Wikimania/Sessions

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Overview of the different format of the sessions and events organized at Wikimania.

According to the Wikimania Handbook, assuming a three-day conference, your typical Wikimania will feature a keynote presentation on the morning of the first day, followed by several concurrent tracks with lunch sometime in the afternoon. The second day will feature all tracks, and the third day will feature tracks with a closing presentation. This closing presentation features a closing speaker as well as a presentation from the following year's Wikimania team. An opening reception is held on the first day, or the day before, and a closing party is held on the last day. This is the way the majority of Wikimania editions have being programed. Planning teams, however, are free to develop their schedule as they please.

Different formats of the sessions and events[edit]

Presentations[edit]

Wikimania 2013 00732.JPG
  • Frontal presentations, often with slides.
  • They can include a poster.
Advantages for the speaker/organizer
  • They allow people to speak (which is also relevant to receive scholarships or grants from universities).
  • They allow people to improve their presentation skills and their experience.
Advantages for the audience
  • They're supposed to provide you information in an interesting and short time.
  • They can be an alternative to reading, but they can make you wish you could have simply watched a video.
  • They can be boring or fun according to the presentation skills of the speaker.
Target

Newbie (in general or on the specific topic). Mainly passive fruition + general questions.

Duration

20 minutes (+10 minutes questions).

Logistics
References

Panels[edit]

GLAM coordinators panel, Wikimania 2012 - Flickr - Pierre-Selim.jpg
  • Allow to propose thematic groups of presentations.
  • Allow to group presentations.
Advantages for the speaker/organizer
  • Allow people who know each other or who want to work together to collaboratively plan a session and to select a group of speakers and discussants.
Advantages for the audience
Target
Newbie (in general or on a specific topic). Mainly passive fruition + general questions.
Duration
1h 30 (maximum 5 people).
Logistics
3-5 people (maximum 5)
References
  • Panel doesn't have an article on Wikipedia in English October 4th 2013.

Keynotes[edit]

Advantages for the speaker/organizer
  • Allow to set the tone of a conference (vision, idea, rhythm, quality).
  • Allow to associate your conference to well-known speakers.
  • Allow to tell someone you consider him/her important and relevant.
  • Allow to make sure someone comes to your conference.
  • Allow people to meet the keynote speakers during a conference.
  • People you think everybody is interested in listening to.
  • People you think everybody should listen to.
  • A way to involve cool local speakers.
Advantages for the audience
  • Allow you to listen to someone you wanted to listen to.
  • Allow to listen to something relevant (possibly also fun/well-presented).
  • Inspire attendees for the rest of the conference.
Target
Duration
Logistics
  • Invitations at least 4 months before the event.
  • You should have respectable backup options.
  • Decisions regarding keynote presentations should be made after the committee as a whole discusses the options.
  • Decisions regarding keynotes, especially their scheduling, should be relayed to the logistics team.
References

Discussions[edit]

2013-04 Wikimedia Conf Milan 05.JPG
Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience
  • Looking for solutions.
  • Taking a decision.
  • Sharing and developing new ideas.
  • Creating space for different points of views (acknowledging them and acknowledging conflicts and divergent opinions).
Target
People who already have knowledge of a topic (also different kind of knowledge: specialistic, from a specific project, from a specific perspective...). Fully interactive.
Duration
>1h
Logistics
ReferencesBirds of a Feather
  • In 2006 and 2007 Wikimania calls the sessions of discussion "Birds of a Feather" (also used at mw:FOSDEM and other technical events).

Training[edit]

Amir Aharoni fixing jquery.ime issues.JPG
Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience
  • It builds on the existing knowledge of the participants.
  • Provides specific information to perform a new task, to improve the performance of a task or to think about the task and how to perform it.
  • Allows to acquire a new skill.
Target
Who no know go know.
Duration
Logistics
It can be developed using different formats (workshops, working space, presentations).
References

DevCamp and working space (peer-to-peer training)[edit]

Wikimedia Conference 2013-04-19 25.JPG
Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience
Target
Duration
  • Pre-conference
  • Open all-day-long
Logistics
  • Involving the developers for their input.
  • Specific technical requirements.
References

Hacking days[edit]

A hacking challenge

Advantages for the speaker/organizer
  • People involved work together at the same time and with the objective of developing something.
Advantages for the audience
  • There is no audience. All people are actually part of the hacking.
  • There might be some visitors.
Target
Duration
  • Pre-conference.
  • Open all-day-long.
Logistics
  • Involving the developers for their input.
  • Specific technical requirements.
References

Workshops (interactive training)[edit]

Wikimania 2013, chapters dialogue 02.jpg
Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience
Target
Who no know, go know.
Duration
Logistics
References

Training workshop (as of October 4th 2013, a very poor article on Wikipedia in English).

