Ubuntu Open Week - How to market and plan an Ubuntu Party - ChristopheSauthier - Wed, Apr 29th, 2009

UTC -4

(12:02:27 PM) huats: ok
(12:02:30 PM) huats: let's go
(12:02:42 PM) huats: First a little introduction. My name is Christophe Sauthier, and I am the leader of Ubuntu-fr, the french loco.
(12:03:03 PM) huats: I am going to talk about : "How to market and plan an Ubuntu Party"
(12:03:30 PM) huats: please post all you questions on #ubuntu-classroom-chat, starting them by QUESTION:
(12:03:37 PM) huats: and mcsean will paste them here
(12:03:50 PM) huats: (he might filters them a bit)
(12:04:36 PM) huats: For the past few years we (Ubuntu-fr) are getting famous, for many actions
(12:04:46 PM) huats: and in particular our parties which gathered many people
(12:04:55 PM) huats: with "THE" 4000 party that happened in Paris in last November.
(12:05:10 PM) huats: Our team have been asked for some months to detail our best practices. This is what we are getting to do right now.
(12:05:31 PM) huats: I will detail that in this session, feels free to ask all your questions on the dedicated channel. Starting them by QUESTION:
(12:05:44 PM) huats: I will try to answer them inside the session or at the end, in a dedicated time, with the help of others members of the team.
(12:05:57 PM) huats: Ubuntu Party ? What is it ?
(12:06:08 PM) huats: First of all what do we organize ?
(12:06:25 PM) huats: It is important to say that for us, the interest is not to do a simple release party with coders.
(12:06:45 PM) huats: No, we want to share Ubuntu around us, and even more since we want to help to promote free software and free culture by promoting Ubuntu.
(12:07:01 PM) huats: So it is important for us to gather some other communities during our event.
(12:07:02 PM) kenvandine_wk left the room (quit: "Leaving.").
(12:07:17 PM) huats: As a result in our last event there were a conference from the mozilla community, some free software french supporters, some free culture conferences and workshops.
(12:07:46 PM) huats: Date/Place
(12:07:46 PM) huats: The first step is not necessary the most simple :
(12:08:01 PM) huats: to set the perfect date and the perfect place.
(12:08:12 PM) huats: Based on our various experiences, it is a crucial step.
(12:08:25 PM) huats: You have to decide them a long time before the event.
(12:08:41 PM) huats: By instance our next event (16-17 May) dates have been decided in last november !
(12:09:06 PM) huats:  It is important  for your audience to find a place with good public transportations, parking.
(12:09:25 PM) huats: and many stuffs that might help them to come easily
(12:09:43 PM) huats: Even if the place is not famous for its technical conferences, we rather have a place that is know to people, so that they can say
(12:10:01 PM) huats: "if it happens there, in this place that I know, I might find something interesting for me".
(12:10:15 PM) huats: Also try to find a place and (when it is possible) and stick with it...
(12:10:25 PM) huats: We are doing our party in Paris in the same place since feisty.
(12:10:39 PM) huats: So now our audience know the place.
(12:10:50 PM) huats: Is there any questions so far ?
(12:11:00 PM) huats: am I going to quick ? too slow ?
(12:11:05 PM) mcsean: None so far
(12:11:14 PM) olive: any beers ?
(12:11:28 PM) huats: ok
(12:11:32 PM) huats: so let's proceed
(12:11:43 PM) huats: Building a team
(12:11:43 PM) huats: Once you know where and when your event will take place, you can ask yourself :
(12:11:51 PM) huats: who will be there to organize.
(12:11:53 PM) huats: ?
(12:12:15 PM) huats: I am sure you have lots of people in each of your teams willing to help.
(12:12:30 PM) huats: So finding a group of core organizers should not be a real problem.
(12:12:53 PM) huats: But keep in mind that you have to pick people you can rely on
(12:13:04 PM) huats: Currently our group is composed of about 10 people.
(12:13:17 PM) huats: This group is in charge of leading/planning the event from this moment.
(12:13:40 PM) huats: Each tasks should be done by pairs, so that you have backup is someone cannot participate anymore for any reasons.
