Talk:Wikimania 2007/London

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Wikimania 2007 candidate cities. Winner: Taipei
Other candidates: Alexandria | London | Torino


Preparatory to making the page over into our bid document I have moved the past discussions to an archive page. Feel free to continue discussions either here (about the actual bid) or there (about possible future bids, etc)! --Alison Wheeler 17:25, 7 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

-Whoops, saw the donotedit only after my edits :$ If you don't like them, please revert :) Effeietsanders 18:50, 10 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No problem ;-P The team is just trying to keep track of it all as we approach the initial submission deadline! --Alison Wheeler 19:03, 10 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I just wanted to say here that I think this bid looks great. I really believe in this one (as you may remember, Alison, I didn't truly believe in the one last year). So, all the best with it, and you can obviously count on me to help out if/when Wikimania comes to London :-). Cormaggio @ 11:29, 11 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks - I'll add you to the list on the bid page then as I know how much interest you've been taking in getting Wikimania to the UK. --Alison Wheeler 20:42, 11 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The accommodation costs are really very good for Central London. Gordo 19:27, 16 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Yes, and many of them were involved in the earlier preparation work for the bid and will be on our team if we are successful in being selected. Sam and myself have taken on the task of co-ordinating and putting the final bid documentation together and we have many promises of assistance from other UK based editors (ie not only London-based) both in the preparatory phase in during the actual conference (set-up to break-down) period. We've only listed a few of them on the bid page currently as this applies to a large number of people and we wanted the venue and locale to speak more than a list of names. --Alison Wheeler 21:49, 12 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In addition, a number of UCL staff and student volunteers will be available to help set up and co-ordinate Wikimania. The Department of Computer Science has offered to provide a dedicated member of staff. Students reading a wide range of subjects (architecture through to neuroscience) have expressed to me their interest in volunteering for Wikimania. This is not surprising; UCL has excellent volunteer co-ordination through the Voluntary Services Unit. We expect to have at least one student volunteer from each language course, meaning that people familiar with UCL and speaking:
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • Finnish
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Hebrew
  • Icelandic
  • Italian
  • Norwegian
  • Swedish
  • Spanish
  • Japanese
will be on hand before and during a London Wikimania.
I would estimate that at least half the staff and students at UCL can get by in more than one language, so the number of languages spoken by the local team will be much greater than indicated by the list above. For instance, friends of mine at UCL who speak Arabic, Cantonese, Hindi, Malay and Mandarin are all enthusiastic about being involved in the conference. --Sam Kuper 10:43, 23 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Perhaps I missed something somewhere in this bid, but what's the estimated cost for using UCL? Is it being sponsored by anyone? Thanks, -- phoebe 04:42, 14 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We are currently finalising the UCL costs, if any. Basically they are reviewing how much of the costs they will bear and we hope to have to have that information confirmed and available to the selection team, if not to the public, by the 15th. --Alison Wheeler 09:36, 14 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
thanks! -- phoebe 15:24, 14 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Hi, maybe it would be an idea to give somewhere a indication of how much a pound is worth related to the USD and EUR (at least)? That way people can easier see how much their travel, nighting etc would cost. Should'n be precise, as it changes all the time, or marked by a date. But an indication would be great. Effeietsanders 17:18, 14 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No problem, though a live feed of the rate would be nice to include instead as the relative values of the GBP, USD and EUR seem to form a major part of the worlds arbitrage. There is already a GBP-USD rate in the 'flights' section, but I shall expand it. --Alison Wheeler 18:03, 14 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
added at Wikimania_2007/London#Exchange_rates --Alison Wheeler 18:36, 14 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks Effeietsanders 10:32, 16 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Questions from the jury[edit]

Layout of conference venue in relationship to accomodation[edit]

Hello. Is there any possibility that you can provide a rough sketch of how conference venue and accomodation in UCL are connected to each other? ie. lay of the land of sorts. Nothing fancy, a hand drawing will do, but just to give a better feel of what is where. Thank you! notafish }<';> 10:22, 15 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

