The most important task for project members to represent the OpenVZ project on an exhibition is to run a booth for OpenVZ. This is quite easy since it is sufficient for a very simple booth to hook up a machine running a OpenVZ system and somebody explaining how it works and answering questions. It is, however, recommended that at least two people staff the booth and that you use posters and flyers along with some more machines.
Trade shows and conferences often provide a place where a couple of developers can meet, even if they are located far away from the main conference or exhibition. Often foreign developers are invited to give a talk, so even these people can be met there.
Type of events
OpenVZ can be promoted at different types of events:
- User group meetings
and there are a few ways to promote OpenVZ:
- OpenVZ booth
- OpenVZ presentation
- OpenVZ installation/showcase
We prefer to have both a booth, as well as one or more presentations that involve OpenVZ.
Preparing the event
First get in contact with the organizers and see if OpenVZ can be present at the event without cost. Make sure you communicate that we target both business users as well as consumers. Since we are a volunteer organization we cannot afford to pay for the booth or pay for the entrance to the event.
Preparing for a presentation
Depending on the size of the event, we may want to have more visible/involved people give the presentation, like the project leader or one of the builders. Depending on the subject or audience, more technical or more business-oriented.
Also often it helps to give a presentation in the local language to reach more people, or have simultaneous translation if possible.
Preferably the presentation should define Enterprise Linux in general, and OpenVZ specifically so people grasp the basic idea behind OpenVZ. Our aim is never to force OpenVZ on people, OpenVZ is not always the best solution and as long as we highlight our strong points and weak points, people are smart enough to make their own judgment. And if we do well in explaining the pros and cons of OpenVZ, people may remember OpenVZ later when there reasons for using something else are changing.
Preparing the booth
Before asking for a booth it is important to know in advance what we want to use it for, and have at least one but preferably two persons (that speak the local language) at the booth at all time.
We usually have the following "services" at the booth:
- A TFT screen (All in one PC is a good choice) showing slides in local-language about:
- OpenVZ flyers, business cards and stickers
- Business cards are useful to write information/solutions/names on the back
- Stickers are a giveaway (to people that promise to use them)
- On-the-fly burning of CD/DVD images for a donation
- Booth personnel that can answer questions
- Often you have to address people directly that pass by
- Giving an explanation often attracts people, especially when using slides
- Don't spend too much time talking with the same people if other people have questions
- An access-point that advertises information about the booth and OpenVZ (if allowed)
- A demo system to showcase something quickly (or allow people to search for something)