Wikimania 2009/Bids/Buenos Aires/Q&A

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

This page is for questions and answers from the Jury and the public to the Buenos Aires bidding team, to follow the presentation meeting February 3. See also Talk:Wikimania 2009/Bids/Buenos Aires.


Rough outline of budget[edit]

I know it's way too early to make fair estimations etc, but could you give a rough outline of the expected budget? What order of magnitude do things cost, what do you expect for the exchange rates to happen, how much money do you expect to collect from local sponsors etc. Would you expect to be able to cover all local expenses with local income? Effeietsanders 21:37, 13 February 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Hi Effeiets. We made a rough expected budget and it's now included in Wikimania 2009/Bids/Buenos Aires#Budget. We expect to collect around $200,000-$250,000 from sponsors (not only local sponsor). We think that amount and dedicated sponsors could cover all conference costs. --Zuirdj 22:27, 14 February 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Cost of attendance[edit]

Separate from a budget: how much do you expect a typical community member to spend on attending Wikimania? Feel free to separate travel (which varies by origin), food and lodging (a range), and conference attendance itself (a smaller range; recognizing that this is still a rough estimate). +sj | help with translation |+ 22:34, 13 February 2008 (UTC)[reply]

For a typical community member living in New York, we expect conference would cost roughly $200 USD including three day main conference, hacking days, five days of accommodation in Ibis hotel, breakfasts, lunch and a dinner in the party day. Airfare would cost $631 USD and not included dinners would cost $5 USD per day. European and Asian community members will probably be affected by higher aifares and South and Central American wikimedians will pay less by those air tickets. --Zuirdj 23:07, 14 February 2008 (UTC)[reply]


It's great the the venue is being offered for free. Some questions: (from sj)

  • does the offer include a/v and support costs?
  • how long before/after the event will it be available to set up / tear down?
  • The venue seems to offer mainly large rooms. Will tehre also be smaller spaces, or halls with flexible seating that can be rearranged into small clusters, for open spaces and smaller gatherings?
As far as we know the rooms have basic audiovisual equipment, if additional equipment is needed we plan to get it ourselves.
The General San Martín Cultural Centre (CCGSM) is a big place with plenty of cultural activities everyday, thus the exact details on how long before/after the event its conference space will be available to setup/teardown cannot be given at this time. We have been talking with the Ministry of Culture of the city, who manages the proposed venue, and we have received their commitment to provide support for the conference. In fact, they have the know how about how much time is needed to set up / tear down this event in that venue. However, they cannot guarantee that kind of very specific operational details one year and a half in advance as those details depend on the pre and post Wikimania schedule for the conference rooms.
About the size of the rooms, we can say that the refurbishment of CCGSM is being finished and new spaces are included in the refurbishment. With this renewed layout, the center will have new versatile adaptable spaces. In fact, the new slogan for the CCGSM is "yesterday, the spaces configured the cultural activity; now, the cultural activity configures the spaces". As in the case of the setup/teardown, specific spaces, while available, cannot yet be assigned. Barcex 15:22, 14 February 2008 (UTC)[reply]
  • Will some of the spaces be available for people / exhibits to set up and be used as after-hours social space? Is 24 hour access available for part of the venue? If not, is there a similar social space that can be used, as part of preferred housing? +sj | help with translation |+ 16:52, 26 February 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Hi sj. We are talking to conference venue representatives to get 24 hour access in some building areas (CCGSM is a cultural center with many art exposition rooms, so they don't use to keep it open 24 hours). If we don't get that availability, we will try to get later hour access (e.g 1-2am) and very early access (~6am), and a special room to work overnight in Ibis-Novotel hotel building. If we finally manage to book all the rooms in the hotel we expect to be able to set up night social space there. Barcex 14:59, 28 February 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Local vs international visitors[edit]

What visitors ratio do you aim for and/or do you expect with regard to whether they are coming from "local" (please answer for various definitions of local if appropriate, ie your province, country, continent) vs "interlocal" visitors? Do you plan to focus in your program (partially) on the local visitors, for instance with language, speakers, subjects? Effeietsanders 21:40, 13 February 2008 (UTC)[reply]

