Promo/Events/Booth How To

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KDE booths should aspire for a high(er) standard. There is work to do to prepare this, but a few things can be done rather easily. In this page we'll try to share with you how to set up the perfect booth! Some of the contents of this page come from this talk from the openSUSE Conference 2013.

why a booth

A booth at events is there for three kinds of people:

  • newbies
    • We want to show them what open source and the KDE community are about. We demonstrate our software and let them play with it.
  • advanced users
    • We answer questions, give them tips and hopefully convince them KDE is awesome!
  • experienced FOSS people
    • They probably have settled on a desktop and that is fine. Just be there for them, show KDE is relevant, active, fun. Even if they want to use GNOME Shell, we do matter: we have software that is cross-desktop and relevant for everybody; and even if THEY won't use KDE software, friends of them might want something more powerful and flexible...

basics of a booth

As we want to talk to people, we have to make sure that our booth is open and inviting; and it has to represent KDE properly!


Being open means being friendly, inviting. Don't sit behind a wall of tables hacking on your laptop! Instead, put the table(s) to the side or back and stand in front. Talk to people who might be interested, give them a flyer.

Engage people with a question: are you a linux user? If so, what do you use? How is it for you?

representing KDE

Make sure you can explain the KDE manifesto! It represents our philosophy and it matters to us.

Also important is that you know what we do and how we do it. Know our projects (Plasma Active, Calligra, Amarok)! New release, news... See also Promo/Strategy#Hot_Topics.2C_Good_Answers\here for answers to some hard questions.

Engage people:

  • Ask questions to draw people in: "are you a Linux user?" "ever used openSUSE?" "Tried it recently?"
  • Try to find out what they need/want and how technical they are. "how long are you using Linux?", "have you tried other distributions?"
  • Don't waste time on negativity. Ask them to email the lists or use the forums with their issues and complaints if you can't help them quickly.

Practical tips

  • Try to create a space for talking. If there is a table, move it to the wall instead of having it between the visitors and the KDE people
  • Try to be easy to recognize. As long as we don't have specific t-shirts for that, just take one of the merchandise T-shirts and wear 'em.
  • For a start here's a guide: Organize a booth and keep your sanity
  • Here are some notes (with materials sources) from the Usenix LISA 2011 event.
  • One workable booth preparation list.


  • Remember to include URLs and QRs in printed material so visitors can easily visit our sites and learn more about our project
  • Related to above: make linked online information aesthetically and thematically coherent with the flyers, but with more depth.
  • KDE volunteers tending the booth should be actively attracting and talking to visitors or showing our technology. Not coding.
  • Keep count of the number of visitors to the booth. Give each volunteer tending the booth a tally counter.
  • Have errand person(s) who can nip around and out for things that are needed or to find people. Must know lay of the land and where to buy stuff (electrical and electronic equipment, stationary, etc.).
  • Agree on IM communication channel for volunteers. Everybody must agree to use the same channel and keep it active all waking hours.
  • Get some blue tablecloth at approximate the shade of blue in the logo.
  • Bring a twentysomething inch monitor and some computer that can drive it. Adapt a slideshow [john layt provides a link hopefully] for your audience. Make it run looped on the setup. People are going to be attracted by this, so be ready to talk about the slides
  • Ensure that the people in the booth knows about the slides and can talk a bit about them.
  • Bring powerstrips
  • See if you can acquire a chair and use it when no visitors around. But only when there are no visitors around. and be quick to stand up. else you will be complaining about your feet or knees in the evening
  • Have some stickers and stuff available. Claudia can mail them around. Ensure that there is enough on the table at all times, but not too many. Too few makes people not wanting to pick them up. Too many makes people take a entire handful.

For bonus points

  • Get a KDE Banner and such.
  • Maybe bring a extra laptop to be able to demo apps on. Though less important than the above. Open up marble. slowly zoom into the area where you are to ensure tiles are cached for showing off. Have a file that demonstrates massif-visualizer [link] and afile to demonstrate kcachegrind. [link]. Get data to fill in kontact [link]

PRO tips

These things you can do bringing extra life to the booth. It does take some work, though!

Tip 1: if you have give-aways, consider selling (lottery/drawing, sale-to-highest-bidder or just sales) & donating proceedings to event organization. They will love you (and believe me, that matters more than you think) and you get credit from the visitors, too: they like this! Plus, it's simply a good feeling to do something good :D

Tip 2: Organize little talks or demos at the booth. They won't attract huge numbers but they do give you a chance to interact real close with a few people and that's a big bonus! Subjects don't have to be about KDE - talk about what YOU know about, let the others on the booth do the same, and it's all good.

Tip 3: Promote your booth, what you do and the talks around the place! Go to the organization, tell them about what you plan (1 and 2?) and ask them if it is OK if you hang up a few posters. Then BRAND the frackin' place and make it look as KDE as you can! Include a poster with the talks your team gives, and include the location of the booth.

Tip 4: Connect with other projects. Like with the talks - it brings non-KDE people to our booth. Have some materials from other projects at your booth, that's perfectly cool. Be open and with others!