Last thursday I was in London at the London Java Community (LJC) first "Meet a project" event.
Getting there started with an aborted take-off in Stuttgart. The plane accelerated on the runway and then all of a sudden did a full breaking. We exited onto the movement area, parked there for some minutes and then circled back on to the runway to finally take off. But anyway, I arrived safe and early enough in London.
The "Meet a Project" (MaP) event was held at the University College London campus. When I arrived a few attendees were already there and soon after Barry, the organizer joined too. We started in one room to explain "the rules" and then split into three rooms.
Myself talking at the back table in the last of the six sessions.
To explain how MaP works, one can think of "speed dating for projects". There were six projects present and thus six groups have been formed, each sitting around a table. The project ambassadors (like myself) then spend 15 mins per table to present the project, explain about open source in general and give hints where and how the attendee may get involved and help the project.
As I did not know what to expect (and as this was the first incarnation of the MaP, no one really did), I created a small slide show to explain about RHQ, and had a handout prepared to give to interested attendees. For the individual sessions I always took the full 15mins. Almost all attendees were very interested and I distributed over 20 handouts.
After the sessions were over at around 8:30pm we went to a hotel bar to do some socializing, and then Manik, Davide, Sanne, Richard Warburton from jClarity and myself went to an indian restaurant to finally have dinner.
I cannot yet tell if the event was a success in the sense that RHQ project really got any new contributors. What I can tell is that the format of "speed dating for projects" felt really good to me, as with the small groups one could have an intensive session with direct feed back if the concepts were clear. With around 50 attendees I am happy to have given away 20 handouts. And while socializing a few attendees told me that they have never heard of RHQ before, and that has been good to hear about. And one lady switched tables to be able to listen to me before she had to leave earlier :)