Some thoughts on the general direction:
- We are promoting Open Source software but please don't pressure people. Don't exaggerate, be honest with the limitations of whatever you're demonstrating. I had a really bad experience with a Linux presentation thing (similar to this one) when I was first starting out. If you dismiss flaws and tell people something will cure cancer and whiten teeth they're not going to believe a word you say even if it is true. When I show Linux to new people I find the best policy is to be honest: it's different. Some things will be easier, some things will be a little harder but I garuntee you it's worth the effort.
- For the newbies I think we should stick to Ubuntu and its derivitives. This should give us a decent amount of variety (Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Kubuntu) but at the same time keep any tutorials or support materials consistant. This doesn't mean we can't showcase some more exotic distros, (otherwise the geeks might get upset) but I don't think we should be promoting Fedora or Suse to someone who has never seen Linux before. My main reasons for this is A. the community is huge, if they have a problem there's more help for them to grab onto and B. the community is huge, Ubuntu based stuff supports a wide range of consumer grade hardware and has arguably the largest collection of software.
- Open Source includes more than Linux. People shouldn't have to install Linux to get something out of this event. I think wherever possible we should showcase cross platform programs and let people know that hey, you can try this out at home without making any major changes to your comptuer. Once we get everything lined out I think it would be good to create an Open Source DVD to hand out for Windows users that includes installers for all the programs we showcase and a simple webpage/readme on the disc to remind people of what's what.