps don't work so well on the postcard paper. It's a bit too
shiny so it doesn't hold the ink and bleeds / gets messy. Most folks did
not come back to get more stamps - I saw maybe 4 ask for one on day 2. 


Sometimes people came to the booth saying they were interested in
helping open source and start contributing. Stupidly, I did not get
contact info for all of them. I gave them mine. But it's good to do
followups with folks. So try to be conscious and get contact info for
anyone who seems interested in contributing. Having folks follow me on
Twitter has been a lifesaver because I was able to get their contact
info on there. Ask for twitter/identi.ca usernames if they don't have a
card. Have a notebook to write this stuff down and 50 pens because they
disappear like nobody's business. (Pen on a rope might be a good idea as
dorky as it sounds.)


I know they are expensive and delicate maybe. But the folks in the booth
next to us had a projector and it was great because they were able to
give demos on it, let people try the product using it (they make a
facebook game), and they also could put messages up using it, changing
them on the fly to suit the climate of the show floor. We had premade
literature that is expensive to ship and takes up a lot of space, and
realized when we got there it didn't have the best info wishing we could
update it. Having a projector where we could display the info could have
been cool.

I saw a lady giving a demo of some video editing software on a
projector, just going through it and passer-bys were mesmerized. I was.
Just watching what it can do without having to interact with someone I
think is good to have for the shy types who wouldn't ask for a demo
(like me).


At least at SXSW stickers and buttons are incredibly popular giveaways.
Folks were asking us if we have buttons - they collect them. The
stickers were very popular.

> But there's more we can do with this, and that's where I think the
> value lies.  For one, it is cool that each participant get's a nice
> little card printed right there with a QR code so they can go retrieve
> it.  But it would also be nice to let them share their photos on
> social networking sites like Facebook, identi.ca, foursquare, twitter,
> etc.  I can also see gaining contributors from this concept, in that
> they are now 'part' of Fedora's legacy.   Maybe having them show up on
> the FedoraProject front page when an event is happening?  I seriously
> think that this is stuff that everyone in Fedora would love.
> Anyway, I'm sure I have more ideas, but I hope some of you can help
> with more great ideas that I know I won't.  Please help us build a
> better booth and better Fedora presence at events all over the world!

Hope the above brain dump is helpful,

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