Vancouver Fedora 11 Release Party Report – What we learned

1. Need to act like a product demonstrator.

This is some things that I have jotted down from notes that I have had for a while.

We should aim to appeal to the market that we are promoting to and remember these people are not experts, but rather they are ordinary, average people seeking information/help. Remember, your advantage here is identifying with the customer, i.e. I used to be like you, now my “problem” is solved because “I simply did x,y,z.” Provide a solution to their problem.

Instead of simply demonstrating the features behind the product, we need to sell the benefits behind the features. This is a critical persuasion technique. Identify the potential problem before offering a solution.

Take a few seconds talking about how you have used your company’s products in your home and business. By doing so, you show that you care about the product and your not just getting paid to ‘sell’ something with which you have no personal connection.

The majority of speakers are not “qualified experts” with extensive proof that their product works (for example testimonials, screenshots, endorsements, etc). And that’s fine – provided you position yourself in your presentation as an “average guy who overcame the problem” and come across as believable.

Remember, people want to like the person behind the product. There is an old saying that lenders invests in people, not buildings or things. They need to respect and admire the person behind the company before they considers investing. Your listeners want to make an investment in you. Make them feel good about the person they’re backing.

Although your Unique Selling Point is one of your greatest assets, do not be intimidated by this. Your USP can be as simple as supplying your phone number on your web site, or your customer service, or your willingness to offer support. Your USP has to be something that you are able to offer over and above your competitor, so think about this carefully and detail its benefits in your presentation. Once you have found something that separates you from your competition, push it hard.

Always, always speak in an informal, friendly manner – position and offer yourself as approachable on the subject.

2.To many people do not know what Fedora is, a few knew what Linux was.

We need to make an effort to disseminate what Fedora is. This is something that I had noticed at LFNW, OSCON (when it was here in Portland) and at this Release party. My numbers came out to be about 50% knew what linux is and only about 15%-20% knew what Fedora was. So in my opinion we need to promote more towards the 80%-85% of the general population that do not know what Fedora is. For us to put a advert poster etc. that says ‘. . .Fedora Release party . . ‘ without explaining what Fedora is, well that means we have to hope that the 15-20 people out every 100 that read the poster are interested… not very good advertising if it is only written towards 15-20 percent of your reader base.

I am not the only person that has noticed this just recently ..

this was written to the Ambassador list by J. Palander

“Hi all,

Does somebody have any statistics how well Fedora brand is known?
Or do we have some official statistics available by Fedora project?
(Joerg, do you know?)

I rise this question because I have faced the problem many times, that
people does not know what Fedora is. If I explain that it is one of the
Linux-distributions, then they may understand what it is all about.

I just made a _very small_ survey on my area by stopping 10 people from
the streets and showed them a Fedora logotype and asked just 3-4

1) In what profession do you have/work?

2) Do you know what this is (showing the Fedora logo)?

and if answer was “NO”, I asked
3a) Do you know what Linux is?

if answer was “YES” (**, I asked
3b) Do you use Fedora now or have you used it before?
4) Do you use any other Linux now or have you used some before?

This is what I got:

1) Unemployed, Salesman, Student, Student, Taxi-driver, n/a, Retired,
Dentist, Salesman, n/a
2) No, No, Yes, Yes, No, No, No, No, No, No
3a) No, Yes, Yes, Yes, No, Yes, No, Yes, No, No
3b) -, -, Yes, Yes, -, -, -, -, -, –
4) -, -, Yes, Yes, -, -, -, -, -, –

(** All answers like: “is it an operating system?”, “it is a computer
program”, “yes, its our server” etc. was accepted as “Yes”.

This gives me a feeling that Fedora as a brand is not known (as is) well
and we ambassadors can only do something for the issue.
I think that the Fedora-graphics team should think also an alternative
logo which says something like “Linux Fedora” or “Linux Fedora OS” or
“Linux Fedora Operating System” etc. This just to point out that it is a
Linux and it is an operating system. This could help people to know that
there is an alternative available for Windows etc.

3. Make sure to have wires bundled in organized fashion.

All the loose wires looks very un-professional. Need to make sure all clutter is hidden.

4. Need to make sure to have some kind of talk or presentation.

I think at least 1 presentation along the line of ..The benefits of Fedora(Linux) over other Operating Systems.. is an absolute necessity and also lets the people know what Fedora (Linux) is in general before even listening to the presentation, or coming to the event what ever it is.

5. Some kind of R.S.V.P.

Using e-mail, twitter, facebook, blogs and a phone # we should be able to get a reasonable R.S.V.P. system set-up. I know that everyone will not R.S.V.P. and not everyone that  R.S.V.P.’s will show up, but at least we will have some kind of idea.


One Response to “Vancouver Fedora 11 Release Party Report – What we learned”

  1. JP Says:

    I follow the tech scene in Portland, but I never saw this event advertised. I would suggest doing so next time in and other places that list and talk about local tech events.

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