Media competition[edit]

Oaktree&mirrorimage.png

A competition with categories for audio, video, and four categories for photography: "nature", "people", "places" and "objects". There will also be three extra categories (one for each of photography, audio and video) for media created at, or on the way to, the conference.

Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience
Target
Duration
Logistics
References

Wikimedia Awards[edit]

Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience
Target
Duration
Logistics
References

wm2006:Wikimania Awards

Citizen Journalism Unconference[edit]

Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience
Target
Duration
Logistics
References

wm2006:Citizen Journalism

Artistic works[edit]

Plays, competitions, comedy, visualizations, displays or other representations of some aspect of the projects

Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience
Target
Duration
Logistics
References]

Chapters Village[edit]

Chapters Village from above.jpg
Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience
Target
Duration
Logistics
References2013

Meetups[edit]

Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audienceAllow interest groups within the Wikimedia community to organize meetings.
Target
Duration
Logistics
  • Providing a forum for them to announce meetups (whiteboard or a well-publicized page on the wiki).
  • Better not during the breaks; breaks are too short and they should be breaks.
References

Round table[edit]

Advantages for the speaker/organizer The speakers can present their state of work on this specific theme or can announce their interest to participate
Advantages for the audience Could be considered as meetup on specific thematic session.
Target
People interested to work on a specific theme
Duration
Logistics
References

Lightning Talks[edit]

Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience
Target
Duration
Logistics
References

w:en:Lightning Talk

OpenStreetMap mapping party[edit]

Wikimania 2013 HK ZvD 09.JPG
Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience
Target
Duration
Logistics
References

Icebreaking[edit]

Wikimedia Conference 2013 icebreaking 07.JPG
Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience
Target
Duration
Logistics
References

Break[edit]

Having a break

Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience
Target
Duration
Logistics
  • It has been used for meetups.
  • Maybe it should be used for a break.
References

Collages[edit]

Ask participants ahead of time if they would be interested in creating something like a collage or an installation.

Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience
Target
Duration
Logistics
References

Wikimania 2010 featured an installation made from empty pipes outside the venue.

Video screening[edit]

  • Consider hosting a video screening.
  • Have a call for submission of videos, with some of the videos screened at the event.
  • A winner could be chosen by the audience or a panel of judges.
Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience
Target
Duration
Logistics
References

Cultural exhibitions[edit]

Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience

something that the entire community can enjoy together

Target
Duration
Logistics
References

The 2010 Wikimania introduced an element of cultural exhibition, with the screening of a film and performance of a symphony concert. The Wikipedia-related documentary Truth in Numbers? was screened, and there was a symphony concert celebrating the host city and the cultural impact it had had and continues to have on the world.

Exhibition about Wikipedia[edit]

Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience
Target
Duration
Logistics
References

Games[edit]

Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience
Target
Duration
Logistics
References

Program crossing with other events[edit]

Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience
Target
Duration
Logistics
References

In 2007 there was a program listening meetups and other events taking place during the conference or https://wikimania2007.wikimedia.org/wiki/Social_Events

Tours and excursions[edit]

Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience
Target
Duration
Logistics
References

Unconference[edit]

Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience
Target
Duration
Logistics
References

w:en:Unconference

Posters[edit]

Milán, Chapters Conference 2013, profily poboček.jpg
  • A3/A2/A1 paper posters that briefly present something (case study, experience, project accomplished, new project, tool...).
  • It provides contact informations and links to get further information (and eventually the day and time of the talk).
  • It is a sort of trailer for presentations and for learning more.
  • Posters can also be digital.
  • The can be integrated during the conference.
  • They produce a sort of homemade/bottom-up exhibition.
  • The can be more easily translated.
  • They require some graphic design (we can maybe develop a template to facilitate the making of a poster or to guide the production).
  • The most good looking ones probably win over the poorly designed ones.
Advantages for the speaker/organizer
  • They allow people who are not very good in making presentations or they do not like to do it, to share their experience using a different tool: the poster does the basic job, the rest is direct personal interaction with the audience.
  • People who do not or can not attend the conference can contribute to it indirectly and online before it.
  • A poster in an event is a brave little tin soldier, happily standing on its own, day and night.
Advantages for the audience
  • They allow people to get an overview of what is going on.
  • They allow people to cross things they were not looking for (and encourage to talk to people and to go to specific presentations), boosting serendipity in way not possible online but able to have a tail online.
  • They allow people to get a sense of a topic even if they missed the presentation.
  • They are perfect for limited audiences (especially if not previously known but created on the spot): the poster creates a small gathering, distributed over time and great for intense person-to-person interaction (as opposed to passive participation).
Target
Newbie (in general or on the specific topic). Passive fruition first, then look for more info/discussion.
Duration
  • During the entire conference and beyond (further uses for presentations, exhibitions, report of the conference).
  • Access online.
Logistics
References

