Every event is organized with some assumptions in mind how things would go on, thus it is required for all the participants to reflect back on our assumptions to understand what worked and what didn't.

Pressures

  1. Last year's SFD had more organizers than visitors due to failed outreach efforts. This year required conscious efforts to not repeat the same.
  2. To renew the feeling of a community in order to take on long term tasks, especially to undergo a transition from a voluntary community to a community organization.

New things we tried

  1. Sending formal invitations & posters to schools & colleges via post.
  2. Collecting numerous low valued donations instead of one or two big ones.
  3. Give out certificates for the participants to validate their individual contribution.

What worked

  1. Low valued donations from various people worked well. The whopping Rs. 11,001/- figure resounded as a show of the community's strength.
  2. Petit Seminaire as a venue on Sunday to attract crowd.
  3. Increased women participation for the event.

Unintended things that worked

  1. Baskar Selvaraj's role as an external person to witness the events, give valuable feedback and inspire the community for further action.
  2. Shivani Bhardwaj's involvement in understanding and encouraging the community's women participation, among other things, giving suggestions for an appropriate career path and skill building for the tech scene in India.
  3. Vikneswaran's fundraising efforts were unexpected but helped quite a bit. That helped make small differences like buttermilk, better plates etc.

Things we needed to put more effort into

  1. Visual documentation of activities in the form of photography or videography should have been planned better, so that almost all of the SFD could be experienced.
  2. First time participants who put up stalls were missing out on few things to do at the event. A stall manager's checklist should have been supplied to all participants.
  3. Time management, the event was wrapped up only at 7PM but many participants came from places outside the city. This could have worked out better.
  4. Participant & coordinator needed more communication to ensure that everything was as per the shared objective.

What we wanted to do but couldn't do

  1. Distribute digital contents like ebooks which were part of digital commons or public domain.
  2. Formalize FSHM's executive committee through general assembly. This would have brought further transparency into who represent FSHM as an organization and what their roles would be.
  3. Make a booklet containing information about Free & Open Software and Hardware, FSHM, FOSS alternatives, stalls etc. This booklet was supposed to be in bilingual
  4. Talk about FSHM's transformation from being a Linux users group to socially conscious community organization, past projects like weather station, mesh network, March for science rallies, teaching FOSS at schools, protesting against surveillance, fighting for privacy, net neutrality.

We don't know if it worked or not

  1. If the formal invites & posters sent through post were distributed or displayed.
  2. What was the source of information people used to come to the event. Did they see the poster, Facebook or did someone personally inform them?

Feedback

This is the collection of feedback that was received during the meeting at the end of the event.

  1. Try Facebook's advertising to reach out to the public (most of us are against it on principle).
  2. Stalls need to have more space between them in order to facilitate longer & deeper conversations.
  3. Share coordination burden among more people. This allows for more things to happen simultaneously.
  4. Weekly meetings are necessary to continuously engage public.
  5. Physical handouts & DVDs are necessary to facilitate the visitors to take action after the event. This can be made for the whole event like the intended SFD booklet or participants can make a few for each stall.
  6. Participants need to work on their stalls week or two earlier to avoid last minute rush.
  7. Help onboard people onto FSHM's communication channels like Riot.im, mailing list & Facebook.