Learning patterns/New faces for Wikimania: travel scholarships as prizes for Wiki contests
What problem does this solve?
How can we expand the group of volunteers representing our communities at international events like Wikimania? And how can we draw new contributors of projects like WLM and WLE closer to our movement and foster their engagement in Wikimedia projects after the contests?
What is the solution?
Wikimania is a very valuable teambuilding and bonding experience for many volunteers. Offering Wikimania travel scholarships as prices in addition to regular application-based scholarships can make this experience available for a broader group of volunteers and foster a positive identification with the Wikimedia movement among newbies.
Things to consider
- Preparation: A common mailing list for participants to exchange information before and during the event or preparatory meetings (if possible) help to get the newbie closer to the national peer group.
- Buddies: In the beginning it is beneficial to pair the newbie with a more experienced Wikimaniac with international contacts in order to introduce him to international volunteers, Foundation staff etc. and to help finding interesting sessions and projects.
- Team spirit: A meeting of all your scholarship holders at some point during the conference (e.g. common lunch, dinner, beers or GLAM excursions) helps the group to get to know each other better, team pictures create nice memories for the time after the conference and conference reports. We usually also hands out WMAT T-shirts, caps or badges so our volunteers can be identified as members of the Austrian community.
- Follow up: Events where participants can share their experiences with the stay-at-homes after the event are a great way to follow up on hot topics and create new opportunities to include newbies in your group activities. Reports and / or surveys among your scholarship holders can help you to identify topics which are interesting for newbies and tailor your further communitcation with them accordingly (inviting them to suitable projects, getting them in touch with other volunteers who work in similar areas etc.).
When to use
This learning pattern might be interesting for groups or organizations which
- have small communities and/or a limited group of volunteers in their established communities who are pro-actively applying for Wikimania (or international conferences in general) scholarships
- have newbies (e.g. participants of photography contests such as WLE and WLM) in their communities and want to keep them engaged over a longer time / turn them into passionate Wikimedians
- Grants:Learning patterns/Delivering Prizes
- Grants:Learning patterns/The pre-jury as a tool for community engagement