Ceremonies[edit]

Opening ceremony[edit]

Wikimania Opening Ceremony Adam Novak-0036.jpg
Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience
Target
Duration
Logistics
References

Closing ceremony[edit]

Wikimania 2013 closing ceremony IMG 5220.JPG
Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience
Target
Duration
Logistics
Remember to thank volunteers for their work. Call all volunteers to the stage.
References

"State of the Wiki" speech from Jimmy Wales[edit]

Jimmy Wales in Hong Kong.jpg
Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience
Target
Duration
Logistics
* during the closing keynote
References

Q&A with the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees[edit]

Q&A with the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, Wikimania 2013.JPG
Advantages for the speaker/organizer
  • Announce decisions taken in meetings preceding Wikimania.

| advantages for the audience =

  • Ideally, a fruitful conversation.
Target
 ??
Duration
Logistics
during the opening keynote
References

Brief presentation by the Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director[edit]

Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience
Target
Duration
Logistics
References

Eating, meeting and talking[edit]

Social events[edit]

  • Are just as important as the rest of the conference.
  • St least two special events: an opening party and a closing party
Advantages for the speaker/organizer
  • They are a criterion in judging the bid.
  • Party can be co-sponsored by specific venues or financed by specific sponsor.
  • Some Wikimania has also a VIP party, which can allow to thank the sponsors.
Advantages for the audience
Target
Duration
Logistics
  • Show off what your city has to offer!
  • events should be scheduled close to the venue, more important close to the hotels where attendees are staying.
  • Provide shuttle transportation if you must.
  • Non-alcoholic beverages should be available for all attendees.
References
  • Wikimania 2012 opened with a formal reception in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress, while the closing party was an open bar held at a local pool hall.

WikiWomen's Luncheon[edit]

WikiChicks Dinner.jpg
Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience
Target
Duration
Logistics
References

VIP party/event[edit]

An event on invitation only which is not open to all Wikimania participants.

Advantages for the speaker/organizerIt allows to thank the sponsors.
Advantages for the audienceThey have a specific event during which they can speak for example with the keynotes.
Target
Invited guests.
Duration
Logistics
References

Volunteer party[edit]

  • An event solely for the volunteers.
  • After the conference.
Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience
Target
Volunteers who contributed to organize Wikimania.
Duration
Logistics
ReferencesThe volunteer dinner for Wikimania 2012 was held shortly before the closing party, both at the same venue.

Tools and systems used to support the sessions[edit]

Pre-conference[edit]

Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience
Target
More "core" members of the community
Duration
2 days
Logistics
  • The programming arranged is more informal and unstructured,
  • opportunity to get the hang of operating the conference,
  • test the Internet capabilities,
  • not much preparation goes into the hackathon.
References
  • In 2012, the pre-conference consisted of a hackathon, organized by the Wikimedia Foundation in cooperation with the OpenHatch Foundation, as well as a chapters meeting.

Post-conference[edit]

  • It is customary that on the day after the conference, a meeting takes place between the lead organizers and the organizing team for next year in which experience is shared.
  • Before the conference, determine who from the successor team will be attending Wikimania, and plan a meeting for them based on their availability. Organizers from previous years should be invited as well.
Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience
Target
Duration
Logistics
  • People are exhausted.
  • Good time to propose excursions.
  • A room provided where attendees can gather after the conference.
  • A room for specific meetings.
References

Groups of 3 presentations[edit]

3 presentation related to similar themes are grouped in one session.

Advantages for the speaker/organizer
  • The presence of other 2 presentations make it more likely to have some audience at the session (at least the other presenters will listen to your talk if they are not editing their slides meanwhile).
  • You have no idea what kind of background your audience has.
  • If you have something more innovative or challenging to say, your presentation doesn't necessarily fits the themes proposed or fits too many.
Advantages for the audience
  • You can listen to more or less related topics.
  • Sometimes the level of knowledge necessary to understand the session can be uneven.
Target
General audience (passive+questions)
Duration
1h30 with 3 session (20 minutes each + questions)
Logistics
  • You need to identify at the beginning a series of themes.
  • You include in the call for panel the request to specify the theme.
References
  • This kind of session was introduced at Wikimania 2010.

