Ubuntu CA team member, Ubuntu user, official Ubuntu member, guest blogger here on I Heart Ubuntu & friend Philip Ballew has been instrumental with setting up Ubuntu Hours across California. Philip has written a simple yet excellent guide to hosting successful Ubuntu Hours here:
We need to get the word out. Just like any other event, how can new people come out if they do not know it exists. Create flyer’s and put them in places around town. Not just the location of the meeting, but places where possible Ubuntu Users are gonna be. Also carry some around with you because you never know when you might need to pass them out.
Not every person who attends the hour, is gonna be subscribed to the Ubuntu loco email list, or hang out in your LoCo’s IRC channel. In fact, most Ubuntu users probably don’t even know what IRC even is. Therefore it is vital for the event to be consistent in both its location and time. Make sure if there needs to be a change in venue, it is made clear to the previous venue so people who attended the previous venue can be made aware.
- Good Conversation:
If the new attendees to your Ubuntu event are going to want to come back they need to have a good time when they are there. One way to do that is to simply engage them in conversation about Ubuntu and Linux with them personally.It is important however to try to figure out what their technical level is and not try to out talk them with technical terms to make them feel as if all Linux users know everything about computers and they do not, and also if they are more technical then you, find some commonality you can talk about without making them feel bored about the lack of technical conversation. (ex. the desktop environment and why they use it)
- Answer all questions asked:
If they come to you with a problem they are having with their Ubuntu computer, fix it or find someone who can. Certainly do not leave them where they were when they started with when they showed up to the hour. if you or anyone there can not fix it, give them your email or cell phone number. meet them for coffee in a few days after having done some research and fix it then.