Grants:PEG/WM RS/Wikimedia CEE Conference 2012/Report

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Report accepted
This report for a Project and Event grant approved in FY 2012-13 has been reviewed and accepted by the Wikimedia Foundation.
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Did you comply with the requirements specified by WMF in the grant agreement? Yes.


The activities that were carried on for the conference are listed as follows:

  • July-October 2012
    • general information about the conference and the host-city were announced on Meta;
    • the local team was working to find local partnerships and sponsorships, as well as to get discounts on the services needed;
    • call for accommodation to the city's hotels and hostels was published.
  • August 2012
    • intensive communication on the CEE mailing-list;
    • negotiations with Dom omladine (Youth Center of Belgrade) about the use of the venue successfully ended. They resulted with the right to use several lounges with equipment and to have technical support from the staff of Dom omladine for free. The lounges that were put on disposal include: Americana Hall, Klub, Vip Room, Cafe Part, the halls and some other rooms. All of these lounges and rooms were equipped with the standard furniture (chairs, tables, sofas) and technical equipment (microphones, cables, lights, ...).
  • September 2012
    • grant application submitted to the Grant Advisory Committee;
    • accommodation for participants arranged. All the participants and facilitators were accommodated in the three-star Hotel Excelsior, located in the centre of the city, only seven minutes on foot from the venue. The participants were separated in one- or two-bed rooms. Each room had separate bathroom, telephone line, TV, air-conditioning, mini-bar, and wireless Internet. Thanks to the negotiations with the hotel's administration, the price for the two-bed rooms was fixed at 38€ and for the one-bed at 75€;
    • Board of Wikimedia Hungary released an announcement to support the conference with 1000€;
    • Board of Wikimedia Poland released an announcement to support the conference with 3500€ to cover the travel costs for the participants;
    • conference program created and announced. The two-day conference program included presentations, panels, discussions and workgroups. The conference commenced with an official opening session and introduction of participants, while the end was marked with a conclusive summary and a group photograph of the participants. More information about the conference schedule is available at

  • October 2012
    • Board of Wikimedia Deutschland released an announcement to support the conference with 4500€, of which 1500€ to cover the travel costs.
    • Print and supply of the promotional material (name tags, gifts, program leaflets).
    • Catering during the conference arranged.
    • 12.- The official press-conference before the conference was held:
    • 12. -Welcoming party: A party was held in the hotel restaurant in order to welcome all the participants. Guests from several other local NGOs attended the party as well. It was a cocktail-type party with self-service of food and soft drinks. The party lasted about 5 hours and was attended by 70 persons.
    • 13-14 Wikimedia CEE Conference 2012 took place.
      • Program: The conference program was divided into two parts, each of them covered on a separate day. The first part included sessions pertaining to topics such as organizational, financial and volunteer management, public relations, and social networking; while the second one was mostly filled with sessions about some interesting projects and activities across the countries from the CEE region. It started with a welcoming speech and was followed with panel sessions and discussions. There was a Program team responsible for conceiving the concept with the topics, which was later used to attract all the speakers and facilitators that took part in the conference. Each session was introduced by facilitators, who gave a short description of the topic concerned. In addition, each session was documented in separate minutes, which are available on Etherpad. Detailed information about the program can be found here.
      • Breaks: There were short breaks between each two sessions with self-service of snacks, food and soft drinks for all of the participants. Different types of sandwiches, including vegetarian and vegan, were served during the early breaks; snacks with grilled chicken and vegetables during the breaks before the lunch; and different types of fruit and confectionery products during the breaks after the lunch. Many beverages, such as water, coffee, tea, milk, soft drinks and juices, were served during the whole conference.
    • Lunch: The lunch on each of the conference days was served in a restaurant situated near the venue. The organizers intended for participants to taste some of the traditional dishes from the local cuisine, so the meals included bread, kebap, Karadjordje's steak, oven-baked pepper filled with a garlic cream, đuveč, proja, gibanica, pasulj (beans), and green vegetables.
    • 13 - Social event
      • City tour: A city tour was organized after the end of the first conference day. It was lead by a professional tourist guide and covered most of the city's landmarks. It started at the Republic Square, continued through Skadarlija street, Museum of Dositej and Vuk, Belgrade Mosque, Strahinjića Bana Street, Victor monument, Oldest school in Belgrade, and ended at the plateau of the National Bank of Serbia. The stories that were told by the guide were related to the history of the buildings and monuments, the Serbian food, the Serbian Zoo and its animals, and the damages from the bombings in 1999.
      • Social event in Cafe Čorba: Following the first day of the conference and the city tour, a social event for the participants was organized in the rock-cafe Čorba during the night. The first part of the event featured some of the greatest rock-hits, while the latter part featured a local rock-singer performing live. All of the participants were granted several coupons for free drinks during the party. At the time of the social event and afterwards, some of the participants visited other cafes and night clubs in the proximity.