(12:14:03 PM) huats: And most of all every actions should be trackable on a common repository (we use a wiki).
(12:14:22 PM) huats: Each aspect of the event should be lead by someone designated before the event.
(12:14:43 PM) huats: Imagine that during our last event there was around 100 people willing to help...
(12:15:06 PM) huats: It was needed to have them driven/assigned before the event.
(12:15:35 PM) huats: It is also important to notice that we are doing all our event with the help of LUGs (especially regarding the install party part).
(12:16:28 PM) huats: question ?
(12:18:02 PM) mcsean: QUESTION: how do get the word out to a large number of people?
(12:18:24 PM) huats: We do rely on LUGs for a large part of it
(12:18:50 PM) huats: (especially for the install party which is really people consumming)
(12:18:59 PM) olive: we have big forum
(12:19:06 PM) huats: we also have a lot of volunteers to help
(12:19:16 PM) huats: that are getting in touch thanks to our forums
(12:19:17 PM) mcsean left the room (quit: Remote closed the connection).
(12:19:30 PM) mcsean [n=mcsean@] entered the room.
(12:19:56 PM) huats: in fact we do have a great thing : since we are french speakers, a lot of our community is using our forums
(12:20:03 PM) huats: (the french speaking one)
(12:20:23 PM) huats: it helps to gather the people, and it ease the broadcasting of the informations
(12:20:37 PM) Froad: RAWR
(12:20:56 PM) huats: I'll continue
(12:21:03 PM) huats: Having a team is good.
(12:21:11 PM) mcsean: QUESTION: if you don't have a LUG in your area, has your experience been that a release-party is a great way to get one started up?
(12:21:42 PM) huats: hard to say
(12:21:55 PM) huats: of course you can do a release party without a LUG
(12:22:08 PM) huats: but in that cas you need to start to build a comunity
(12:22:26 PM) huats: and it is a completly different topic that running a party
(12:22:40 PM) huats: I think that in that case
(12:22:47 PM) huats: announcing an event
(12:23:02 PM) huats: might be a great way to meet people with the same interest
(12:23:11 PM) huats: and thus to initiate a community
(12:23:16 PM) huats: not necessary a LUG
(12:23:57 PM) huats: OK I continue
(12:24:22 PM) huats: vent if we spend most of our time on IRC, we really think that there is a need for at least 4 real life meetings for each party :
(12:24:42 PM) huats: 3 before and 1 after.
(12:24:56 PM) huats: It helps to work on the project but also to allow people to know more each other, which is great for the community.
(12:25:02 PM) huats: Each meeting is separated by a month at least.
(12:25:44 PM) huats: Creating a conference Planning
(12:25:44 PM) huats: Since our event is not only an install party, but also filed with  conferences, we have to set up a real conferences planning.
(12:26:20 PM) huats: We start by putting down names of conferencers we like and themes that we would like to have.
(12:26:30 PM) huats: On the first of the IRL meeting, the conferences are selected.
(12:26:42 PM) huats: Then the people in charge of dealing with it contact each envisaged conferencer to explain him the idea and the date.
(12:27:01 PM) akgraner: QUESTION:  I am really new Ubuntu so besides release parties, bug jams, install Fests, what other cool Ubuntu things can you plan a party for?
(12:27:01 PM) huats: We want to have the conference program (with schedule and the conferencers agreement) finalized at least 1 month before the event.
(12:27:55 PM) huats: akgraner: there are many others stuffs to do
(12:28:58 PM) huats: we are about to do some documentation jam, based on the same principles than bug jam but to ensure the quality of our documentation (wiki) which currently gathers thousands of articles
(12:29:50 PM) huats: akgraner: it is not really the aim of that session.Since we are more focussion of Ubuntu Parties in the sense of an evernt that happen to "celebrate" a new release
(12:30:07 PM) huats: We can discuss that later on the -chat channel
(12:30:51 PM) huats: Enlarge the targetted audiences
(12:30:59 PM) huats: We try to interest many kind of audiences.
(12:31:06 PM) huats: People without any backgrounds can come and enjoy our introductions sessions, or our first time hands-on workshops.
