Monday, October 13, 2008

PyOhio's table at Ohio LinuxFest

This year, PyOhio decided to buy table space in the nonprofit exhibitors' area of Ohio LinuxFest to publicize PyOhio (as well as PyCon and Python in general).

It was a really good decision! The "hallway track" is one of the most interesting parts of any conference, of course, but when you have a table of interesting stuff to draw people in and start conversations about, it goes to the next level. I barely made it into any formally scheduled events at all, and had lots of fun meeting people from the big and growing open-source community. I tried to preserve my voice, but I was half-hoarse by the time my 4:00 talk started.
  • Ponyshow was a big hit - it caught peoples' eye and drew them over to the table. I'd still like to add more flashy graphics to it for next year, though - I ran short on time, and had trouble installing pyglet. Tables in the nonprofit zone lacked electricity, but I used two laptops to get around that - one on display at the table and one recharging at an outlet elsewhere.
  • Python stickers donated by PyCon were an even bigger hit. If 1/2 the people who took a sticker are using or will use Python, we've got a very healthy community here!
  • I whipped up a homemade PyOhio banner that went pretty well. I projected our logo onto a wall, traced the outline, used an Exacto knife to make a stencil from the pattern, then used some fabric spray paint.
  • For next year: bring candy. We may see if we can do a swag raffle of our own, too.
  • A rerun of last year's Python introduction went well. The Python Beginners' Hackathon was good, but small. We'll have to think about what might need changes there.
  • I really like the idea of PyOhio running something on the Friday of next year's LinuxFest. Join the pyohio-organizers mailing list to help kick around ideas for that.

There was a lot of interest among the attendees. There were more people already actively using Python than I expected, and virtually everyone else knew Python as something they wanted to learn more about. I think we'll see that reflected in an even bigger and more intense PyOhio next year.

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