The crush of the crowd was full of anticipation. Hundreds of red baseball caps surrounded us, all holding their numbered tickets and waiting to hear their number to be called.
In the booth, we stood fast, tossing out offerings of t-shirts to keep the swelling crowd appeased as they waited for the appointed hour. It was tough going; the RDO and CentOS shirts were flying out, while oVirt shirts were slower to be distributed.
Then, it was time. The drawings for the four prizes–two Go Pros and two Bose sound systems–were successful, and the happy prize winners went their separate ways and the sea of red hats dissipated, blending with the rest of the OSCON floor crowd.
Running a booth at a major show like OSCON is a lot of fun, but also a major endeavor for any organization, even one of the more successful open source companies on the planet. The logistics of getting such a booth set up and running smoothly is, frankly, beyond me. I constantly marveled at the work done by Jennifer Madriaga and her intern Abby Cameron from our events team for this conference. I just showed up and talked about OSAS. They did all the real work.
Overall, we had a great feeling coming away from talking to the all the great visitors to the booth, giving the many Red Hat presentations in the schedule, and having all the Marvel fans join us for Gluster's special showing of Ant-Man.
OSCON is about to undertake a big move to Austin, Texas from its ubiquitous home in Portland, Oregon, thanks in no small part to the success of the event and to the overwhelming success of open source in the commercial sphere. That success is to be expected and events like OSCON, LinuxCon, FOSDEM, as well as the many great community-based regional events such as SCALE, Texas Linux Fest, and All Things Open reflect that achievement.
Many of us here in OSAS and, indeed, Red Hat, will miss the hospitality of the Rose City, with its Beer Fest, interesting donuts, and wonderful culture that seemed perfectly suited for free and open source software. This transition will have its bumps, to be sure, but such growth and change is expected in a world where open source is no longer the outlier, but the norm.