Grants:Project/Rapid/UG BG/National Conference 2016/Report

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Report accepted
This report for a Rapid Grant approved in FY 2016-17 has been reviewed and accepted by the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • To read the approved grant submission describing the plan for this project, please visit Grants:Project/Rapid/UG BG/National Conference 2016.
  • 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 rapidgrants at wikimedia dot org at any time if you have questions or concerns about this report.


Did you meet your goals? Are you happy with how the project went?

The goals were

Socialize with community members
Increase skills for existing editors

Both goals were reached.

23 Wikimedians participated at the conference. This is the second-highest number of Wikimedians meeting after the meeting of Wikipedians with Jimmy Wales during his visit in Bulgaria and the highest number of Wikimedians participating in a dedicated meeting for joint work and knowledge transfer. 20 of them were Bulgarians, fifteen were more or less well known in the community, six of them were administrators, five were at their first meeting with other Wikimedians and two were bureaucrats. Filip from Wikimedia Serbia and Marek from Wikimedia Polska participated and held talks, as did Asaf from the Wikimedia Foundation. Among the Bulgarians four did not live or work in Sofia, which has by now been the centre of all Wikimedian activities in Bulgaria, and two lived outside of the country. For ten of the participants this was the first meeting with international Wikimedians, while other had participated at regional, international or worldwide projects and conferences.

The final version of the programme of the conference consisted of 8 presentations by 6 people (including one for whom this was a first meeting with other Wikimedians, living outside of Sofia), 4 moderated discussions by 3 people, 2 workshops by one person (for whom this was a first meeting with other Wikimedians, living outside of Sofia) and 1 questions & answers session (Asaf). The presentations were about a big range of activities - archives digitisation, article writing contests, education programme, work with institutions, creation of maps, conflict management, Wikidata, as well as projects of Wikimedia Serbia and Wikimedia Poland. The discussions were about netiquette, winning new editors, the future of Wikipedia's sister projects, and the future of the organisation and its transition to a chapter. The workshops were about technical tools, bots, scripts, AutoWikiBrowser.

All in all it was a good first national conference of the Wikimedians of Bulgaria although there are some things which should be made better.


Please report on your original project targets.

Target outcome Achieved outcome Explanation
Number of total participants: 30 23 Some of the registered participants did not show up, non-registered Wikimedians participated. Also the date of the conference, the weekend before Christmas (with Christmas being during the next weekend) meant that those living outside of Sofia, especially abroad, could not combine the meeting with their days off from work.
Number of people who will help organize the event: 9 9 The people who were helping organizing the event during the creation of the grant proposal continued working on it until its end
Number of different speakers: 10, 3 from abroad 11, 3 from abroad, counting the moderators of the discussion as speakers We aimed at involving as large a part of the community as possible and motivated people to hold talks and organise workshops for the first time as Wikimedians


Projects do not always go according to plan. Sharing what you learned can help you and others plan similar projects in the future. Help the movement learn from your experience by answering the following questions:

What worked well?
  • Almost half of the participants were very active (organising the event, holding talks, moderating discussions and organising workshops).
  • Some participants spontaneously donated money for the organisation of the conference, because they thought they were well off enough to not be the reason for spending money from donations.
  • A pre-conference survey about the needs and interests of the community was conducted as part of the registration form. The programme was created by a committee, including first-time organisers, as a combination of these needs and interests and topics which the experienced Wikimedians considered important.
  • The Wikimedia friendly space policies were translated before the conference by one of the first-time organisers and handed to every participant at the beginning of the conference. Also every participant received a copy of the Wiki Loves Earth - Bulgaria 2017 Calendar and small souvenirs like buttons, stickers and pencils, kindly supplied by one of the user group's representatives, Dimi z.
  • Three very active Wikimedians not living in Sofia met fellow Wikimedians for the first time in person. Two of them had the possibility to share their knowledge with others. The third showed the spirit of the movement by travelling across the whole country in order to spend one morning with fellow Wikimedians, although his schedule was very tight.
  • The travel and sleeping arrangements were made in a clear and simple way. Those travelling to Sofia were reimbursed during the conference and everyone received a bed in a two-bed-room with a fellow Wikimedian.
  • One of the organizers managed to negotiate 20% discount on the calendars, and for the same sum we received 60 rather than 50 printed copies.
  • One of the organizers was in charge of delivering constant simultaneous translation to the foreign guests, so that they don't remain isolated during most of the conference. The translation was written in a FB chat window for the three of them, rather than oral not waste to speakers' time and disturb the listening Bulgarian audience. This allowed them to take part with comments during the discussions and the Q&A session.
  • As a post-conference events, we organized in advance
    1. a 2-hour public lecture titled "Reliability through Conversation" by Asaf Bartov in the American Corner of Sofia Library. The lecture, which was oriented to non-Wikimedians, with focus on librarians, was recorded by Radio Binar. The slides for this lecture was tailor-made by Asaf especially for this lecture, and translated to Bulgarian.
    2. a meeting with the Director of the Bulgarian Archives State Agency, reported in a press release.
  • On the day after the end of the conference, two Wikimedians (one of the organizers, and one of the participants) who had good contacts with media, spontaneously and proactively (not planned in advance) arranged several interviews with Asaf and different Bulgarian volunteers, for 3 TV stations, 1 radio station and 1 weekly magazine:
    • 20 Dec: 20-minute live interview in “The Day Starts with Culture”, Bulgarian National Television - Asaf Bartov and Justine Toms (user:justine.toms): video
    • 20 Dec: 11-minute live interview in “In Development”, Bloomberg BG TV - Asaf Bartov and Petar Bakalov (User:Tropcho): video
    • 20 Dec: Recorded short radio interviews for Radio Binar - Asaf Bartov, Plamen Mintchev (user:Ilikeliljon), Dimitar Dimitrov (user:Dimi z), Petar Bakalov (user:Tropcho) and Alexander Keremidarski (user:Сале)
    • 22 Dec: 1,5-hour interview with the journalist Tamara Valcheva for the Capital weekly magazine (published mid January 2017)
    • 22 Dec: 12-minute live interview with the journalist Veselin Dremdjiev, TV+ - Asaf Bartov and Vassia Atanassova (user:Spiritia): video