An outline map will be produced; on the local area map linked to in the bid our campus zone area is centered on the red circle. --Alison Wheeler 11:56, 15 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Local area and Campus maps have now been added. The latter will be subject to improvement when Sam updates my version;-P --Alison Wheeler 15:43, 15 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Party location opportunities[edit]

There is one thing we forgot to mention in the offcial requirements, but that we'd like to know now and that is what are the party locations that we can use for Wikimania. Wikimania usually has two parties, one in a cool and relaxed place for attendees (must hold 250-350 people), one in a quiet and chic place for sponsors and VIP (40-60 people). What locations would be good for that in London? Thank you. notafish }<';> 10:32, 15 September 2006 (UTC) PS. this question is being asked to all bidding teams.Reply[reply]

London is full of 'cool places' in all categories in addition to the communal spaces in the halls, etc. There should be no difficulty in providing a list of possible venues, although it is likely that we'd be unable to book this far ahead. We'll put together a list asap for you. --Alison Wheeler 11:56, 15 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In order to produce a better list (ie. as some things like a drinks reception in the British Museum would only be possible on certain days of the week, etc) could you advise which nights you would want those primary pair of parties to be arranged for; clearly we can also arrange further events (and plan to do so). --Alison Wheeler 15:47, 15 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Historically, the sponsors party happens on the Friday night, the attendees party on the Saturday night. notafish }<';> 09:42, 16 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The recent BarCamp was held at Yahoo in Shaftesbury Avenue, for 80 people, for example. As Alison said, there are wide range of venues in London. UCL itself has excellent venues for all types of reception. Gordo 19:32, 16 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We are currently looking at a range of venues both in the immediate area - such as the British Library, British Museum and relevant business facilities - and also at some slightly further afield located on the river and the West End. Whilst we'll hope to provide a list of ideas it is likely that we will work with sponsors to cover the costs and location negotiations. --Alison Wheeler 21:09, 16 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We have also had an 'in principle' agreement that we can use the observation level hall ("London's Living Room") in City Hall for an event. --Alison Wheeler 00:02, 23 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Additional locations that may be of interest are "The Heights" in the St Georges Hotel next to the BBC, and Vertigo 42 in Tower 42 - the tallest building in the City of London. --Alison Wheeler 15:09, 23 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Accomodation availability[edit]

For the residence halls mentioned as the most likely accomodation (Passfield and Carr-Saunders) -- are these available for the full span of dates that you outline (from setup to tear-down?) (so people arriving early and staying late have someplace to stay). thanks, phoebe 16:50, 19 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes. We have scheduled the availability to cover the expected numbers from the start of the get-in weekend to the end of the get-out, with sufficient rooms to cover the Hacking days, social days, and the conference attendee requirements. Alison Wheeler 17:04, 19 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

sample flight costs and visas?[edit]

hi, can you give us more specific flight/travel cost estimates from 15-20 major cities around the world (in USD) for a range of dates? We would also like a summary of visa information (such as what countries need a tourist visa) in the main bid. Thank you! phoebe 05:35, 20 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

On the Visa front, the UK government don't make it easy to get a clear-cut answer without using their online form which needs not just the citizenship but also where you've travelled from. The latter, so far as I can tell, means that if you've come from a country that the UK considers 'ok' in some way then that might alleviate the need for a visa, but I can't give legal advice on the detail. I did find a list though of countries which always require a visa (again, so far as I can tell!) and have added that information.
As to flight costs, having five international airports (and international rail services) and actually flying to just about every country and international airport, we are not limited for flight options (days of week, times) in the way that anyone else is. I can - and will - add some more *sample* prices, but given that there are often hourly services on many routes the choices are endless and, ultimately, whatever I quote could be misleading. Because of the range of travel options regarding date, time, price bracket, etc all travellers should be able to find a timetable that suits them at an acceptable price. --Alison Wheeler 10:02, 20 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've started creating Wikimania_2007/London/Fares but I'm going to simplify the information as there are just so many options available that people are likely to get lost in the detail. --Alison Wheeler 13:22, 20 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
For information: All fares information quoted includes all airport taxes, fuel surchages, etc. and is the full price charged --Alison Wheeler 22:38, 20 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
for flights, super-detailed information about all possible options isn't necessary, but we should at least have estimates from major cities to fly to london for the dates you propose; we all know estimates can change :) phoebe 22:42, 20 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sorry ... I took your request for "more specific flight/travel cost estimates" literally, in part because of the very wide range of options (and prices) available. I shall add more before Saturday where possible, but the number of services and carriers on each route is difficult to simplify to the extent that other locations might be able to. --Alison Wheeler 18:07, 21 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Community venue[edit]

