As the organizer of Fedora's first presence at GITEX - now that I have
had a week or so to reflect on (recover from) the show - what went
well and what can we do better?
WHAT WENT WELL
* PLANNING: By giving Red Hat plenty of advance notice, Red Hat
graciously provided us with a demo pod and HP desktop. The desktop
with integrated Intel graphics allowed us to wow the passers-by with
wobbly windows and rotating cubes - eye candy, but eye-catching,
important at a large show. A special thanks to Veronique Borel, who
organized Red Hat's presence at GITEX.
* BLOGGING: Posting about the Fedora Project at GITEX was well worth
the effort. Incidentally, we were the top page rank for GITEX on
Google for quite a few weeks. Thanks to the Fedorans who encouraged me
* ONE-ON-ONE: Lloyd Almeida and I, as Fedora Ambassadors, spoke to
dozens of people about Fedora and FOSS. Lloyd, who works in Dubai,
made contacts for the linux user group he hopes to start up soon.
Thanks, Lloyd, for your invaluable help and enthusiasm.
* MEDIA (CDs and DVDs): All told, we distributed hundreds of media to
the crowds. Red Hat shipped about 400 Fedora 7 DVDs to the show, which
were put to good use. Red Hat and the RH partners were very helpful in
spreading the word about Fedora. They gladly handed out Fedora DVDs
and Live CDs. Thank you to my fellow RedHat EMEA, OpenNet MEA,
Margirus, AMD and IT University booth dwellers.
* BROCHURE: The Fedora Project flyer in both English and Arabic was a
great tool. The excellent artwork gave a very positive impression of
the Fedora Project. Thanks, Ahmed Kamal, for your bilingual design.
* OLPC: The OLPC XO laptop was well-displayed and caused quite a stir.
I was able to speak to several VIPs about this significant educational
project. Yes, the technology is cool, too. Thank you to the Red Hat
and Fedora people involved in the OLPC project.
* BUDGET: On a personal note, I stayed within my modest budget in a
very expensive city. Thanks, Bill, for putting me up and putting up
WHAT WE CAN DO BETTER
* I personally printed the two-sided flyers on a deskjet printer at
Bill's villa. Next time, I'll get them professionally printed.
* More Fedora ambassadors would be very welcome. Lloyd and I could
only cover 3 out of 5 days of the show. (We did have some ambassadors
who volunteered, but were unable to attend due to the prohibitive cost
of flights and hotels in Dubai.)
* I would like to present a booth talk on the One Laptop Per Child,
perhaps in a more official capacity.
Going to the GITEX commercial exhibition, with a little help from my
friends, was definitely worthwhile. I believe we, as Fedora
Ambassadors, were able to inform people about the advantages of free
and open source software. I found it personally rewarding to
demonstrate the OLPC XO laptop and to introduce people to the Fedora