What did not work so well?
  • We had less participants than we wished for although we had the highest number of participants at an organised event outside of a restaurant.
  • Only 8 participants filled out the post-conference survey, all of them male


  • We did not make a good job of the simultaneous oral EN->BG interpretation and a few of the participants did not receive the possibility to participate actively at the English speaking part of the programme. We did it in the beginning, but since the huge majority of the participants knew English at a rather high or very high level soon we stopped translating simultaneously. We must make a better job of that next time, with more volunteers being recruited for support.
  • Although we documented the results of the sessions on Etherpad and some presentations were uploaded to Commons, we did not make it in a very diligent way and it is unclear whether all presentations were well documented.
  • We did not order enough coffee breaks on the first day, because of fear the budget would not be enough, which led to a short-timed hustle, but we managed to resolve the matter swiftly and stayed in budget, because we saved on different parts of it.
  • The programme was really packed and although we prolonged the first day to 19:30 (instead of 18:30) we had to cut three presentations from the programme - about the international conferences, Wiki Loves Earth and Wiki Loves Monuments, and CEE Spring. These were among the least wished for topics from the pre-conference survey.
  • Some of the moderated discussions, especially the one about the future of the organisation, were too heated and emotional and some participants felt offended.
What would you do differently next time?
  • We would book different restaurants for the different meals and order the food from the day before, so that we do not risk long waiting times and have various food.
  • We would leave more time for networking. A too packed programme deprives participants from this possibility.
  • We would create at least a short tourist programme for the participants living far from Sofia. This can be used as means for networking.


Grant funds spent[edit]

Please describe how much grant money you spent for approved expenses, and tell us what you spent it on.

Expected (BGN) Paid (BGN) USD

(1 USD = 1.80 BGN)


(1 EUR = 1.95 BGN)

Conference hall 500 500.00 277 256 A conference hall for two days
Food 1350 1269.20 705 651 Lunch and dinner for all participants on Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday evening not everybody was present. On Saturday evening we bought an extra birthday cake to celebrate Bulgarian Wikipedia's birthday which was on December 6th.
Hotel rooms 600 600.00 333 308 2 participants for 1 night

2 participants for 2 nights

2 participants for 3 nights

Calendars 600 599.98 333 308 WLE Calendars as giveaways
Name tags 20 14.94 8 8 Name tags for all participants
Travel reimbursement 300 98.30 55 50 Three participants wished for reimbursement for their travel from other Bulgarian cities to Sofia
Coffee Breaks 200 311.80 173 160 Coffee breaks at the venue
Bank fees 9.04 5 5
Total 3570 3403.26 1890 1746
To return 166.74

Remaining funds[edit]

Remaining funds from this grant have been returned to WMF in the amount of 127.30 EUR (reflects final conversion rate from BGN to EUR and less bank fees associated with wiring funds).

Do you have any remaining grant funds?

Yes, 166.74 BGN (93 USD, 86 EUR), which we would like to return back to the Wikimedia Foundation.

Anything else[edit]

Anything else you want to share about your project?