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DFF Horizont White

Start Guide

This start guide is designed to introduce you to event and give you some tips and pointers for organizing your own team event. If you have any questions please join and use the team mailing list. You can also chat with us via Element on Matrix chat if you want to bounce ideas around or get more advice. We are also on Mastodon.

Forming a Local Team can be a fun, effective community building experience for your local user group and community. Digital Freedom Days (Software Freedom Day, Document Freedom Day and Hardware Freedom Day) are outreach days where you can inspire newcomers with the values and quality of Free Software, Free Hardware or Free Document standards and communicate the broader issues  through a variety of activities of your choice. Is there something locally relevant to your country or region that you need to express? Is there some great local success story you want to tell?

Celebrating on of these events is your chance to stand united with the entire Digital Freedom world with what you care about: Freedom.

How can I celebrate a Digital Freedom Day ?

There are three primary ways to celebrate one of these freedom days (xFD):

  1. Join a local Team and help make their event a success.
  2. Make your own team!
  3. Encourage local schools to make their events!

xFDs will be most effective if we keep some target groups in mind:

  • Families
  • Government
  • Small Business
  • Big Business
  • Schools and Colleges

Steps to build your team

  1. Read the CodeOfConduct page and see if you can agree!

  2. Sign up for the SFD-announce mailing list. This is a low bandwidth announce mailing list only. Team discussions happen on the discussion list which you are also encouraged to join.

  3. Log in to this site (or create an account if you don't have one yet), create your venue if it doesn't exist yet and submit your event to the calendar.

  4. Create a contact form to reach your team if you want.

  5. Update your event details after the event is done. Add recordings to the event page, include photographs.

The average {tip title="xFD is the general wording for any Freedom event: Software Freedom Day, Hardware Freedom Day, Document Freedom Day, "content="Some Digital Freedom Day"}xFD{/tip} event usually requires only one or a few organisers to share the workload and ensure the event is in hand. You can often recruit helpers from:

  • GNU/Linux User Groups
  • Hackerspaces, Makerspaces, Fablabs
  • Special Interest Groups (Programming Languages, Distributions, Applications, etc.)
  • Universities & schools
  • Computer clubs
  • Family and friends
  • Companies (Developers, Marketing departments, etc.)
  • Hobby enthusiasts (artists, authors or musicians who use Free Software, HAM radio operators, local clubs)

We have found that the event can bring the local groups together as well as grow the community as a whole. The number of helpers required depends on the sort of activity you choose, but generally, the more the better. That way people have a good time and it also becomes a social event. If your volunteers enjoy themselves, they will pass on a good vibe and offer to volunteer next year too

Remember, we are all volunteers so it is a matter of what we can, when we can. Always remember to thank your volunteers and make sure they have a good time.

What should we do?

Be creative! You can organise any kind of {tip title="xFD is the general wording for any Freedom event: Software Freedom Day, Hardware Freedom Day, Document Freedom Day, "content="Some Digital Freedom Day"}xFD{/tip} event you want. Your organising team can find a location / time to have a few meetings to brainstorm / discuss about the event:

  • Set your goals like objectives, target audiences, scale, style, theme.
  • Event timing (should it be a morning, afternoon, evening or a whole day event? why?)
  • Who can be the Master of Ceremony, host or speakers?
  • What should be included as contents?
  • Who else can you get involved?

But just to get you started, here are a few ideas some people have had:

  • Have a FOSS picnic or BBQ.
  • Run a booth at a market, fair or computer day.
  • Get together with schools, universities and other people who can benefit from Free Software.
  • Run a competition, best FOSS developed music, graphics, short video.
  • Set up simple public booth and hand out USB-sticks or DVDs.
  • Run some demo machines in a public space and show off your FOSS.
  • Hold installation workshops and combined FOSS installfests in schools, businesses or other areas.
  • Hold a seminar on Free Culture, Patents, etc.
  • Have a cultural event - food, drink, music (jam session? - Free Culture music).
  • Organise an expo to highlight local FOSS success stories.

You may also set a theme for your event / activity, we have a wiki page for team leaders to share your ideas here.


Depending on the sort of activity and scale of your event, you may need to set a budget for the event. It's good to prepare a budget plan and find ways to finance it, there are usually a few ways:

  • Sponsorship from Free Software Friendly Companies.
  • Donation from members of local communities and computer clubs.
  • Sharing cost among the participants.

If you plan to raise fund, it's good to prepare a proposal clearly specify the event details suggested as below and then approach different Free Software companies / organisations.

  • Objective of the event.
  • Target audiences.
  • Messages to be delivered.
  • Date and venue.
  • Activity scale and form.
  • Estimated budget plan.
  • Benefits of sponsorship / donation.

Promoting the event in advance

It is very important to communicate the event to your target audiences, there are a lot of ways just to name a few here:

  • Posters and flyers: Download the poster design from here (tbc), put your event details, print them out and post them in selected places two weeks before the event.
  • Announcement in different websites and mailing list: e.g. GNU/Linux User Groups, Computer Clubs, Interested groups, Colleges and Universities.
  • Press release: if you have connection with local press of your country / city, approach them, either send them a press release to build awareness of your event before and after the event or host an interview if possible. Otherwise, you can always approach local technology / IT related journalists to do so. You may want to contact them to make them come to the event.
  • Social Networking:,, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
  • Word of mouth: ask around to bring friends, family and co-workers to the event.

Preparing for the day

Below is a basic checklist that should cover most events that you would plan on running:

  • Got your volunteers organised?
  • Your venue is well prepared? Microphones? Video Projectors? White Screens? Whiteboards? Notice boards? Network? Internet access?
  • Are you planning to live stream your event? Have you checked our Video Conferencing page?

  • Do you need insurance for your event? (some people can look to larger organisations to help out with this. Ask around.)
  • Do you have schwag to hand out? CDs, flyers, balloons? Anything shiny that will give you the chance to engage in discussion. We are proud to be able to offer to teams gratis materials to help you look and be great on the day!
    • DFF encourages you to distribute any Free/Libre Open Source Software. Please keep in mind that what you distribute should be pleasantly usable by your target audience.

    • Look at FreeSoftwareMedia to get information about how to work with installation, etc. media.

  • Have you liaised with any other {tip title="xFD is the general wording for any Freedom event: Software Freedom Day, Hardware Freedom Day, Document Freedom Day, "content="Some Digital Freedom Day"}xFD{/tip} teams in your region or country? Sometimes this can help with pooling resources and having a stronger all round effort.
  • Do you have have decent signs prepared so people can find / recognise your event?
  • Do you have signs to tell participants how to tag, microblog, etc.?
  • Do you have a board to allow participants to write down what they feel about the event?
  • Is your event in an easy to find place that is useful to reach out to a broad new audience?

After the event

  • You may want to gather those materials that can be reused for the next event.
  • Of course, you have to indulge yourselves with a good meal to talk about the feeling of the event together with the other volunteers, saying thank you to all the volunteers are very important as well.
  • Encourage those volunteers / yourself taken photos during the event, ask organizers and audiences for their feedback, post them in websites and / or blog about it so that we can reach out even more people.
  • Send a press release to different press.
  • Send thank you letter and report summary to sponsors, speakers and supporting organizations.
  • Check out the event blog for ways your team can win great prizes! Make sure you also keep up to date with the mailing list for announcements and to share information with other teams.
  • Report on your event! It's easy to edit your event, and update details afterward.
  • Any feedback that could also help others, is welcome in the feedback form. This way, we can integrate your feedback in the Q&A pages for other (future) organizing teams.



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