openSUSE:Launch party HOWTO

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Here you find the launch party how-to. It contains a simple 5-step plan on creating a party - but keep in mind that you can do it any way you want! Organizing a launch party is not meant to be difficult and should be enjoyable, also for you! So don't stress out, just take these steps and have a lot of fun!

The main thing to keep in mind is that organizing an openSUSE party is easy: getting some fellow geeko's in a room is an instant recipe for fun, so that's all you have to accomplish.

Five Steps to a successful launch party

There's a number of questions you might want to ask yourself. The biggest question is about size: how big do you want it? Next up, how formal. We suggest to keep it small and informal the first time around: a living room party with 10 people is a great way of having fun and a good start of an awesome new tradition!

We won't try to cover all the bases here, but focus on the average launch party. There are 5 steps you should take to successfully run a party. Keep in mind that you have to keep a balance: extra effort into the party will be appreciated; but it has to remain fun for you as well so ask others to help out if you start doing a big event!

Find a nice location

No location = no party. You can be creative with this - from a coffee shop to a club, from a living room to an office or university room - it is all great.

What does a location need to have?

  • Something to eat and drink
    • In an office or living room you can order pizza together ("everyone trows in $5") and ask people to bring drinks
    • In a cafe or coffee shop food & drinks can be ordered by everyone for themselves
  • Easy to reach with public transport and/or car
  • Optional (note that it's meant to be a party, not a sales meeting!):
    • the ability to give a presentation to show what's new in KDE (beamer!)
    • power and wifi so people can bring their laptop to install the latest openSUSE and/or get help with issues and/or demonstrate new things

Pick a date

Launch parties aren't limited to the release date. It's fine to organize a party 3 or 4 weeks after the release, when people have had a chance to test it out!

Example: For a release in September as we had it for openSUSE Leap 42.1 it might even make sense to do the release party in December or even January.

Find a sponsor

This step is not mandatory but will help you a lot with the golden rule of putting in the extra effort. Your employer, the local IT company or computer shop might be willing to spend a little bit of money so you can sponsor some drinks and/or food as it's nice advertisement for them. Just go out and ask politely, you will be surprised what you can get. Some extra cash might come in handy later on.

Promote it

You have to make sure that everyone you want to attend has heard about the party as far in advance as possible! People plan their lives and there are tons of events going on you most likely compete against. Convince them yours is the one not to miss :-)

What to do:

  • Make sure you register the event on the openSUSE Launch Party page so the Marketing Team can write about it and people can find it easily!
  • Blog about it. It's nice to give a bit of an agenda of the evening - the better they know what will happen, the more likely it is they will come.
  • Create hand outs and posters and spread them around. You can find posters on this page.
  • Inform your local newspapers and magazines about the event, they might even show up and report about the event and openSUSE. Keep in mind that they have a press date! That can mean that you have to inform them up to a month before the event. Most magazines and papers print the press date for their next issue inside the imprint.
  • Create a facebook event and send invites, tweet about it and use other social media sites to spread the word. Ask the marketing team to re-tweet you and post it on the openSUSE facebook page!
  • Send out email invites to the local Linux User Groups and other possible interested people like schools, universities, IT departments of companies, IT departments of local authorities and the like.
  • Tell the openSUSE:News team about your event so they write a post for openSUSE News.

Prepare It

What happens on your event is up to your imagination and the only real limited is the amount of preparation you want to put in. The more you want to do at the party the more you have to plan for in advance and it has shown that events work best if the program reflects the abilities the organizer. However this has a lot to do with individual experience so it's kind of hard to give advice about it. Try things, be creative, give your event a personal touch and remember to put in someextra effort.

Some ideas:

  • make or order a nice openSUSE cake!
  • give a presentation on what's new in the release. The announcement and marketing materials should give you plenty to put together a quick talk of 20 minutes or so
    • Or ask someone else to give a talk.
  • You could ask people to bring laptops to share tips and ideas on openSUSE or help each other with the upgrade to the new version
Don't plan too much. Really, if you have a 20 min presentation and then the eating of cake, you'll be fine - after that, people chat and drink beer and have fun.

For larger events you might want to use some form of sign up so you can plan better. You can of course use your email address and some text file for this but there are also various free tools in the web, like EventBrite or for just finding a good date, use doodle.


If you want to give a presentation, find some materials on the Presentations page. There is a bunch of standard presentations you or someone else could give. Be sure to check the notes, as they explain what you need to say!

Getting cool stuff™

It's always nice to have some things to give away at a release party. The openSUSE marketing team has some goodies like stickers, flyers, DVD's and t-shirts we can send to you! You could do a little lottery or give away some things to long-time local openSUSE contributors and the DVD's and flyers you can give to people to hand out to their friends and family.

If there is anything left, just save it for a local conference where you can hand it out!

If you want to organize a release party and get stuff, put your details below and order the materials via this website. Note clearly in the description that you want stuff for a release party so we prioritize your request!!!

Count on at least 2 weeks shipping and handling time in Europe and the USA, 3-4 weeks in the rest of the world.

Report about It

Once you successfully ran your launch party we would of course hear about it! For this we would like to ask you to please send an e-mail with a report on your party to the marketing mailinglist. Please answer these questions:

  1. What was the events name?
  2. When was it?
  3. Did anyone sponsor it?
  4. Who organized it?
  5. Tell us about the event!
    1. What exactly did you do?
    2. Any interesting story you would like to share with us?
    3. Care to share any photos or videos you took?
  6. How much promotional material (DVDs etc.) did you distribute?
  7. How many people were there attending the event?
  8. How did you promote the Event?
  9. Would you do it again?
  10. Did your report about the event elsewhere?

If you follow these five steps and put in the extra effort you will make a bunch of people happy, maybe even introduce some new people to Linux and help to promote the openSUSE Project! But most important you'll

Have a lot of Fun...