One of the most important parts of Wikimania is community. At Wikimania 2005 in Frankfurt, one the most effective community-oriented features was the shared courtyard that was obviously the place to mix (the Village Pump of sorts), and a dedicated room for folks to "hang out" after hours. Wikimania 2006, unfortunately did not quite recapture this dynamic.

What does your bid do to accommodate a social space? Namely:

1) Is there a communal space that is obvious or could be allocated for this function? And how large is it?

2) Can it be a 24 hour space that people can use at any time of the day or night?

3) Are there any innovative features you can put in this space in addition to Wifi access, like computer terminals for people to use, free flowing coffee, cameras or videoconferencing to bring in Wikipedians from around the world, etc?

Thanks very much. -- Fuzheado 04:23, 22 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(1) Yes; As you will see in the section Lounge, meeting and dining facilities we have the North and South Cloisters, the Octagon, and the Front Quad being communal space throughout the event, albeit sometimes used for sustenance. I shall try to find the actual sizes.
(2) I'm not certain what policy the college operates on for security, etc. of its central campus buildings, but we would discuss with the Provost the possibilities for a 24-hr access facility. I understand that normal hours of opening are 8am to 9pm. Separately, however, halls of residence have communal areas and a 24-hr 'dropin-discuss' area could be provided here.
(3) The UCL CompSci department and head have offered us their support (see Venue Support) including additional IT provision. We would anticipate that not everyone will have a laptop with them (even though it sometimes seems like it!) and our free provision of terminals would be in this central area. We have also included in our bid some of our plans to reach out from Wikimania to other countries interactively during the conference and videoconferencing would certainly be a part of that. 'Free-flowing coffee' is certainly something that we will be looking for (aside: *I* will be looking for - I ::heart:: coffee ;-P ) and we also have biscuits ...
If I might additionally pick up on "One of the most important parts of Wikimania is community", one reason we consider London to be a strong option to hold Wikimania is exactly this; London is a city of communities from every corner of the world using every language and bringing every culture to one location. We will be announcing further information about our plans to create a world-inclusive event later this evening.
--Alison Wheeler 09:46, 22 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
1) I was not at WM05, but as a social space the courtyard in Frankfurt sounds very much like the UCL Front Quad. I do not have exact measurements but it is very approximately 50m x 100m, with wooden benches, tables and chairs - and plenty of stone steps - to provide seating for casual chats etc. The VR panorama here may give a better idea. The cloisters are each roughly 9m x 40m and are adjacent to the Quad (panorama of North Cloisters after a poster session). They are therefore perfect if it is raining. The Wilkins Garden is circa 25m x 30m and is adjacent the South Cloisters on the other side from the Quad (photo). All of these spaces would function as communal areas where people could hang out.
It seems sensible that there should be a central information point. We had envisaged this being in the Octagon, right at the centre of UCL. Alternatively it could be located in one of the larger communal areas, thereby making that one the main communal area (the designated village pump). This would suggest having some 'organiser' tables in one of the cloisters (not a problem) a bit like those at the entrance to Ropes-Gray in Harvard, or a small marquee in either the Quad or the Wilkins Garden (also not problems - see photo for an example). There are plenty of options!
2) 24-hour access for key staff to the Organisation Room will be acceptable to UCL as long as they know in advance that this will be required. The notice period is to ensure all security staff have been briefed to allow access to specified people to specified areas through the night. However, for largish numbers of people to congregate out of hours, a 24-hour common room will be provided for each hall of residence and arrangements will be made to allow Wikimanians to enter these common rooms even if they are not staying in halls.
NB. I doubt UCL would be happy for people to sleep overnight in the Organisation Room. The organisers could all stay at halls/hotels within stumbling distance of the OR, so sleeping there would not be necessary even for the chronically exhausted.
3) Free-flowing coffee is easily arranged! Webcams could easily be placed in the cloisters and overlooking the gardens so that people can watch the goings on over the internet. It would certainly be possible to put computer terminals in the cloisters. A couple of terminals in each corner would seem to be about right, making 16 terminals in all. That way there would be reasonable capacity without the terminals obstructing dining during lunch times. Additionally, terminals would be provided in the entrance hall next to the Bloomsbury Theatre. There is no reason I can think of why these terminals shouldn't be fitted with webcams and headsets for people to make video calls over Skype etc. We could arrange to have a more substantial camera and projector screen in each of the cloisters for larger-scale videoconferencing sessions.
--Sam Kuper 00:29, 23 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Hey, I miss "Londen" in the picture! :o O_O You missed Dutch, one of the major wiki-languages :P (And you have twice "Londres") not that this is of major importance.... Effeietsanders 22:20, 17 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

