One of the main tasks of the Free Software Foundation Europe is to inform the public about Free Software and related topics. For this, it is essential to be present with a booth on tradeshows, fairs, expos, and other local events.
Helping at such a booth is a good way to :
- Get active for Free Software by working as a booth volunteer;
- Support Free Software by talking to people and explain them importance of Free Software;
- Meeting interesting people and answering their questions;
- Having a lot of fun!!!
In this page we follow you through the operations towards the preparation of a Booth. Is there a booth already planned in your region? Join it! There is no booth? Organise one!
Check out upcoming booths
All Fellowship events in our calendar, you can add different RSS feeds and import the events in the ical format;
Register a booth
For many Free Software conferences and GNU/Linux-days you have to register some weeks or months before to enable your presentation with a booth. There can no general guideline be given here as the procedures for this are quite different - depending on the event. But often you have the possibility to present your booth in your own words in the program, on a poster or on the home page. Please use this example as a guideline for a FSFE booth description.
8 weeks before the event
Announce the booth
Create an event on our Website. A new .xml file should be added to our event list on the main FSFE repository, in the folder /events.
If you have problems doing that, or if you do not have writing access to the repository, please ask email@example.com.
Add an event to the Fellowship Events Calendar.
- Write an email announcing that you are going to organise a booth, and invite interested people to join you. Send this email to:
the country team of the country where the event takes place
the public discussion list(s) possibly interested in the event
the Fellowship team at firstname.lastname@example.org, include a list of countries and postal codes to send the text to; we will forward the email to all Fellows in the region you define
From [start day] to [end day], FSFE will have a booth at [event] in [location].
We are looking for people to join us at our booth and help spread the word about Free Software and FSFE. If you are interested in participating in FSFE's presence at [event], please write an email to [name and email address].
However, even if you just visit [event], please visit the FSFE booth and say hello to us!
You can find more info about [event] at [event URL].
We are looking forward to meet you there!
4 weeks before the event
Obtain promotion material and merchandising (Optional)
The main purpose of our Booth is to inform people about our Free Software in general, and about FSFE's actions to promote it in particular.
In order to help you spreading the word, we have leaflets and Posters which can be used at the Booth. In some of our Booths, we also have t-shirts, sweatshirts and other merchandising that might be sold. If possible you might also produce our booth roll-up in SVG or in PNG formats (highly recommended);
Selling merchandise is an important source of financing for FSFE, but it should not be intended as the main booth feature. If you want to sell our merchandise at the booth, we will be happy to provide our assistance!. See our merchandising page to order the material you want to sell. Please ignore the payment.
Stay in contact with potential volunteers
Be sure to contact other fellows and volunteers, to motivate them to participate to the Booth.
As some events have a tendency to have an international audience, it is advisable to have English speaker in the team. It is good to have different language speakers at the booth. Some people prefer to be addressed in their own language, if possible. So, when contacting volunteers, it is useful to ask them which language they can speak, so you can organise everything at best.
2 weeks before the event
Invite other fellows
A booth is also an occasion to meet other fellows who live near the event location. There might be people interested in helping you with the Booth organisation. So, organise a Fellowship meeting nearby the event location.
Is there a local fellowship group (see the list)? Coordinate with them and ask for assistance;
There is no local fellowship group? Write to email@example.com and forward a message to all fellows living in the area (specifying the postcodes that you wish to reach).
1 week before the event
Prepare the material
Download and print the following material. These must always be presented at our booths:
Support form from the Leaflets page
Fellowship information leaflet from the Leaflets page
If you are selling merchandising: our Accountancy sheet.
Printable information material about our work in many languages;
Send a reminder to Fellows and volunteers that you are meeting at the Booth. This communication should include more detailed information, namely:
- A list of registered volunteers. If you want, you can write a few nice words describing different volunteers, as well as the languages they can speak.
- A list of notable guests, if any.
If possible, organise a volunteers meeting before booth activities. The aim of that is to build a solid team, and to make sure that everyone knows enough to answers to questions of people.
- Considering the number of registered volunteers, you might want to organise shifts. Please be flexible and consider last minute changes to allow people to go assisting to talks if they wish. Consider that at least two persons should be at the booth all the time.
Everyone should be informed about recent campaigns, because people are liking to ask questions about them. However, no one is supposed to know everything, so you don't need to stress about details. As a team, we should be able to answer to most of the questions.
If you plan to sell merchandise at the booth, be sure to prepare some change. Usually you'll need a lot of 2-Euro-coins since the T-shirts are 18 Euro.
At the Booth
Designing a booth
Having a booth is one thing, having it in a good design is another thing. People should be attracted to come to the booth and they should get an easy overview of the material at the booth. Please see our documentation of booth design.
- Wear a FSFE t-shirt or hoodie (if you want, we do not have any dress code. We do not want to be "uniformed" in any way).
- If you have ordered our merchandising material, please be sure to count all the material before and after the event, and fill the accountancy sheet.
- Collect donations!
- Speak with people! We prefer not to use laptops at our booths, because if people see you working at your PC, they would be unwilling to come and talk with you. Often there are spaces outside the booth which can be exploited to use your laptop.
- If electricity and internet connection is available, it is nice to have a PC at the booth in order to allow people who wish to subscribe to the Fellowship to do so or to run a eye catching slideshow.
Standing is important. People walking past are much less likely to talk to a person who is sitting. To make this more natural, FSFE usually organises booths using a makeshift bar instead of a table. If you can do this, great.
- A "I don't know" is much better than a wrong answer. Don't hesitate to point people to specialists and/or URLs. Use FSFE business cards, if you have them.
- Expose posters and roll-ups, if you have them.
- It's also important to encourage people to join the FSFE mailing lists. This is how we stay contacted and form a community.
After the Booth
If someone filled out the Fellowship form to join the Fellowship, please use our HowTo add a Fellow.
If you sold merchandise at the booth: complete the accountancy sheet and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Transfer the income from sales, donations and Fellowship contributions to FSFE's bank account, IBAN DE69360200300003004732, BIC NBAGDE3E. Merchandise sales are relevant for our taxes, so please make sure both is done within one week after the end of the event.
- create eye catching slide show
- create a map and show our Fellowship groups on it. Give people the chance to add themself to the map
- create better posters for the booth
update existing leaflets and prepare more of them.
- help us improve this page.