Grants:Conference/Wikimedia France/WikiConvention Francophone/Report

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Report accepted
This report for a Conference Grant approved in FY 2021-22 has been reviewed and accepted by the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • To read the approved grant submission describing the plan for this project, please visit Grants:Conference/Wikimedia France/WikiConvention Francophone.
  • You may still comment on this report on its discussion page, or visit the discussion page to read the discussion about this report.
  • You are welcome to Email conferencegrants at wikimedia dot org at any time if you have questions or concerns about this report.

Guidelines on how to fill out this grant report[edit]

  • If you wish to write your report in your native language, you are free to do so. Please indicate (in English) what language are you using.
  • If you prefer to submit the narrative report in a video format, you can. The video should be in English. Please upload the video to Wikimedia Commons and share the link in your report page. Make sure to answer all the required questions. All Financial documentation will still need to be submitted in a written form.
  • If you struggle with some of the questions, or wish to have a debrief meeting with your Program Officer before submitting your report, we are very happy to meet and walk you through the report template. This can be especially helpful if you want our help in identifying and reflecting on lessons learned. Please get in touch with your Program Officer.
  • If you have other ideas, preferred methods on how to submit your Conference Grant Report or concerns - please reach out to us.

Outcomes and Impact[edit]

Thanks for bringing value back to the Wikimedia movement by sharing in this report. Everything you learned during your project is useful knowledge to offer future Wikimedians planning similar work.

In this first section you are asked to reflect on your initial goals and the impact the event had on your community. Remember there is no right or wrong answer. Even if your goals have changed over time, or the impact was different than what you expected. Feel free to share your long or short answer - we are happy to hear whatever you have to share.

  • Did your event have any impact that you did not expect, positive or negative?

This edition was the first in-person WikiConvention since 2019, and the French-speaking community members were delighted to be reunited again. This year, we chose to hand grants to more African and Haitian Wikimedians. We expected many refusals, but were delighted to see that many new faces managed to pull through the hardships of visa procedures and join us. On a more negative note, the WikiConvention took place in a private conference venue for the first time. On top of the venue being expensive, we had a massive inclusivity contingency with out of order elevators for the whole convention.

  • Please tell us about the top 2-3 innovative (new to you and your community) or things you tried this conference.

The learning day sessions, which were held over the two days preceding the convention, were an opportunity for capacity-building between the user groups. Users from 3 different continents had discussions on project-building and association governance. The sessions shed light on the existing geographical disparities between the user groups, regarding capacity and means, and helped reduce the gaps. Participants could also work on projects of their own, so as to increase the learning days' impact.

WikiFranca held its board meeting and re-elected its board members during the WikiConvention Francophone. According to its president, Éliane Yao Sigan, the meeting was a means to formalize WikiFranca’s status as an association, juridically so. It also marked a milestone in its quick development. WikiFranca can now be regarded as the pivot of the French-speaking Wikimedian community.

Due to the large amount of visa refusals and so that dismissed participants could still present their work, we gave them the opportunity to create and send posters detailing their conferences, which were then displayed in a room.

  • Were there any significant changes from the initial grant proposal?

Yes, the changes mainly had to do with the venue giving us wrong prices for the conference rooms, with an increase in the ticket prices and with inflation.

  • What do you think will be the long term impact of this conference?

Among the many concrete achievements of the WikiConvention were international projects (one user from Rwanda created a French-speaking project in Rwanda, a Canadian user created a GLAM telegram group) and local ones (with the creation of a Strasbourg-based community of users). The main goal of the WikiConvention remains the strengthening of bonds among French-speaking communities over the years, and the building of capacity between the user groups.

  • Do your best to estimate the number of attendees in your event that have never attended any Wikimedia event before. How were you able to support and engage this group?

74 people attended their first WikiConvention. It is hard to assess the number of people for whom it was the first Wikimedia event, as the WikiConvention is primarily aimed at French-speaking affiliates, which very often have already organized and participated in Wikimedia events within their countries (editathons, outdoor photoshoots, etc.). However, there were still some newcomers. One of the sessions was presented by a self-professed newcomer and consisted in a report on their integration within the Wikimedian sphere. We evaluate the share of relatively new contributors (2-3 years) at 40 to 45% of attendees. 8 people were coming solely for a round table around the theme of internet regulation through the Digital Services Act, and were either institutional partners or representing tech companies.

