This page has been moved to FSFE docs

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 (note the string “{{}}” will automatically be replaced by the name of the email recipient):

Dear {{}},

I am [name] of [group], and we are planning to run a booth at [event] from [start day] to [end day].

We are looking for people to join us at the 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 update 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

Small booths: 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, flyers, postcards, and stickers, which you are encouraged to distribute! Please fill in the online order form for promotion material to make sure you have all these goods 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 event 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!

Larger booths: order your booth package

You may soon want to go far beyond merely distributing stickers and flyers. If you are ready to take a little bit of responsibility, you can extend your booth with FSFE banners, rollups, merchandise, and the possibility to make cash donations to FSFE.

If you want to do that (and you are encouraged to do so as soon as you have some experience with FSFE's booths), please do not use the promotion material order form as described above, but instead use the booth preparation form. FSFE's office staff will coordinate the necessary steps with you. At the end of the process, you will receive a booth package containing:

What we can't include in the booth package is the change you will need when you sell merchandise. You'll mainly need 10-Euro bills, but also some 1-Euro and 2-Euro coins and 5-Euro bills will help.

Prepare Hardware (Optional)

Prepare a mini PC and a monitor for presenting slideshows, or for example our FSFE15 year Video with the correct subtitles or the Public Money Public Code video at the booth. Prepare a tablet PC so people can the FSFE right at the booth and subscribe 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 people from the FSFE community

A booth is also an occasion to meet other people from the FSFE community who live near the event location. So you may consider organising a local group meeting nearby the event location.

1 week before the event

Prepare the material

Send a reminder to the people helping at the booth that you are meeting at the Booth. This communication should include more detailed information, namely:

Before the start of the event

Set up the booth

Make sure that your booth is completely set up at the time the event officially starts. In case you have the opportunity to set up the booth at the day before the event (FOSDEM is a good example for this), use that chance and completely finish the booth setup at the day before. Still working on the booth setup while visitors are already passing by looks unprofessional and destroys opportunities for valuable contacts, interesting conversations, and merchandise sales.

There is a separate Wiki page about good booth design.

Verify the merchandise count

Even though our office staff takes utmost care when packing the merchandise, it is always possible to make mistakes. So if possible, count the merchandise before you start selling and verify it with the numbers written on the order sheet.

Fill the wallet with change

... and remember how much of your own money you did put in there!

During the event

There is a separate Wiki page about how to act when representing FSFE at a booth.

At the end of the event

Get rid of promotion material

Please do not send promotion material back to FSFE's office. Try to find a good use for the material you could not distribution during the event. For example, there might be visitors at the event with contacts to a school, an university, or a hackerspace, who could take the remaining promotion material and distribute it there.

Within 1 week after the event

Write about the booth

The best way to do so is in a short blog post with a picture (two to three paragraphs with a picture is already fine). This way others who were not there also can see what you did. If you do not have a blog or you prefer other media, please send a report to your local mailing list or the general discussion list to let other people know about your booth activity. In any case, please send a report and nice pictures to <contact AT fsfe DOT org> so we can reuse your pictures and feature your activity.

Settle the merchandise and the donations

If you have any questions regarding the settlement of the booth, please do not hesitate to ask your contact person in the office.

Let others profit from your experience

Update this How-to and the other Wiki pages about Booths with your notes. :-)

Category/HowTo Category/Booth

KnowHow/Groups/OrganizeABooth/BoothTimeline (last edited 2023-12-15 16:46:31 by tobiasd)