As openSUSE 11.3 is around the corner and will be released on July 15, it’s now the right time to prepare your Launch Paty in our city or region. Gnokii just posted on the openSUSE marketing mailing list the following which should help orgainizing such an event and will help to avoid mistakes made already by others.
What’s a Launch Party?
Launch Party means an event around the fresh released openSUSE version. What kind of event is up to the organizator. Its usually an event to spread the word around openSUSE, share knowledge with others and get people on the openSUSE train.
Different kind of events
do an informal meeting in a club, pub or whatever. Target is to get people with the same interest (in this case openSUSE or Linux/FLOSS) together. Its the easiest way to make an activity arround a openSUSE release. For this is only a place needed. This form of activity is really a good first step to build a local community with people which are interested in openSUSE. You can discuss with
the guests some new features from openSUSE and have some fun.
Some example of such an event:
- Strainu did an event for openSUSE 11.2 in Romania and invited some friends from the floss scene in a trattoria, thats actually a good idea. Because all “geeks” like pizza.
- HeliosReds in Japan did the same form of Launch Party. He invited some openSUSE friends to a dining bar and waited with his guests for the release announcement and had a lot of fun with them.
- do a demonstration of the new openSUSE. For this you need a room. The size of the room depends of the form of the presentation you want to give. For a greater demonstration you need maybe a beamer and a screen. There is the possibility to make a demonstration for the local Linux User Group if there one exists. The demonstration of the new openSUSE of course can be extended by more topics of the openSUSE ecosystem such as the openSUSE community, SUSE Studio, openFATE, the openSUSE Buildservice (remember the Build Service 2.0 just released a few weeks prior to the 11.3 launch) etc.
- do a workshop covering the usage of other free software application like OpenOffice, Blender, Gimp or Inkscape or other programs that a user needs for their daily tasks. Thats the most challenging one because you need to make sure to have a room with a number of computers in (hint: schools often have such rooms) it or make sure that all guests come with their computer and have the same and right version of the program (close to impossible) which will be covered in the workshop. Last release Andi Sugandi from Indonesia did this form of event. On his launch event was a workshop for OpenOffice and for Blender.
- do an install fest to help people installing the latest openSUSE on their machines and help them to conquer issues if there are any. For an install fest you need a room with power supply and internet connection to be able to install security fixes and programs which are not in the repositorys of openSUSE but are needed or just convenient. For doing an install fest you need to be really familiar with openSUSE as challenges will occur system wide and you just know afterwards which issue arrised in today’s install fest.
All above mentioned launch party forms can be mixed together and additions are possible. There is no limit. Just the size of the even is limited to resources you can activate. One of the important things is to have a good first event. The following ones will be much easier and the better the first one is the more people will come to the second one. Gnokii has a few tricks which should make your first event a succsess:
- less is more. Don’t over estimate. It’s better to start with a smaller then trying to do a big one first which lacks important stuff.
- cooperate with other projects, cyberorg from India cooperated with Ubuntu and strainu in Romania cooperated with Mozilla and Fedora and could in that way create a more interesting event and distribute the load of organization to more people
- do marketing for you event. It is the most important thing to get any visitors. Spread the word to anyone you know in the area, maybe print posters and display them in schools or other education facilities or IT companies. Many cities have event magazines where they put in every event they know about – so inform them. If you need help with flyers, posters orother graphical stuff for your Launch Party, gnokii prepared a template design for the 11.3 Launch Parties with the design of 11.3. Send him the text (remember 5W-Rule Who, Where, What, Why and When) and size that you need and you get back a printable version.”
- do photos and write an article about the event afterwards. Publish it on your blog, on lizards.opensuse.org etc. – this is already marketing for you next event
- get openSUSE merchandise. Try to get some flyers, stickers, t-shirts etc. from aj or michl. Inform them early as they are lazy guys and shipment needs some additional time.
For openSUSE 11.3 I hope that all openSUSE Ambassadors participate and organizing a launch event. For openSUSE 11.1 we had 16 events and for openSUSE 11.2 27 events. That’s much better but not good enough. My target for openSUSE 11.3 are 50 events or more worldwide. In such places like Taipeh we have 4 Ambassadors there should be definitly a Launch Party. Barcelona, Vienna, Jakarta and Singapore too. The early bird catch the worm! So let us begin now with the plannings for the launch events.
When we work together we can make more centralized marketing then just the page in the Launch Party wiki page can do.
Gnokii has some ideas for it. Maybe we can do a twitter wall I organized for the openSUSE Conference with tweets and pictures from the events to show live whats going on. So now it’s up to you, make the first step and begin to plan your Launch Party. If u need help then talk to Gnokii. If you have ideas, what can be done at such a party so step out and say it maybe its a really interesting idea. Add your experience to our wiki and contact Gnokii for advise, questions and so on.