Executive Summary

Our team delivered tech training, help, outreach, and swag items during the SCaLE 18x 2020 event.

At a Glance:

  • What: An open source software conference in Pasadena, California
  • Where: Pasadena Convention Center
  • When: 5 – 8 March 2020

Our Team in the Field

This report is for the following Ambassadors / Red Hat Staff:

Brian and Scott welcomed guests to SCaLE 18x.

What is SCaLE?

SCaLE exhibits an awesome four day tech conference with open source training and general presentations. This year also marks the eighteenth year in the LA area. Wonder what happened last year? Check out SCALE 17x

First of all, this convention spans the gamut of Linux and technology ideas. The Conference Chair, Mr. Ilan Rabinovitch, and Technical Committee Chair, Hriday Balachandran guided our team through check-in. As a result, the entire SCaLE team arranged an all-around info-filled show.

Conference Highlights

Day 1: Thursday 5 March

We met in Pasadena to bring supplies for the expo portion of the conference.

First of all, our team found exhibit booth number 512.

Brian and Scott furnished the Fedora event box, banners and banner stands (thanks Veronica!), and tablecloth in the morning. Later that afternoon, Perry dropped off additional supplies.

After that, Scott and Perry returned in the early evening for pre-setup. We observed a little dust on the tablecloth and some folds on the top of one of the banners. Neither, however, resulted in showstoppers.

Our team inspected banners and took care of booth pre-setup tasks

We also checked in (as applicable) to our various hotels. The room appeared clean and comfortable. It had a lovely wall view 🙂 .

Iván and Alex arrived in the evening after a lengthy day of customs and travel.

Day 2: Friday 6 March

On the following morning, we set up additional computer equipment and swag in our Exhibit Hall booth.

We finished setting up well before our start time of 2 P.M. Even more, the conference supplied us a booth in the center of a high-traffic area and a stone’s throw from the Red Hat booth. Due to this prime spot we estimated 300-400 guests visits.

Because we had a good amount of ambassadors, we took shifts as needed for grabbing a meal, taking breaks, or learning new things.

Our staff learned how to make things do stuff in expo workshops
  1. With really great questions and feedback
  2. Who clearly extensively run and breathe Fedora
  3. Who provided the secret code words from Fedora social networking streams.

Additionally, our team helped connect guests with answers and results.

We surprised a few guests that have never used Fedora that it is free to use. Furthermore, some had no idea that some of our Spins, for example Security, even exist.

Also, some general questions we asked guests tended towards open-ended (not direct “yes” or “no” answers) to enhance discussion, such as:

  • So tell me what brings you here today?
  • How do you use Fedora?
  • If you’re not using Fedora, what do you use and why?
  • Do you have any suggestions or comments for us to pass upstream to Fedora?
The Fedora and Red Hat Teams get together for a delicious feast

Day 3: Saturday 7 March

Similarly, we returned the next morning to resume meeting with guests.

Our second peak day drew in an estimated 350-450 guests.

Later that evening, Perry, Alex, and Iván presente Fedora 31 Highlights. This tech training workshop focused on what’s new in the current release. Almost 20 guests attended this live outreach talk.

Afterward, we assembled for a fun enjoyable Game Night.

Some guests built sculptures during Game Night

Day 4: Sunday 8 March

The last day, in contrast, brought 200 guests to our booth. Above all, many returned to provide feedback/suggestions at our table.

Ben Cotton (right) chats with a guest about Fedora

Ultimately, Ben, Perry, and Veronica packed up the booth for transport.

Suggestion / Feedback Box Items

At our booth, we had a sign-in sheet for visitors to offer feedback, suggestions, and comments about Fedora.

From the data collected, we pulled out some key highlights.

It might help to study whether making more youth-friendly stickers/swag and encouraging under-18 participation in conferences might maybe result in more youth attendance numbers.

There were 38 respondents on the sign-in sheet. Of those,

  1. Down-rev Distro: 7 guests appeared to be using very dated versions of Fedora (less than or equal to Fedora 29) or haven’t used it since Fedora 29. One still uses Fedora 8 (?).
  2. Marketing/Demographics: 13 have not used Fedora yet or do not use Fedora. 1 only uses CentOS/RHEL due to work.
  3. Marketing/Design Team: 7 had positive booth feedback, ranging from “Best booth ever!,” “Cool booth” (twice), “Cool booth swag,” “I love the stickers,” “STICKER (sic) ARE GREAT!”

Moreover, various had general positive feedback on the Fedora distribution, ranging from:

  1. All: “Keep up the great work!” “Love it” “Keep doing great!” “FEDORA!” “FEDORA BECAUSE REASON!” “Thanks for fedora (sic) ♡” “#LoveFedora” “#Fedora” “Keep up the great work!” “I teach it at Santa Monica College. It’s good!” “Go on with the good work” “Awesome vers! Thx.” “Occassional (sic) user, love it” “Thanks 🙂” “I’ll definitely try it!”
  2. Marketing/Design: “STICKERS/SUPPORT”
  3. Environment: “Great desktop and GNOME support!”
  4. Spins: “Thank you for keeping the Cinnamon spin”

In contrast, guests provided suggestions range from:

  1. FAS: “Please fix [FAS] user [account problem] (account name suppressed)”
  2. Stability/Architecture: “Awesome! Dell XPS 15 (7590 [2019 version]) freezes a bit though”
  3. Tool request: “Photo”
  4. Accessibility: 1 felt accessibility is very important.
  5. USB Sticks: 10 would like USB sticks for installation

In addition, guests providing swag idea recommendations include:

  1. “Shirts”
  2. “Stickers”
  3. “Hex Stickers”

What Worked

Preview of this year’s Fedora ribbon. Design by FAS: duffy
  • The ribbons and lanyards definitely proved eye-catching with Fedora fans.
  • Having our table nearby the Red Hat Team certainly helped.
  • The super-key keycap stickers, shiny “POWERED BY fedora” chassis stickers, “Women in Fedora” stickers, and colorful kid-friendly stickers delighted guests.

Future Event Box Swag Suggestions

  • T-shirts: 25 of each size. Also, having a small set of shirts for our ambassador team to wear would probably promote the Fedora wordmark and double as uniform.
  • About 100 thumb drives available for imaging with Fedora so people new to the distro can easily try it out.
  • Fedora ribbons of different designs
  • Hex stickers of different designs
  • Youth-friendly stickers

Other General Suggestions

  • Have Fedora sponsor a Fedora Day at SCaLE.
  • Game Night sponsorship might prove advantageous.

Final Thoughts

In closing, guests appeared to leave the expo with the feeling of community. Consequently, other distro reps stopped by to greet because we spark open chat.

Overall, the whole team expressed excited attitudes. Most notably, feedback from guests on the talk indicated that it sounded helpful.

In conclusion, that’s it for news from SCaLE 18x. We hope to see you next year!

Perry, Alex, and the Team say, “See you next year!”