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

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? Organize one!

Check out upcoming booths

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. It is recommended that you use FSFE's mission statement as the basis for this text.

Ask for a plan of the boothes. If the position of the FSFE booth is suboptimal request a shift.


8 weeks before the event

Announce the booth

Add the event on our Website. This way it will be visible on our events page after we checked it.

Recruit helpers

Write an email announcing that you are going to organise a booth, and invite interested people to join you. Send this email to:

An example of the text you could use is:

Dear Fellows,

From [start day] to [end day], FSFE will have a booth at [event] in

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!


Make sure that for each reply to these invitations, the new team member receives a friendly "welcome to the team" and a status quo of the preparations and is kept up to date with all subsequent developments regarding the booth. The easiest way to achieve this is to create a TechDocs/quickml mailing list that includes all helpers, and run all the coordination for the booth through that list. However, if you use this list also for external communication, be aware that sending an email to the list and CC'ing somebody external will add the external address to the list.

Many visitors of an event prefer to be addressed in their own language. In the case of an international event, it is good to have some volunteers in the booth team who can speak the languages of the expected audience, and at least some English speakers as a fall-back. It is useful for you as the booth coordinator to get an overview over the languages spoken by the helpers.

4 weeks before the event

Order promotion material

The main purpose of such a booth is to inform people about Free Software in general, and about FSFE's current activities in particular. The FSFE office in Berlin has a stock of various posters, fliers, postcards, and stickers, which you are encouraged to make use of! Please fill in the online order form for promotion material to make sure you have all these goodies available in time.

Please use an address where there's always somebody available to accept the delivery. If your home address doesn't qualify for that, maybe better let it deliver to the company you work in?

It is important that you specify the even you want to use the material for, especially the number of expected participants, the languages they speak, and their background regarding Free Software. This makes it easier for the team in FSFE's office to compile a suitable set of material.

Production of all of this material is cheap, and distributing it is an important pillar of FSFE's mission. Please don't be shy. Make use of this possibility. There is no cost involved for you at all!

Order merchandise (Optional)

At some of our booths, we also have T-shirts and other merchandise for sale.

If you want to sell merchandise, please send an email to <office AT SPAMFREE fsfeurope DOT org> and the merchandise team will coordinate the necessary steps with you.

If you plan to sell merchandise at the booth, it is a good idea to prepare some change. You can already start to collect 1-Euro and 2-Euro coins now.

Prepare price tags resp. posters with "At free disposal".

Produce address cards

Produce cards/flyers and a placard showing the mailaddress of your Fellowship group and the dates of the next Fellowship meetings. Distribute the cards at the booth.

Prepare Hardware

Prepare a mini PC and a monitor for presenting slideshows, or for example our FSFE15 year Video with the correct subtitles at the booth. Prepare a tablet PC so people can join the FSFE right at the booth and subcribe the newsletter (look for your language).

Stay in contact with the rest of the team

One month before the event is a good timing to send a status update to all booth helpers.

2 weeks before the event

Invite other fellows

A booth is also an occasion to meet other fellows who live near the event location. So, organize a Fellowship meeting nearby the event location.

1 week before the event

Prepare the material

Send a reminder to Fellows and volunteers that you are meeting at the Booth. This communication should include more detailed information, namely:

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.

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.


You may collect donations on behalf of the Free Software Foundation Europe. For this we can provide you a donation boxes.

Anybody can confirm that money was received. However, an official donation receipt allowing tax-deduction in Germany needs to be signed by the President. If somebody really does a donation in cash so big that it's worth writing a donation receipt (>= around 50 Euro), the best option would probably be to note the address and later send the info to <finance AT fsfeurope DOT org> asking to send the donation receipt by snail mail. The receipt will then be sent together with the rest at the beginning of the following year.

Obviously, donations that FSFE writes a receipt for must arrive at the official FSFE books at some point, so these donations must be paid to the FSFE account.

Within 1 week after the event

Category/HowTo Category/Booth

KnowHow/Groups/OrganizeABooth/BoothTimeline (last edited 2017-06-26 12:17:42 by mk)