One of the main tasks of the FSFE is to inform the public about Free Software and related topics. For this, it is essential to be present with a booth or talk at conferences, street festivals, and other local events.
Helping out with a booth or talk is a good way to
- get active for Free Software by working as a volunteer
- support Free Software by talking to people and explain them importance of Free Software
- meet interesting people and answer their questions
- have a lot of fun!
Our community use various occasions to run FSFE booths. Many happen at Free Software related events, conferences or international days like I love Free Software Day. But many groups also prefer to set-up FSFE booths at street festivals or other conferences from Veganmania to Fair Products to Hardware.
We like the idea that the events we participate in have different audiences, as one of the operative goals of the FSFE is to increase the diversity within Free Software. This could be kept in mind when organising or participating in a booth. Some groups give preference in particular to those events which has a proven track record of diversity.
So if you like to organise a booth for FSFE, this is how to do it:
Check whether there is somebody else already preparing a booth at the same place, by checking our events page. If there is, maybe you can team up and coordinate the booth together?
- Register the booth with the organisers of the event. For many conferences you have to register some weeks or even months before in order to get a place for a booth. Sometimes the conferences don't typically have space for booths, but might accommodate if you get in touch early on, and also show what value the FSFE bring to the event.
The procedures for this are quite different and depends on the event. 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 booths. If the position of the FSFE booth is suboptimal, ask to be moved to a different location. Keep in mind the flow of people around the booth. You want a place where people can see you, where a lot of people pass by, but at the same time, you don't want people to only rush but to actually be able to take some time to look and talk to you without blocking the way of other people.
Prepare the booth timely, following the booth timeline from 2 months before to the week after the event.
Make sure that you and the whole booth team have read the booth FAQ to be able to answer the most important questions you'll receive at the booth.
At the beginning of the event, set up the booth following the booth design guide.
During the event, make sure that you and the whole booth team follow the booth behaviour guidelines.