FOSDEM 2019 - aftermath

FOSDEM 2019 is over. Thank you to all who helped to make this a success again for FSFE even though the conditions were less optimal than in past years.
Let’s collect feedback here about what was good and what we want to improve next year.

Some notes from my side:

  • At booth application, make an explicit request for a location with much space behind the booth to store our merchandise.
  • It was good that we could go from behind the booth to in front of it without passing through other booths, so let’s request that again next year.
  • We could bring less merchandise to Brussels next year.
  • Flyers should be presented with a focus on French, Dutch, English, and German.
  • FSFE people should file talks.
  • Reservation for 20 is enough for Saturday evening.
  • Reservation for 15 is enough for Sunday evening.

Hi Reinhard,

Thank you for starting this feedback process! I agree with most of your points, but I am worried that requesting a spot with space behind the booth and a direct exit will mean a location with much less visibility. I think things worked out fairly well already considering it was our first time with less space, but perhaps we could optimize our presentation a bit more and stay in the same location. I will think about that a bit more and try to come up with a suggestion.

Regarding the languages, I tend to say we could simply have only English and French and thus reduce clutter at the FOSDEM booth a bit.

Happy hacking!

Hi all,

I completely agree here. The FSFE booth’s location is well-known and a popular meeting spot even for people only remotely connected to our community.

Other than that, I concur with @reinhard’s feedback. Since I haven’t been behind the booth, I cannot evaluate the language selection.

PS: Thanks to everyone who helped to make the booth so successful, especially given the unusual circumstances!

Some more notes:

  • With the smaller booth, we must take extra care that we, each time we start having an actual conversation that goes beyond “what does the T-shirt cost”, must go 2-3 steps away from the booth so we don’t block access to the booth for other people.
  • No coat + no bags policy worked well, and it was absolutely necessary.
  • On Sunday evening, we had to force-distribute a lot of remaining snacks (fruit and cookies) to random people. Let’s buy less next year.
  • On the other hand, the total of 24 half-liter bottles of water seems to have been exactly the right choice for the two days.
  • Some people indicated that they would prefer a different location for the Saturday evening meetup, because they were not happy with the food available at F.M.

@floriansnow @max.mehl I had in mind to apply for a different location within the same room (building K lower floor). There was a row of stands on the window side of the room (where KDE and Libreoffice were), and they literally had 3 or 4 times as much space behind their tables than we had.

The FOSDEM organisers explicitly encouraged us to voice our wishes with booth application for next year’s FOSDEM. I of course agree that we could get a much worse location as well, but on the other hand we told several people of FOSDEM staff/volunteers that we’re not exactly happy with the fire extinguisher taking away 1/4 of our very little booth space, so it would be strange if we next year say we want the same location again…

If I remember correctly, the Friday and Saturday social events where in advance labelled as having a drink. F.M. offers something to eat and I was happy with the food available.

I still see this group picture [1] of one of the former years showing up on social media on "I Love Free Software Day"and it’s 2019. Maybe it’s an idea to make a new one on FOSDEM 2020?