  • Do your best to estimate the number of participants who have been involved in Wikimedia activities for more than 5 years. How were you able to support and engage this group?

71 people had already been to a WikiConvention and a large majority of those were experienced Wikimedians. Those were the ones most invested in the presentation work, and for some of them, in the volunteering team for the convention. We hosted several meet-ups to engage with longterm volunteers and their missions : the goal was to give them a platform to focus on group problem solving. This includes the micro-grant commission that hosted two meetings to determine its new plan of action, the volunteer tech group, and a session where we invited long-term volunteers to share their experience and needs for future engagement ("les dynamiques du bénévolat chez Wikimédia France").

Learning and next steps[edit]

Conferences and events do not always go according to plan! Please use this section considering the perspective of what future event organizers within our movement organizing a similar style conference can learn. Make sure to include lessons around work with external/ internal partners; your communication efforts; your work with the community and volunteers etc.

What would you do differently next time and why? Please share with us if there's anything you wouldn't do or something future organizers should avoid.

  • Was there any non-financial support that the Wikimedia Foundation could have provided that would have better supported you in achieving your goals?

Considering we had one full time organizer, two part-time interns, and a team of 30 volunteers, I don't think the Wikimedia Foundation could have provided more. However Chen's help and advice was deeply appreciated.

  • What would you recommend on a local and/or regional level as the best next step to leverage your success and momentum?

Wikimedia France is pursuing to regain confidence from its community after a leadership crisis in 2018, our organization has been doing its best to reconnect with members of the community and to motivate new volunteers. After this wikiconvention where 40 to 45% of participants were 2-3 year long wikimedians, our main next step is to launch a membership campaign and a volunteer welcoming program. This will ensure that these people stay invested within Wikimedia France and find the support they need as contributors. 

As for WikiFranca (international, francophone scale) it will want to scale up its strategical plan and its capacity-building project.

  • Does your organizing team / affiliate / user group have any plans to follow up with your attendees in the future or support efforts related to the outcomes of this conference within your community?

The Wikimedia France team hopes to keep working closely with the different user groups and chapters in the future, and hopes to attend the next WikiConvention in Ivory Coast. We will also check in with learning day participants to see if and how they put the training into practice

  • Please add any 3 operational recommendations for future events organizers.

Inclusivity: Go for a venue which has a replacement option in case the elevators are out of order, or make sure that all conferences and lunch options are on the same floor.

Grants and visas: Start the visa process as early as possible, especially with participants from developing countries. Give as much detail as possible over the nature of your event and over the implication of the participant in the projects.

Contracts: When establishing contracts with service providers, try to add an obligation of results clause.

Human ressources: For a four-day long conference bringing together 150 people from about 20 countries, having 2 to 3 full-time staff members for 6 months is an absolute requirement.

Financial documentation[edit]

This section describes the grant's use of funds

Category Description Initial cost Final cost Currency Notes
Grants for French wikimedians Grant total 2,823 2,713.19 EUR Including transports (train and taxi drives) Hotel, and baby-sitting fees.
Grants for African and Haitian wikimedians Grant total 41,201 42,775.83 EUR
Plane tickets 25,330 28,715.14 EUR Reimbursable Plane tickets for 27 African grantees (4 were added from the waiting list owing to visa refusals) one Haitian grantee and for the WikiFranca chair. Does not include reimbursements.
Reimbursed tickets -4,512.71 EUR For six grantees who did not obtain their visas in time.
Train ticket 170 EUR London-Paris train ticket for one African grantee residing in England.
Pcr tests 284,02 EUR For grantees from Cameroon (mandatory to return to Cameroon)
Visa costs 3,900 3,267.86 EUR Visa application costs for 27 people - includes those who did not get the visa and were replaced by people on the waiting list.
Car rental 520 1,739.02 EUR Including gaz and parking price. Replaces the train option for taking the grantees from the airport to the venue
Travel insurance 600 789 EUR
Reimbursed insurance policies -66 EUR 3 policies were cancelled due to dismissed visas
Metro tickets 190 190 EUR
Taxi 1147 EUR Taxi drives to take grantees back to the airport + for one wheelchair-bound person
Louvre visit 410 410 EUR
Restaurant bills 2,880 952.5 EUR 2 lunches and 3 dinners for up to 10 grantees and 2 Wikimedia FR employees. Those were for grantees whose plains arrived 2 to 3 days before the start of the event.
Hotel room bookings 8,823 9,690 EUR Hotel n°1, in the conference venue
Venue Venue total 17,125 23760 EUR
Conference package deal 17,125 17,005 EUR Thursday and Friday (pre-conferences)ː 1 room for 50 people for 2 days. 1 room for 100 people for 2 hours on Friday for a policy-maker round-table.

