From 10th to 12th March 2005 Wikimedia was present at the world biggest computer fair, the CeBIT in Hannover, Germany. Our booth was located in the lovely neighbourhood of projects like Debian, KDE, Gnome and OpenOffice at the Linuxpark. Brockhaus was also present at CeBIT, in the same hall like us. Unlike most of the other open source projects we had a whole booth for us, with a table for the presentations computer and leaflets. Decoration and Equipment was still scarce -- we used the posters left from FOSDEM 2005, Nina provided her brandnew iBook as presentation computer.
Day one started with a prominent visitor at our booth: Jon Maddog Hall. And of course he instantly discovered a mistake in Wikipedia. Looking up his biography in the english Wikipedia, he found his name spelled wrongly -- good occasion to fix this (edit summary: "spelled my name correctly"). When I logged in to move the page afterwards, I could see one more time how fast Wikipedia works: RickK had already moved the page to the correct title (okay, there was some sort of redirect confusion...).
In the following time the booth crew, Mathias Schindler, Nina, Southpark (en:Zeitgeist), Marco Krohn and I were busy answering questions from visitors. Most knew Wikipedia already and were interested in basic questions like "How do you make sure that no nonsense stays in?". People also showed lots of interest in the CD, DVD and print versions. And of course, some Wikipedians passed by, too. A lot of people came with Mediawiki related questions which we tried to answer as good as possible, sometimes with help from the devs on IRC. For the next fair, it would be good to have a developer at the booth.
In the afternoon, I held a presentation about Wikipedia at the Linuxpark forum. At six we closed down the booth and went together to the annual Wikipedia CeBIT meetup in the same old pub as last year, talking until late night about excellent articles, edit-wars, vfd (the usual Wikipedia chitchat).
The following day, Presroi and I had an radio interview with a journalist from NDR and were running around a lot establishing contacts. We left some dutch Wikipedia leaflets at the booth of the Netherlands and I grumbled about myself that I had no info materials in Arabic to distribute it at the booths of the Arabic countries. CeBIT could have been a possibility for us to promote Wikipedia in those countries with bad internet connectivity and reach people who actually have internet there.
Saturday, day three was supposed to be the busiest (with reduced entrance fees for students) but was relatively quiet for us, with people from berlinux passing by, inviting us to their next conference in Berlin and so on.
Stand crew: Elian, Mathias Schindler, Southpark, Nina, Marco Krohn
More pictures at Commons:Cebit 2005