22 June, 2010

grabin' them at a tradeshow

So our cool booth dudes and dudettes are regularly hard at work at booths on tradeshows, telling people about our great community.

I've been there many times, and there are a few thoughts I'd like to share. This isn't just meant as a how-to or a finished plan but also to start a discussion - we can improve in some area's and why not discuss it in public so anyone can weight in and add comments ;-)

So here a few insights from others and me since the last happening at Linuxtag:

  • first of all, the booth must be clean. Either we 'work' at the booth, or sit/hack somewhere else.

  • We must make sure we know what we're selling. We should have a list of selling points. The promo team is on this, and we'll distribute it to booth attendants once it's done!

  • Reciprocity: giving something makes ppl want to give something back. If we want to get them to sign up for our supporting membership, having some give-aways is important. This is related to the booth box, also in the works. But we currently don't have many give aways, as funds are limited. Should we put money in this?

  • Have pretty things at the booth. We should have one or more cool devices in our booth box which ppl will want to play with. Touch screens +1! However, again something which might be costly, so we should probably ask sponsors for things.

  • Ask questions. Not only to figure out what people want or are interested in to find an angle to talk to them, but also because questions simply make people more open.

  • Use examples: talk about successful KDE deployments, how we have millions of users and how we get a lot of positive feedback!

I could go into the evil psychological schemes behind the these things, but they're probably clear. So who knows other things we can and should improve on at the booth?