Project goal and measures of success[edit]

This conference provided a chance for people from countries without a local chapter to participate at a global conference. Furthermore, the exchange of experiences and the numerous discussions proved to be a real indicator on the success of the event. Most of the discussions even continued during the breaks following the sessions and eventually lead to several new ideas about strengthening the current mutual cooperation through development of project activities.

One of the most important indicators for the successful conference is the fact that there were people among the attendees that have never had the chance to participate at a similar Wikimedia event. For many of the participants, the conference was helpful in that they were able to get better understanding of the roles and the efforts of the Wikimedians to achieve the movement's mission.

Wikimedia Serbia continued to support the cooperation in the region. Shortly after the conference, the first concrete steps were made in deepening the cooperation with the colleagues from Slovenia through the development of some projects.

Measures of success[edit]

  • at least 30 participants from CEE countries;

-The conference was attended by more than 50 people.

  • decent media coverage;

-The day before the conference, there was a press-conference attended by five journalists from different media. They interviewed some of the organizers and speakers during the conference, and the interviews were subsequently published in the local media. One of them was published in the daily newspaper “Politika”, which is the oldest print media outlet in the country.

  • develop future global projects and cooperation.

-To make a better assessment of the achievement of this goal, we need more time to examine its development. Nonetheless, some of the first steps in order to achieve it have already been made. More importantly, there is an interest among several Wikimedia chapters to organize this conference in the following year, thus extending the tradition of it being an annual event that gathers Wikimedians from the CEE region in one place.

Lessons learned[edit]

What lessons were learned that may help others succeed in similar projects?

The first Wikimedia CEE Meeting clearly showed the importance of the Wikimedia Foundation in networking the smaller communities. Thanks to the support from the Wikimedia Foundation and the developed chapters from the region, we succeeded to implement our aim of connecting smaller chapters and communities to give a chance for the development of new projects through the exchange of ideas and experiences. From the comments we received, it is evident that the conference offered a strong support to the smaller communities.

The organizers, lead with the idea to make this conference happen, did a good job in organizing an event with less failures, engaging in strong partnerships that helped make substantial cut-offs from the initial budget. They also intended to satisfy all the preferences requested by the attendees.

Did anything unexpected happen?

As is the case with most similar events, some minor unexpected things occurred, but they were quickly resolved by the organizers. However, no major unexpected things happened during the conference.

Would you do anything differently if you planned a similar project?

Given the fact that this was the first Wikimedia CEE Meeting, the organizational team is content with all the activities before and during the event. They provided pleasant accommodation and venue located in the center of the city, close to each other. All the preferences regarding the food were taken into account to provide it as requested in the registration forms. Besides the conference program, the schedule included some leisure and social events as well. We expect that the next Wikimedia CEE Meeting will include some novelties.

What impact did the project have on WMF mission goals of Increased Reach, Increased Quality, Increased Credibility, Increased and Diversified Participation?

By strengthening the regional cooperation in the countries of the CEE region, the Wikimedia Foundation gains strong and well-prepared partners to spread its own mission and vision. The engagement of Wikimedians from the region directly develops the Wikimedia projects in the languages spoken in those countries. It's also a good way to promote the projects in the regions where there is further potential for doing it. In addition, organizing events and implementing projects in the CEE region sends a strong signal that may attract many other interested parties and potential partners to take part and cooperate.

Reporting and documentation of expenditures[edit]

Documentation of expenditures has been received by WMF.

Did you send WMF documentation of all expenses paid for with grant funds? Yes

Details of expenditures:

No Items Requested Spent
1 Accommodation 6,000.00 3,550.95
2 Meals (lunches+snacks+refreshments) 2,791.06 1,926.67
3 Welcome event with early registration and social event 1,140.36 773.27
4 Printing material with name tags and t-shirts 900.00 590.78
5 Internet 175,44 242.11
6 Bookkeeper 131.58 131.58
TOTAL € 11,180.00
bank cost and differences in the rate
=€ 7,300.00
The funds remaining from this grant may be allocated to another grant submission if it is approved: [[{{{submission}}}]].

Will you be requesting re-allocation of remaining grant funding? YES. In past discussions we have we said that we are facing with price changes and differences in the rates. It affects our budget for annual plan and we would like to have this fonts in that budget and using it for planed stuff. Also, one part of it (200-300€) we would like to use for GLAM budget and GLAM programs.

Will you be returning unused funds to the Wikimedia Foundation? No. 3,880.00

Additional requests and related proposals[edit]

Will you be requesting an extension or were you granted an extension? The project is completed and we do not need extra time. However, we suggest to granters to continue to monitor the success of The CEE Meeting because it can reach new results.