(12:31:48 PM) huats: We are also doing some improvements tutorials for advanced users. Bugs Jams also...
(12:31:58 PM) huats: And of course we are doing a install party huge event party during the whole event. People who are here to help for the install party wears badges explaining in which part of Ubuntu they have the best chance to help you (ubuntu ? kubuntu ? xubuntu ? network ?...).
(12:32:55 PM) huats: It is a great help for the people who are attending you session
(12:33:07 PM) huats: since they can easily spot the people who might help them
(12:33:34 PM) huats: But a great event won't be a success
(12:33:39 PM) huats: if there is no pblic
(12:33:45 PM) huats: and to have some
(12:33:54 PM) huats: you need to do some marketting !
(12:34:27 PM) huats: I said previously that the conference planning have to be done1 month before the event
(12:34:32 PM) huats: You might ask yourself (or myself), "why one month ?"
(12:35:03 PM) huats: Because it is the time where we start the biggest part our marketing strategy :)
(12:35:34 PM) huats: I say the biggest part since we have started to briefly announce it to some medias : linux or computer oriented, and "small" media corporations.
(12:36:29 PM) huats: This announcement have been done on the time frame event - 8/7 weeks, in a press communicate that we have validate during one of our IRL meeting (it have to be written before).
(12:37:22 PM) huats: 5 weeks before the event (and up to the event),  we start to annouce the event on personnal blogs.
(12:37:51 PM) huats: 4 weeks before the event (and up to the event), we contact again the media that were already contacted before (weeks 8 and 7 before the event).
(12:38:01 PM) mcsean: QUESTION: how do you communicate with media?
(12:38:17 PM) huats: 1 week before the event we contact all mass media to announce the event. And the week of the event every national medias.
(12:38:24 PM) huats: Of course it is needed to get some contacts with them before that dead line in order to know who to contact...
(12:38:34 PM) huats: So to answer the QUESTION
(12:38:52 PM) huats: we communicate with them using our connections
(12:38:54 PM) huats: :)
(12:39:01 PM) olive: !
(12:39:04 PM) huats: contacting them directly
(12:39:15 PM) huats: olive: he is the one who is doing that
(12:39:23 PM) huats: he can eplain that
(12:39:48 PM) olive: I don't speak english
(12:40:08 PM) huats: ok so I will
(12:40:10 PM) olive: I notice you an answer
(12:40:30 PM) huats: we have a press communicate that we send to the targetted medias
(12:40:40 PM) olive: by mail
(12:40:45 PM) huats: and thereis a press contact at the bottom of it
(12:40:58 PM) huats: and then they contact us :)
(12:41:02 PM) olive: (I am this contact)
(12:41:23 PM) huats: It is important to notice that for many years
(12:41:33 PM) huats: the same press contact have been choosen
(12:41:48 PM) huats: so that there is a relation that start to be established
(12:42:17 PM) huats: Also we do not hesitate to do flyers if there is an event where there is a potential audience that might be interested in our party.
(12:42:30 PM) huats: We did 3000 because we were attending Solution Linux, a business and private event that took place in Paris last months.
(12:42:30 PM) olive: it's not easy everyday !
(12:42:59 PM) huats: Oh and one final word : you do need to publish every media you have contacted to tell them the result of your event.
(12:43:16 PM) huats: It is a great asset for the next time you'll contact them to announce an event. In the same idea, you need to publish on various blog/website pictures/summary of the event.
(12:43:41 PM) huats: Logistics
(12:43:42 PM) huats: You plan to sell some stuffs to earn some money for your team ?
(12:43:56 PM) huats: Great we do so. But you must dedicate a pair of people for handling that. Looking for the best rates, harassement of the good producer is really time consuming...
(12:44:07 PM) huats: We have someone who is taking care of ordering the CDs, the Tshirts and of the goodies that we have...
(12:45:03 PM) mcsean: QUESTION: How much would you have to spend up-front and how much would you get back?
(12:45:23 PM) huats: can you explain a little more your question ?
