The statistics alone for the Norfolk Makerfaire are impressive alone. They had 46 tables on display (including Fedora), 1300-1400 attendees, and they issued one Band-Aid over the course of the day. When put in perspective that it was the first faire put on by members of 757 Labs, they are even more impressive.
It didn’t take very long after the doors opened to realize that this was not a “normal Linux event”. People weren’t walking up to the Fedora table to complain about this or ask why this package was pushed. People were walking up with their entire families. Moms were asking about Linux while their kids were amazed at the SELinux and Beefy Miracle stickers. If no other win was recorded from this event, the number of 3rd graders proud of their awesome new SELinux sticker on their backpack would have been worth the effort. Happily there were others.
- We handed out approximately 400 Fedora DVDs. People were consistently amazed that the DVDs were free.
- Users ran the gamut from RHCE’s who worked from NASA to soccer moms and dads with kids in strollers.
- As always, the One Laptop Per Child was extremely popular. Kids were amazed at the maze program. Parents were amazed and were looking to donate and get more information.
So all in all the Norlfolk Mini-Makerfaire was a much larger success than I anticipated. The only con was that we went through a lot more swag than a Linux convention would have gone through.