On Friday and Saturday I was lucky enough to have gone to Linux Live in Olympia London UK and work the stand with Alex. As Alex has blogged the show was very quiet and it seems the .org village was an afterthought to the organisers.
As Alex said in his blog http://www.alexhudson.com/blog I think that there was not enough advertising and the show we were paired with was the wrong one as the two user groups had completely different interests and priorities. I saw many a creative user swagger confidently into the area and you can see how his facial expression changes from complete confidence to utter fear step by step as he walks further. When he can’t take it anymore a swift about turn on the heel and almost sprinting he leaves and sighs a huge sigh of relief when he finds himself amongst the apple logos.
This scenario was played out over and over again for the two days I was there. Many of the other OSS people I spoke to were also under the impression that this would be their last excursion into London. This is a great shame as I think LinuxWorld and LinuxLive could have been a great way to bring the communities together.
Now that my rant is over I would like to mention the positive things that I and I think Bongo took from this expo.
I learned that I am actually not petrified of people and talking to them, I actually started enjoying the challenge of finding the expertise level for a interested party and then tailoring the pitch to their level, but when they started talking arrays and memory management etc… I just passed them on to Alex.
Not having a working Web interface was a big stumbling block in the demo stakes as many people were keen to see what it looked like and you can only do so much with the admin interface. J
I learned about the freebie hunter and their mating habits.
Bongo made some great contacts regarding potential collaboration with some big projects out their.
I learned about how great a database postgresql is (it helped that their stand was next to ours)
I also found the angels pleasant to watch as their small hands worked the kinks out of the shoulders of many a client (I still wish I had gathered the courage to book myself a session)
As this was my first outing as an exhibitor I believe I will have much more fun now I know how the other side feels when I go to more of them.
I think the biggest benefit was that Alex and I had many hours in the day to chat about Bongo and just plain shoot ideas at each other (the be honest it was more Alex shooting ideas and me looking stunned or lost), which is invaluable to a project like ours where brainstorming is a key player in what we do.
All in All I was impressed and disappointed at the same time. We need marketing material to hand out we need business cards and we need to have a working solution that we can show people.
Andy it might be time that we resurrect the Bugle again.