You’ll notice that I have added a link on the sidebar to the Cuba Nostalgia Convention. I met with the organizers yesterday to iron out some of the details of my exhibition space and toss around some ideas and I decided that it’s probably time to start giving updates as to the whole process.
I was pretty much given carte blanche as to the actual size and layout of the space. I can have up to a 30’x30″ area – 900 sq. feet! – to use as I see fit. I’m presently working on designing the layout, both the form and function aspects. I dont want too large a space nor do I want folks visiting the booth to feel cramped. Even though I work architecture for a living, this design is not an easy task. Too many factors. Portablility, ease of movement, practicality, well themed, aesthetic and adaptability to computer and tech needs. Basically, I need a great, cool looking, techonolgically advanced set design. No es facil.
What worries me the most is the computers and the internet connections. What good would blogging from a big booth at a huge convention be if I cant get people to participate? Ideally I would like to have at least 10 computers – laptops – set up. One for myself to live blog the event, one or two set up specifically to have folks stop by and email fidel castro their thoughts and the rest for participatory blogging. I really want to show to the attendees how they can access news and information on Cuba – or anything – instantly through blogs.
I’ve contacted several computer manufacturers with the hope of getting them to sponsor the computer aspects of the exhibit. I cant possibly purchase 10 laptops and I dont know how feasible it would be to ask for a sponsor other than a tech company to provide the funds for these. I’ve yet to get a response from any of the pc makers I contacted. Ill probably wait another week or so and then look into other means of obtaining the laptops.
Im thinking of setting up a separate blog specifically for Cuba Nostalgia where I can have people write their own entries and posts telling stories about what Cuba means to them and how they lived before exiling to the states. There’s nothing like the look on an old Cuban when he or she is telling a story of the old days. They are simply vibrant in their expressions. Their eyes are always so full of life when they recall their island days. Of course, this is generally true of most older folks when the recall their youth, but it seems a bit different when it comes to Cuba. As if not only the youth is gone but something else. The culture maybe, the way of life. Something was stolen from them taht they’ll never get back.No se.
It’s you guys reading this that have made all of this possible. Without you Babal? would be just another webpage with a bunch of unread stories and rantings. I’m eager to hear any suggestions you may have about our Cuba Nostalgia Convention blogging. How do I get more folks interested? How to get people to actually come into the exhibit space? How do I set up the space? How do I procure laptops? What’s the best internet connection for a bunch of pc’s? What should the booth look like? Should I sell a few tshirts and if so which ones? What on Earth do I wear?
Come on people, help me out here! Im losing it.
Update: Reader Tati suggest a web cam set up so that those that arent in Miami can experience the convention. Sounds like a great idea!!! Ill get the Babal? tech support team working on that right away. Gracias tati!
Plus, Sheila of Piquant has graciously offered web design expertise and hosting for the Cuba Nostalgia blog!!! Thanks sooooo much Sheila!!!
Update II: Also, the organizers suggested that along with the banner with the Babal? eyes I come up with some catchy slogans to attract patrons to the exhibit. I know you guys out there are perfectly capable and more than willing to come up with some doozies, so let me have’em.
Re-Update: Rhianna of A Texan Abroad suggests the following:
I keep getting this idea of ‘hands on’ as well as ‘hands on blogging’. I’m not sure it would be easy for you, but sometimes getting ‘stuck in’ as they say in the UK is the method that keeps the impression best.
Might I also suggest one of the laptops set up with links to the other blogs you read about Cuba, and the news sites you quote? Some flyers with all their addresses, for the visitors to take home, would also help to get the word out.
Excatly, Rhianna. What I plan on doing is not only showing people at the convention what blogs are and how to manuever them, but I will be pestering every single blogger on my blogroll and others to write something specifically about Cuba at least once per day for those three days.
And you all thought it was going to be easy, huh?