AARRGGHH!!!! 't spijt me - I was looking through the full list of language links and carefully making sure I'd got one of each spelling (quite a few are the same in multiple languages). Mea Culpa! I feel especially bad as I have been coming to the Netherlands since I was 9 and have had many friends there. Corrected now ;-) --Alison Wheeler 22:46, 17 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bibliomaniac question[edit]

One oversight I have mentioned about the 2006 conference was that there was no way to buy at Wikimania any of the books of the speakers. Any plans to talk with one of the local bookstores (either the UCL bookstore, or another bookseller such as Foyle's) to set up a table at Wikimania? (I thought I'd mention that early so that if others agree that this would be a good idea, it could be made to happen.) If not, could at least a flyer be created to guide those of us who have no clue where bookstores are in London (& maybe some hints about shipping our purchases home?) -- Llywrch 16:22, 21 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikimania London plan.png
I'm very happy to say that one of the best bookstores in London is located adjacent to UCL. Formerly Dillons University Bookshop it is now owned and operated by Waterstone's but still includes a very wide range of academic and non-academic books. If you look at the map (right) you will just see the word 'Waterstone's' at the bottom, on the opposite side of Torrington Place. We will be discussing Wikimania with them and ensuring that they are aware of the event and will try to ensure that either they or another major bookshop (of which we have many in London) have a sales table within Wikimania. --Alison Wheeler 18:05, 21 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
UCL already has a dialogue with that branch of Waterstone's to ensure they stock the textbooks required for UCL courses. Additionally, I have ordered more obscure books on many occasions; the books usually arrived at the store within a week or so, and the store will telephone you to let you know the book is in stock. This can be done with more than one book at a time. What is more, it is possible that Waterstone's will provide some local sponsorship for the conference. Arranging for speakers' books to be available to buy will not be a problem. --Sam Kuper 23:21, 22 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank You London[edit]

We are glad to share the opportunity with you & the other teams to bid for the Wikimania 2007. Apart from the right to host the conference, we also got a lot of experience from you. We are looking forward to further cooperation with all of you, in order to achieve the ideal of the Wikimedia Foundation in all around the world.

After all, we would say "Thank you" & express our pleasure & honor to share this valuable chance with all of you, again.


Wikimania 2007- Taipei Bidding Team. --theodoranian 16:14, 25 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"we also got a lot of experience from you". That you did. GFDL rules ;-P --Alison Wheeler 21:33, 25 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]