As the event approaches, it's important to make sure that the draft schedule for the event is posted on-wiki for participants to plan ahead. This helps participants: a) plan ahead if they want to leave the event or show up late, b) ensure that organizers and participants share an expectation of what will happen during the event, and c) offer a point of reference throughout the day.
Here is an example schedule for a 4 hour editathon:
- 1:00 -- Introductions and welcome to the space
- 1:10 -- Topic introduction by expert
- 1:20 -- Introduction to Editing Wikipedia
- 1:50 -- Picking topics for each editor and initial questions
- 2:00 -- Snack break
- 2:15 -- Article writing
- 3:30 -- Check in on what everyone has been doing
- 3:45 -- Article Writing
- 4:45 -- Final reflections and wrap up
Notice how the example schedule has deliberate breaks and check-in points where the organizers can plan to do small evaluations of what is happening and the event effectiveness.
Also, notice how the introduction to Wikipedia editing is kept short: though Wikipedia is complex and has lots of different components, it's important to limit the amount of time spent on this portion of the event. Editathon attendees need both the time and opportunity to contribute during the event, and many will not retain all of the background information introduced during the training.