Wikimania 2010 lessons
The text below is summarized from wm2010:Monsters and critics; please view that page for detailed comments or further information.
- Great event
- Good venue, good city
- Good to have long breaks
- Program led to difficult choices
- Philharmonic concert, Truth in Numbers? documentary screening, party at shipyard were well received
- Accommodations were good
- Good opportunity to meet people
- Shared meals were good for meeting people
- Regret lack of outreach toward non-Wikimedia world; suggest public officials on panels to address copyright issues, education, etc.? Or off-site events at schools etc.?
- 50 to 60% first-time attendees = "fresh air"
- A few language tips in the printed program would have been nice
- Distance between student dorm and venue was too great, final night of accommodation would have helped.
- 1 General comments
- 2 Program
- 3 Sideprogram
- 4 Communications
- 5 Logistics
- 6 Accommodation
- 7 Personal service and behaviour of the team
- Grouping multiple related presentations into one session was a welcome innovation, but clearer agenda in program would have helped. Also, increased care to ensure strong connections with a session was requested.
- Four parallel sessions was better than the five of the previous Wikimania.
- Presenting third was frustrating, when earlier presentations ran over time.
- 30 minute coffee breaks were good, added flexibility when things ran late.
- Overlap with WikiSym was good, but the overlapping day was not.
- Having a keynote the morning after a party may not have been ideal, but may have been preferable to substantive programming.
- There was no non-Wikimedian "star" keynoter to attract non-Wikimedians and/or provide broader context for Wikimedians (though the concert provided a bit of mixing) Some speaker suggestions here: wm2009:Survey/CommentsQ13. One commenter preferred few keynotes, in favor of more substantive sessions.
- If something is advertised as a panel, it should actually be a panel, not a presentation. No more than 5 panelists.
- Being a session chair was more difficult than expected. Perhaps some guidelines on how to manage time and participants would help.
- Having slides online, and organized in one place, in a timely fashion would be a big help.
- One panelist was scheduled in two competing panels.
- Philharmonic concert: highly rated. One reviewer appreciated the idea, but not the music.
- Premiere of Truth in Numbers? (documentary about Wikipedia): highly rated. Venue was too hot, and seat reservations were an added hassle. Volume (especially bass) too loud. Opportunity to leave bags at hotel between movie and party would have been helpful.
- Discussion after film was too long and boring (compounded by hot venue) for one commenter.
- Poster sessions: One commenter appreciated that these were held in a central, social area.
- Socializing: Several informal meetings happened but were poorly advertised, limiting participation. Long coffee breaks in one location were appreciated. Seating would have helped.
- Party (drinks, dancing): Featured a) shipyards, b) library, c) art gallery, d) trivia game. Service was very slow, leading to frustration; dancing did not happen because people were in line for drinks. Centralized socializing for that evening was appreciated. Location was too far, making it difficult to leave on one's own schedule. Transportation was sloppy. One commenter would have preferred if it was the final night. Alternative for non-drinkers would have been appreciated. Trivia game was fun. More explanation about the (apparently culturally significant) venue would have been appreciated.
- World Cup competition: Would have been nice to have opportunity to watch as a group. Scheduling program to avoid major matches is recommended.
- Registration, accommodations info was not timely. (No info about lodging prior to arriving in Gdansk)
- Registration process was slow
- Visa support was slow
- Web site was not updated sufficiently
- Deadlines for submissions, notifications, registration etc. were way too late
- Important dates and schedule were not available soon enough
- Email response was quick
- Tickets to meals, events in welcome bag should have been more clearly marked
During the conference
- Things were smooth
- Check-in was chaotic
- Due to long line, attendees were instructed to return and register later; but welcome bags ran out
- Team was very responsive in meeting needs individually
- More accessible water (due to heat) would have been appreciated
Streaming / Video Coverage
- Live streaming was high quality, worked well, including good real-time cuts between cameras
- Online videos were promised after the event, but never materialized
- Opportunity to ask questions or make comments remotely would be nice
- Streaming should not depend on proprietary formats like Flash, better to use Icecast
After the conference
- Several people did not receive a Certificate of Participation as soon as they had hoped (though organizer appeared happy to oblige after the fact)
- Demographic statistics on attendees desirable (home country, gender, home project, etc.)
- Some chairs were noisy
- One room was echoey
- Wireless microphones ran out of batteries repeatedly; some did not filter out high-frequencies effectively
- Lack of air conditioning was a big problem
- Beautiful building, good size and good location. More tables for eating would have been nice.
- Smaller rooms for workshops would be good.
- Map of area was inaccurate for a couple of the dorms.
WiFi and power
- Very few power sockets; power strips would have helped.
- Network configuration to accommodate many devices was lacking. Professional consultation, capacity testing would have helped.
- Wired ports to supplement WiFi would have helped.
- Encrypted WiFi desired by one commenter.
Food and Drink
- More availability of drinking water, cups.
- Food was simple, good, and abundant.
- More local food would have been interesting.
- Not enough vegetarian options.
- Simpler token system would have been appreciated.
- Lack of tables/seating was a problem.
- Coffee at lunch would have been nice.
- Choice of black or white was appreciated.
- Variety of sizes was appreciated.
- Option to order extra shirt(s) would be appreciated.
- One commenter did not like the design.
- Ran out early
- Flag of attendee's country might have been interesting and helpful (for finding shared language speakers)
- "Babel" box on badge to indicate language proficiency would help
- Double-sided is good for use with lanyards
- Space for optional badge info on registration form would be nice (username, legal name, affiliation, editcount, languages, contacts…)
- Option for "username and first name" would be appreciated
- Food/drink tokens distributed in badge (instead of bag) would have helped avoid problems
- Proper handling of surname/given name order for all languages should be handled better.
- Having a program in paper without great changes is super
- Care to include all Wikimedia projects is important
- Invitation letter in time to get Visa is essential (some Indians were unable to attend because of this).
- One respondent reminds of us of his/her proposal: wikimania-l to address access issues
- One respondent was sent to the wrong location, met several others who had the same problem.
- Once dorms were found, they were fine and the 15 minute walk was fine.
- WiFi in the hotels, or a bulk deal on mobile broadband, would be appreciated.
- One respondent had not been assigned lodging as late as Thursday evening.
- Proximity to venue, Internet access are more important than quality of lodging
- Dorm #6 was too far away.
- Guests were told to check out on final day, had to bring bags to the venue, did not know where they would sleep that night.
- No Internet from second day on.
- One receptionist did not speak English
Personal service and behaviour of the team
- Highly praised!