We expect 150 local visitors and 250 to 350 "interlocal" visitors. That is, aproximately 2 "external" visitors for every local visitor. When we say "local" we mean south american visitors. Argentina has a wide wikimedian community but also does Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia, Perú, Brazil, Paraguay. With most countries of Latin America we share the same language, and regarding the fact that the Spanish Wikipedia is the second visited (English 54%, Spanish 15%, French 6%, German 4% and so on, [1]) we think that local or spanish speakers issues would naturally be reflected in the program. We also think this should be good news for wikimedia global community: the people that developes the second visited wikipedia has been hardly represented -or involved- in past Wikimanias. At the same time, they are issues and problems linked with the reality of developing countries. Native languages in real extintion risk -and wikimedians working in several wikipedias: Quechua, Aymara, Mapudungun, Guaraní, and many others; educational experiencies using wikipedia or other free knowledge sources in disfavored communities, accesibility issues, and so on. Taking this in account, to improve and facilitate the interchange, we are planning simultaneous translation between Spanish and English, as we said in the bid text, to put Wikimanía a step towards Wikimedia's policy of multilingualism. --Patricio.lorente 01:10, 14 February 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks a lot for your helpful reply. Effeietsanders 08:52, 14 February 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Travel scholarships[edit]

In the past, Wikimania has offered a number of travel scholarships to community members from around the world. Have you thought about how this would ideally work for a Wikimania in Buenos Aires? Have you made efforts to identify sources for similar scholarships for this event, particularly from local and national organizations? +sj | help with translation |+ 22:35, 13 February 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Sj, I'll be answering your question partially, I'm sure that Patricio, Enrique and Juan David will be able to give more details about this topic. The answer is yes, we have though about scholarships. We have have established contact with Grupo Santander, a big financial Spanish group with operations throughout Latin America and Spain who could provide scholarships for people from Spain and Latin America (at least). Talks started two months ago but we got no confirmation yet (these big organizations have slow internal processes). I have to say that they were just a bit reluctant to sponsor a particular Wikimania 2009 bid because at that time there were three bids from Latin America (Bogotá, Caracas, Buenos Aires). In any case, we would like to have Telefónica (the biggest telco in Argentina, Latin America and Spain) as sponsor for scholarships. I know there are more plans for scholarships, I think that Juan David and Patricio will clarify these plans better than me. Barcex 16:37, 14 February 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, as Barcex said, we plan to offer scolarships, and if you see our rough budget, this is an important issue (50 full scolarships plus 50% of the accomodation for partial scolarships). We expect Grupo Santander may cover scolarships for people from Spain an Latin America, but the budget is projected to offer scolarships for people from everywhere, attending to elegibility criteria that should be set after this stage. --Patricio.lorente 23:50, 14 February 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Rough timeline[edit]

What elements of the preparation and setup do you already know have a timeline component, and what is this timeline? What are the first things that will have to be settled? How far out will you need room counts, deposits for any reservation or rooms, &c? What other major events do you expect to be taking place around the same time as Wikimania? +sj | help with translation |+ 22:34, 13 February 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Sj, We've recently added a detailed timeline. It can be seen in Wikimania_2009/Bids/Buenos_Aires#Planning. Thank you, Ivana 22:58, 26 February 2008 (UTC)[reply]


For those countries that do require a visa for traveling to Argentina, what can you tell us about the process? How expensive is this, how long does it take, how does one go about getting the visa? To what extent does this vary by country of origin? --Michael Snow 17:05, 1 March 2008 (UTC)[reply]

In order to get a 90-day visa you have to go to the local Argentine consulate (the list is at [2]). The general requirements are a passport, a passport-style photo, a round trip flight ticket and evidence of funds. The cost is about USD 30, depending on the country of origin of the requester the process can take from five business days up to 30 days, so it is advised to request the visa about 30 days before the flight. In any case, the details should be checked with the local consulate (phone numbers are on the list). Of course, we will do as much as we can from Argentina to assure the timely issue of the visas. Barcex 00:16, 2 March 2008 (UTC)[reply]

There was an error in our list of countries that do not require visa to enter argentina, Australian citizens do not need visa. Barcex 15:55, 2 March 2008 (UTC)[reply]