Parallel sessions/tracks[edit]

The program of the conference is organized with different presentations/workshops/events at the same time. The word track is used in the program also to define the conference themes.

  • probably not all presentations are perfectly equal between all the tracks.
  • Allow to host more presentations and events. This generates a more open selection and less conflicts.
Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience
Target
Duration
Logistics
  • related presentations are grouped together.
  • Avoid overlapping tracks if you can.
  • try not to have two rooms simultaneously holding lectures on the same topic.
  • certain presentations require certain room setups (projector; if one presentation is a panel, make sure they are assigned to a room equipped for panels).
  • some presentations will be more popular than others, so the more popular topics should be assigned to larger lecture rooms.
  • asking conference registrants about their favorite conference tracks (to get a sense of which session can be more popular).
  • Be sure to continually follow up with the presenters as the conference approaches.
  • Once they have booked their hotel rooms, be sure to figure out where they are staying.
  • Be prepared to have replacement programming.
References

Call for participation (call for papers) / Submission[edit]

Advantages for the speaker/organizer
  • Allow participants and potential speakers to propose talks, events, workshops, content.
Advantages for the audience
Target
Duration
Logistics
  • Proposals are submitted through the wiki.
  • A committee reviews proposed presentations according to various metrics (ranked on a scale of 1 to 7, with presentations ranked 7 being the best; availability of presenters to attend; based on the relevance to the conference themes and anticipated interest by participants).
  • The points each reviewer gives are averaged together for the final grade for the presentation.
  • After each presentation is assigned a number and sorted into a track, each member of the program committee votes on a scale of Strong Reject (1 point) to Strong Accept (7 points)
  • The best presentations are assigned conference slots (trying to generate less conflicts as possible; i.e. do not hold two lectures on technology at the same time, since it would be impossible for one to attend all of both sessions).
  • Committee members will refrain from judging their own submissions.
  • It depends if the speaker will attend the conference. If a presenter announces he or she is not attending, their presentation is removed from consideration. If the ability of a presenter to attend is contingent on a scholarship that has neither been accepted nor rejected, the final decision is not made until the scholarship is approved or rejected.
  • The program committee should maintain a review page that allows the committee to rank presentations.
  • Not every program committee member has to review all presentations. For example, if some program committee members do not feel qualified to judge some technical submissions, they may skip them; if a program committee member has a conflict-of-interest for particular submissions, they should abstain from reviewing those.
  • Do not hold too many concurrent sessions
ReferencesExample of 2012, Submission review in 2012.

Project leaflet at Wikimania[edit]

Wikidata web 120dpi.pdf

A presentation of a theme or project in a small A5 booklet (description and links). The booklet is distributed at Wikimania and it also presents the list of related events/talks.

Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audienceIf you are interested in a topic, it is a remainder and it allows you to browse all relevant and connected events.
Target
Duration
Logistics
References

Languages[edit]

Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience
Target
Duration
Logistics
  • Sessions in specific languages.
  • Translations.
References
  • Some Wikimania with sessions in the host language.
  • Buenos Aires in English and Spanish (simultaneous translations)

With moderators[edit]

Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience
Target
Duration
Logistics
References

With facilitators[edit]

Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience
Target
Duration
Logistics
References

With session operators (one for each room/space)[edit]

Advantages for the speaker/organizer
Advantages for the audience
Target
Duration
Logistics
  • Assign someone to find the next speaker; some speakers have a bad sense of time.
  • Assign someone to test presentations before time.
  • Make sure you have a people available in the venues and know whom to talk to.
  • Test room facilities before session: light is working, microphone, translation devices if any, name tags if any.
References

Video recording[edit]

Advantages for the speaker/organizer
  • Documentation about the presentation online
Advantages for the audience
  • Documentation about the presentation online
  • Possibility to attend the conference online (streaming) or to listen to the presentations at any time
Target
  • Internet users
  • Wikimedia community, people interested in the topic and in the speaker...
Duration
Logistics
  • Video recording needs to be managed with
    • recording on-site (fixed camera and audio recording)
    • editing
    • uploading.
  • Video recording and streaming do not work in the same way
  • Not all sessions are easy to record with 1 fixed camera (workshops, discussions, training might need more cameras and editing to be properly recorded)
  • Necessity to allow speakers to ask to not be video recorded (the request needs to be motivated)
  • Video uploads of high resolution videos can be challenging (access to a relevant broadband internet connectivity, time to make the uploads). It might be useful to collaborate with a university or other institution which a suitable broadband for uploads).
References

Related articles on Wikipedia in English[edit]