All in all, Chemnitzer Linuxtage 2010 was a very successful event.
I, including some of the Ambassadors from the Benelux/Western German Region , arrived on Friday evening to be greeted by J. Simon in Chemnitz.
We checked into our hotel after a 7 hour drive from Southern Netherlands and quickly headed off to a restaurant to meet other ambassadors and FOSS community contributors. The weather was cold and snowing, but not quite as cold as the Netherlands, due to the fact that we were in a landlocked region of Europe. After a bite to eat, we met other contributors at a local brewery to discuss our respective projects and what our plans were for the event which started the next morning.
The event was held at the Technical University of Chemnitz (a.k.a Karl Marx stadt) in their modern building which was spacious and properly equipped with a fast Internet connection and modern rooms for presentations and lectures. There were benches and tables set up on the top floor of the exhibition room where visitors could have a place for meeting and working on their laptops. Next to the entrance was a full wardrobe facility for visitors and also a childcare facility which had places for children to rest and a massive Lego set-up with various toys to keep young children busy while their parents attended the event.
Purpose and Focus:
The purpose and focus of CLT 2010 was a little different than other events I have attended in the past. Most events were geared towards the technical aspects of the various communities where CLT had a user focus of curious people, newbies, and those contemplating on switching to Linux. There were a wide diversity of projects at this event from distro' s and desktops to 3D modeling programs, DAW' s and music labs set up for recording and mastering music, as well as, academic projects. There was even a PC doctor where you could drop off your laptop if it had problems and the technicians would try and solve the problem while you were attending the event. A nice little touch, I thought ;-)
From initial observations, we entered the event and were met by a member of the event organizing team who was pleasant and professional in manner and immediately escorted us to the main booth where we were issued our event passes and meal passes. Thereafter, he escorted us to the location of the Fedora booth. Initial observation showed that the booths were very well evenly placed within the building without excessive overcrowded areas. This provided plenty of space for exhibitors and visitors alike to walk by and stand in front of the booths without interfering with the flow of traffic in the aisles of the event. It was also worth noting that the cords and cables were well organized and covered with carpet and secured with tape around all of the walking areas of the exhibition hall.
Throughout the day we were in contact with the event organizers which were happy to answer our questions and discuss the planning involved with the event. After the initial impression from day 1, I could confirm that the event and it's organizers were well informed, professional and highly organized. There was security present at the event 24 hours a day for both days and event personnel present 24 hours a day at the entrance who were attentive and checked all people entering and leaving the event at all hours of the day and night.
The catering for the event was split into two sections. There was catering in the main hall for visitors and where a hot lunch was served both days in a timely fashion. The second section was in a private room and for event exhibitors and employees. I did not have a chance to try any of the visitors catering meals, but could observe that it was a nice sized meal for the price and generally people looked content. The catering for the exhibitors was well thought out with a good variety of hot and cold dishes, coffee and tea, candy, cakes and pastries, and a variety of juices and soft drinks. The staff was very cordial and efficient at always having food and drink available no matter how busy the lounge was at times;-)
The weekend consisted of various meetings in which I had with ambassadors which I have not already been acquainted with and finally had the pleasure to meet with and talk about various topics and issues within the Fedora project. It was nice for me to discuss with others what their feelings were about Fedora and what they viewed as needed to be improved within the community. In addition, I spend time at the Fedora booth speaking to various ambassadors and other community members while informing and answering questions that visitors had about the Fedora project. It was a nice balance of the internal and external aspects of the Fedora community and how it interacted with other communities and the macro environment.
On Saturday evening the event organizers planned a social event for exhibitors, volunteers and staff of the event on the top floor of the building. Long tables and benches were arranged (german beer garden style) and a nice buffet consisting of a nice balance of fish, meat and vegetarian dishes, pasta and various canapés, fruit and desserts. In addition, there was a wide variety of local beer, soda, juice, wine, coffee and tea served. The food was excellent, fresh, and the caterers had plenty of food and drink available for all.
During the social event there was also entertainment provided. During dinner there was a jazz band playing and after the dinner a magician who traveled around to each table to give a personal show to people with a mix of comedy, magic tricks and balloon animals for the children.
We had a very nice time at our table with members of the Fedora ambassador team and our sister community of centOS.
In conclusion, I would be comfortable in recommending this event to anyone. It was a very pleasant event with a relaxed atmosphere that was focused for all Linux users and contributors, possible adopters, and those just curious, as well as, their friends and families :-)
The planning and operations of this event were far superior to any other FOSS event I have attended and the organization skills were almost impeccable. Everything was thought out to the last detail and the planning yielded a good balance for the different types of people attending the event.
The ambassador team present at the event were professional and well organized also. It was especially nice to see those involved in cross/supporting project helping out and switching "hats" to help their fellow community members.
All in all, I would like to thank the event organizers of CLT 2010 for their superb event, Joerg Simon the event owner for his excellent organization skills and the extra special effort that he has made to make us ambassadors feel taken care of, and our fellow contributers who made this event possible.
From my personal and professional viewpoint, I believe the Chemnitzer LinuxTage should serve as THE example of the standard that ALL Fedora events should strive to be!!!!