(12:46:08 PM) huats: there is no rulefor that
(12:46:10 PM) mcsean: What are the upfront costs for purchasing the items you mentioned for a release party: CDs, TShirts, Etc
(12:46:34 PM) huats: it depends a lot in the scale you are doing
(12:46:55 PM) huats: by instance we are doing more than 3000 CD for each release
(12:47:11 PM) olive: 3500 this time
(12:47:26 PM) huats: (I know I said more than  :)
(12:47:38 PM) huats: there is no golden rule for the cost by item
(12:47:48 PM) olive: (Oh yes, you'r right)
(12:47:52 PM) huats: since each item have a different price
(12:48:22 PM) huats: mcsean: canonical provides 300 CD for each approved loco for each release
(12:48:32 PM) huats: but we need ay much more than that
(12:49:12 PM) huats: Since there is not more question I am continuing
(12:49:21 PM) huats: The event !
(12:49:21 PM) huats: Just 2 words : smile and enjoy... Smile because it will be a hard day. Enjoy once it is done, and smile because it has been a success..
(12:49:34 PM) mcsean: So, for a group that's just getting started, forming a loco and then planning a release party would be a good plan.
(12:49:44 PM) huats: mcsean: indeed
(12:50:18 PM) huats: The step would be the debrieffing
(12:50:25 PM) huats: Each organizer have the right to express his feelings. And it helps to improve for the next time...
(12:50:37 PM) huats: It is what is done during the IRL meeting after the event
(12:50:55 PM) huats: it helps us to set some areas of improvments
(12:51:41 PM) huats: Any questions ?
(12:52:02 PM) huats: jcastro: if not it is done
(12:52:03 PM) didrocks: just note : IRL meeting are very important because you can express more directly than IRC one. Also, it's a good excuse to take a beer too :)
(12:52:03 PM) huats: :)
(12:52:36 PM) mcsean: QUESTION: this process, your experience seems quite efficient. how long has it taken to get to this point?
(12:52:39 PM) huats: didrocks: if you had attended it you have noticed that I stressed IRL meetings
(12:52:40 PM) huats: :)
(12:52:42 PM) olive: beers and "betises de cambrai"
(12:53:05 PM) didrocks: olive: just once ;)
(12:53:22 PM) huats: QUESTION: this process, your experience seems quite efficient. how long has it taken to get to this point?
(12:53:44 PM) huats: We are doing our parties to the same place since feisty...
(12:53:54 PM) huats: and there was some small one befre :)
(12:54:12 PM) huats: so it is quite a long process :)
(12:54:14 PM) olive: 100 vs 1200
(12:54:27 PM) huats: it is far from being perfect
(12:54:35 PM) huats: but it gets better and better
(12:54:40 PM) olive: (100 = dapper and edgy)
(12:55:30 PM) huats: So I think it is it
(12:55:33 PM) olive: QUESTION: can you give us somes pictures ?
(12:55:39 PM) huats: What can I say more ? That everyone is welcome to come to the next Ubuntu Party that we have in Paris 16-17 May :) If someone is around please ping/email me !
(12:55:59 PM) huats: QUESTION: crisis points/ serious strains on event day? what has gone wrong or really taught you something to improve?
(12:55:59 PM) mcsean: QUESTION: crisis points/ serious strains on event day? what has gone wrong or really taught you something to improve?
(12:56:02 PM) huats: :)
(12:56:19 PM) olive: We can say, where is Mark ?
(12:56:19 PM) huats: there are always some crisis
(12:56:20 PM) huats: :)
(12:56:53 PM) olive: no. no crisis
(12:56:54 PM) huats: we had a big stress because "we lost" 400 Tshirts
(12:56:55 PM) huats: :)
(12:57:13 PM) huats: but no real crisis
(12:57:25 PM) huats: some small event that we have always been able to manage
(12:57:36 PM) olive: everything is perfect
(12:57:42 PM) didrocks: mcsean: those parties can emphasize your "serial killer" side between organizers. Then, just take a brief, and show must go on :)
(12:58:46 PM) huats: Thanks everyone
(12:59:55 PM) huats: thanks mcsean, olive, didrocks, quesh and everyone who participated

MeetingLogs/openweekJaunty/UbuntuParties (last edited 2009-04-29 18:15:38 by pool-70-16-48-183)