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Re: Report on LDP at Montreal

>>>>> "D" == David Lawyer <dave@lafn.org> writes:

    D> Was it worthwhile?  If one compares the time and money spent to
    D> attend against the benefit to the LDP, then it wasn't
    D> worthwhile, especially in view of the fact that we had six
    D> people there. 

To be fair, I was at the Expo anyway, as a Mandrakesoft affiliate and
technically as part of their exhibit space; since they were overrun by
the public, I felt they did not need much help and, apart from a few
marginally annoying groupies who hung around all afternoon, we were
much more able to talk to the public at the LDP booth than at the high
traffic and rapid-fire Q&A around Mandrakesoft's booth.  Besides, as
much as I like the Mandrakesoft crew, the LDP was a lot more fun.

    D> one or two was needed to man the booth, there was time to visit
    D> the other exhibits and attend talks.  Thus it may have been
    D> worthwhile if one considers the benefit to the individuals of
    D> attending.  There was press coverage of the Expo and I don't
    D> know if we were included.

I watched the Montreal CBC news Tuesday night and there was no
coverage of the show at all.  It may have been covered on the 6pm news
or perhaps only on the French language CBC.  Where the LDP did score
was in Guylhem's conversations with many potential sponsors. I will
let him elaborate later; the short version is we may have some new
donations of hardware and perhaps even some help with our presentation

    D> ...  We needed some large banners to put up at our booth even
    D> though the expo had put our name in bold letters above our
    D> booth (and we put up some sheets with the Linux penguin on it).
    D> Also it would have been nice to have had some terminals
    D> displaying our documentation so that people could sample it.

I proposed we set up a barbeque; Guylhem had apparently threatened the
previous day to start a bonfire ;)

What we do need is something to show what we do.  This expo was very
useful for us because many French (and some Spanish) attendees did not
know we had such a complete collection in those languages.  A frequent
request was for a list of everything we have, and to that end, a good
handout might have been a simple one page list of all our titles in
each of the main languages.  

We should also consider seeking sponsorship to produce a simple CD
with all our current documentation.  Ideally, we would have a CD to
give away where all the documents are available in HTML with a search
engine CGI program so a local display could let the public enter the
keyword and search for documents just so they can see the breadth of
our collection.  Of course, we could have done this with an Internet
connection, but I expect printing CDs would be cheaper than renting
access lines at every show.  I know Mandrakesoft has been very
(amazingly) supportive of our displays, but perhaps some distro can
use their commercial bulk rates for CD duplication to create a CD we
can hand out.

We were not the only org with a shortage of presentation materials.
FSF only had a box of T-Shirts, Linux International had a thrilling
demonstration of Maddog wrestling a 4-foot penguin (Maddog won ;) and
SEUL had a braille terminal, but otherwise, all the "Generation Linux"
tables (they stuck all the orgs in a corner) had bare tables.

David and I talked about creating an archive of presentation materials
for open source orgs; if orgs could upload presentations and handhouts
to our collection, when there is a show and only a few of us can find
sponsorship, they might download the presentations from the other orgs
and offer them to the public.

Frankly, my biggest disappointment was the absense of any of those
overstaffed vendorbooths in embroidered denim shirts (T-Shirts are not
good enough anymore) sparing just a few people-minutes to drop by to
sit in at any of the org tables.  I'm not complaining, but I did bring
it up with people at most of the other booths and while many assured
me they would at least consider it, not many even came by to visit.

For next time?  If possible, we should try to have a standalone mirror
of our site somehow on a laptop, or at least make a handout that lists
all our titles.  Another handout (one-page is best) of information for
how to become involved in the LDP would also be useful, especially at
these multi-language shows (we had several people interested in doing
translation).  A CD of our works in HTML and PDF would be wonderful to
have as a giveaway; I am certain we could have distributed a few
hundred of these (and it should also have a title page that includes
info on who we are and how to get involved) 

Finally, we should have bribed that giant penguin to waddle by our
booth, and then got him (her?) drunk and unruly, just to draw some
focus to our area :)

Gary Lawrence Murphy <garym@linux.ca>: office voice/fax: 01 519 4222723
TCI - Business Innovations through Open Source : http://www.teledyn.com
Canadian Co-ordinators for Bynari International : http://ca.bynari.net/
Free Internet for a Free O/S? - http://www.teledyn.com/products/FreeWWW/

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