[FOSDEM] Call for volunteers

Christophe Vandeplas cvandeplas at fosdem.org
Wed Jan 21 19:03:51 CET 2009

(to quote the post Juan made on our website)

Yes, it's that time of the year again. No, not the time to get the plants 
inside. If you live anywhere near the Northern hemisphere, I'd say it's a 
tad too late for that anyway. No, it's time to slowly start migrating to 
Brussels of course, for what will be the 9th edition of the biggest, 
bestest Free and Open Source Software Developers' meeting in Europe: FOSDEM.

Organizing such a big event is quite a chore, but one (we hope) we manage 
pretty well. However, during the event itself, helping hands are in short 
supply as we count our own and lament not being Hindu gods. That's why we 
came up with a pretty crafty scheme to ease our burden and leverage all 
that organic energy we manage to attract every year.

Initially codenamed "operation exploit your visitors", later renamed to 
"operation free labour", we've gone public with the program some years 
ago under the name "call for volunteers" at the dorky PR guy's advice.

The way it works is very simple:

     * You send an email to volunteers at fosdem.org telling us which talks 
you wish to attend, and during which timeslots you don't mind lending us 
a hand or two. Or hey, if unlike us you are a Hindu god, make it four!

     * We start bargaining with you for your free time, in return for 
some heavy karma. Guaranteed 98.7% pure, commercial grade karma. Except 
for you Hindu gods. We'll work out a separate deal with you guys since 
you're our supplier and well, you probably don't want to haul your own 
goods back home after the conference.

     * Together we come up with a schedule that works for you, and lets 
us breathe a little easier during the weekend of February 6, 7 and 8.

So, what are the tasks involved then, you ask? Well, all sorts of things, 
really. You could be assisting the speakers by helping out with the 
moderation of the talks, greeting your fellow visitors and supplying 
information, handle donations or put your linguistic skills to good use 
translating for our foreign visitors. Then there's also calling taxis, 
guarding the equipment, helping with the setup, teardown or cleanup of 
the venue and I'm sure I'm forgetting half of it...

Oh, and management has requested I plug the following message: if you 
happen to be arriving earlier, and can help out on Friday, you're more 
than welcome too. Afterwards, we can all go to the Beer Event together 
and play a round or two of "pull Philip's beard". I'm sure the man would 
love that...

So, there you have it. Are you visiting FOSDEM, and can you spare a 
couple of hours on friday and/or over the weekend, let us know, and 
become part of the team. Uncle FOSS wants YOU!!!

Christophe  Vandeplas
cvandeplas at fosdem.org

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