Saturday and Sunday (conferences)ː 5 rooms for 2 days (capacity - 150, 100, 30, 20, 10 / purpose 3 conference track, 1 workshop and free editing track, 1 quiet room)

Wifi ended up being added to the package.

Additional conference rooms 5,300 EUR We rented additional conference rooms on Thursday and Friday
Logistics rentals 1,335 EUR
Second Hotel Room bookings 4,000 5,055.20 EUR For non-African participants, includes breakfast
Catering Catering total 18,040.1 16,334 EUR
FIAP Catering ofer 16,840.10 15,015 EUR Includes self-service restaurant tickets for 150 people for 2 lunches and 1 dinner, coffee breaks, and cocktails on Friday evening
Social event 1,200 1,200 EUR Privatizing the hotel's restaurant and drinks for the social event on Saturday night
Executive director's lunch 119 EUR Strategic dinner with the directors of Wikimedia Canada, Wikimedia Switzerland, Wikimedia France and Les sans pagEs.
Communication Communication total 14,057.9 13,266.27 EUR
Goodies and sweatshirts for the volunteer team 5,171.13 1,979 EUR Including pens, pencils, tote bags, note books, stress balls, mouse pads and sweatshirts. As the prices for the venue revealed to be more expensive, we decided to go for a less expensive option, and to produce less goodies.
Stickers 396.77 904.55 EUR Wikimedia projects stickers. Many were added for the grantees to take back with them.
Poster printings 410 410 EUR Posters for absent presenters
Poster clips 10.5 EUR
Flyers 458.28 EUR
Linux magazine page 2,600 2,600 EUR In kind
Badges 351.94 EUR
Recording 5,480 6,552 EUR
Transports Other transports total 600 834.9 EUR
Bus rental 600 EUR Bus drives from the second hotel to the conference venue, on two occasions.
Other trains 183.7 EUR For WikiFranca secretary and for one Wikimedia France employee.
Other taxis 51.2 EUR taxi drives for the WikiFranca secretary
Organization costs Two interns for 6 months 6,240 6,240 EUR
Miscellaneous Masks 20.70 EUR
TOTAL General 112,219 111,000.09 EUR

Notes: The main point of divergence from the initial grant request has to do with the additional purchase of rooms for the convention. Also, our plans for transports changed, with less WikiFranca board members needing plane and train tickets than expected, and with flight cancellations for the grantees. We rented two cars to take grantees from the airport to the venue, and booked taxis to accompany them back, which reduced the need for metro tickets. We cut short on goodies purchase to accommodate for the additional costs. Some expenses we did not foresee: We thought we could produce our own badges but ended up buying them. We did not know that Wikimedians headed to Cameroon needed PCR tests.

  • Summary of funding

Total project budget: 112,219€

Total amount requested from WMF: 79,379€

Total amount spent on this project: 111,000.09 €

Total amount of WMF grant funds spent on this project: 79,379€

Are there additional sources of revenue that funded any part of this project? Wikimedia France, DGLFLF (one branch of the French ministry of culture), Agence du Service civique, Linux, Wikimedia Switzerland

Remaining fundsː 1,218.91€

Are there any grant funds remaining? no

Please list the total amount (specify currency) remaining here.

The remaining amount corresponds to a refund that the venue granted us on catering following the many issues we had with them. That is counterbalanced by some expenses which were higher than expected.


Optional - Event Evaluation Toolkit - In this page you can find a list of basic questions that the Wikimedia Foundation uses to evaluate large movement events like Wikimania and other regional and thematic events. Feel free to use any part of these questionnaires to evaluate your own event. You will find: Registration Questions; Post-event questions for participants and Follow-up questions for participants.

Anything else[edit]

Is there anything else you want to share about the conference or event?