One of the factors that differentiate Decred from our peers, apart from the quality of our code and the philosophy behind it, is the way in which we present ourselves. We have what I believe to be the best design teams in the space, and receive compliments to that effect often.
So on that note, I felt it prudent to share some thoughts on how we can best present ourselves in public, as instances of asymmetry have arisen in the past, and as we expand our footprint internationally with local teams holding events and doing outreach I expect these issues to emerge more often.
- Everything we produce with a Decred logo on it reflects on the project.
I would make the case that it's better to have no swag than to give people low-quality items with our branding on them. E.g., a five cent pen that I can crush in one hand or a t-shirt that feels like it's made out of sandpaper. Everything Decred should convey high quality.
- Choice leads to paralysis.
Conferences are busy places (ideally), if we're giving out numerous types of t-shirts each of which has five sizes, it creates a logistical nightmare and gridlock at our booth. Having one type of shirt, and a limit of three types of stickers makes things run smoother. We're a cryptocurrency project, not an apparel retailer.
- Sizing is aspirational.
This is just a random observation. It never makes sense to equal weight sizing. I'd skew things towards the small and medium sizes. Certain demographics want a small t-shirt even if they are clearly not small. Or people will want them for their child. We always run out of the smaller sizes first and are forced to suggest people rock an XXL as a toga, or accessorize with a belt and turn it into a dress.
- Stealth "sponsorship".
This falls into the "perception is reality" category. When people see hundreds of Decred tote bags circulating around a conf it gives the impression that we're a big deal, it also attracts two types of people to our booth.
- People who want a tote to carry their junk.
- People who are interested in seeing what we're about or who know about us and hunt us down because they see the logo everywhere. The former reinforces the latter.
- Don't be a robot.
One of the best things about the Decred community, in my opinion, is how multifaceted it is, we have people with all sorts of different skills, life experiences, and varying rationales for getting involved in the space. An area where we really excel is having well-educated people attend events on our behalf. I often receive great feedback about how some community member did a great job of explaining what we're about. It's important to maintain this standard. Conference booths are often staffed by hired guns that just memorize a script. I'm also not a fan of everyone dressing the same, I think it's preferable for people to wear a Decred t-shirt of their choice, be presentable and professional, but not look like clones.
- Do be reachable.
Conferences often attract people from far and wide. Cell reception and Wi-Fi are usually spotty at best. Business cards actually become useful in this type of setting. Each member of the team should have ample business cards available, there will always be people who will want to follow up, and potentially be pointed towards other project resources, writing stuff down on the back of a sticker is not efficient or aesthetic.