Wikimania 2011 lessons

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Below is a summary of the feedback provided for Wikimania 2011 in Haifa, here: wm2011:Feedback. It is intended to inform the planning and execution of future Wikimania conferences.


The venue was great (small and big rooms, nice meeting spaces inside and outside, central location with shopping possibilities etc. very near)

Wish list
  • Plenty of electrical outlets and power strips
  • Adequate and stable Wifi at main venue
  • A "VoIP booth" available permitting calls during conference
  • Resources or activities to support parenting during conference
  • 24 hour lounge with WiFi for hacking and socializing
  • Space/opportunities for public to interact with attendees
  • A whiteboard for feedback and messages
  • Gilboa/Tavor rooms were too small for some of the sessions
  • Air conditioning often too cold in Cinemateque, on shuttle bus
  • Ashtrays needed (but availability restricted by local laws)
  • More accommodation for disability desired, including a smoke-free outdoor area


  • Excellent organisation in general
  • Long commute from some of the dorms
  • Aadequate internet connection missing at some places
  • Talia dorm was quite old and in need of maintenance
  • Air conditioning at the Technion was very much appreciated, some dorms lacked it
  • More information about facilities before arrival would have been helpful
  • Ganei Dan was in total a good choice (location, rooms, service)
  • One commenter paid for a private room but was given a shared room


  • Excellent organisation, shuttles, good descriptions
  • Transit from train station to hotels/dorms was lacking
  • Documentation of shuttle schedules (program, wiki) were incomplete, didn't list some evening shuttles
  • Announcement of shuttles at party could have been provided with more warning
  • Some Ben Gurion Airport security staff were aware of Wikimania, which was helpful; El Al Airlines staff were not, which was not.


  • Haifa is not very walkable
  • One commenter found public transportation poor/infrequent, and poorly documented; another found it good.
  • Shabbat caused an unfamiliar disruption to transit availability



  • Session chair - assign a minder to each room to manage schedule, make sure water is available for speakers, have the right adapters, etc.
  • Video adapters - keep some available for presenters
  • Q&A sessions - improve efficiency (to avoid delays while microphone is passed to questioner, etc.)
  • Badges - Mini schedule in the badge was great. Badges should be double-sided. Badges should include babel tags indicating language proficiency. Consider color-code for conference organizers, press, WMF staff (??), speakers, etc. Extra badges on hand for check-in would help. Color code for those who prefer not to be photographed desired.
  • Madness sessions - At Wikimania 2010 there were 30 second intros by each presenter each morning before sessions.
  • Scheduling - Several commenters agreed that 3 sessions in a 90 minute block is good, 4 is too many to accommodate questions, technical needs, etc.
  • Lightning Talks - better explanation (what they are, how to sign up) would have been helpful. Better to spread out over several days. Use an audible timer. Tie in with unconference?
  • Schedule on a wall - Would be convenient, and provide clear resolution to outdated printed schedules


  • There was some speculation around whether partial scholarships adequately took into account the varied cost of air travel from different regions, varying exchange rates between acceptance and purchase.
  • Decision process around scholarships could have been more clearly communicated.
  • Earlier scholarship awards might open up inexpensive "early bird" travel options.


  • Food was praised.
  • Greater availability of drinking water requested
  • Fresh fruit, melons during breaks were appreciated
  • Too many wasted disposable cups, utensils etc. Please make future events greener. A refillable Wikimania mug was one suggestion.
  • Desire for clearer food labeling: vegetarian/vegan/kosher/...
  • Clear advance communication between organizing team and catering company is essential.
  • Clearer communication that supper would be an individual responsibility on the Jerusalem tour would have helped.
  • Not enough tables, places to eat, for many of the meals.


  • One page document requested: venue address, emergency contact info, transit info, exchange rates and advice, tipping guidelines, electric outlet info/pictures, telecom choices, local language phrases, small map
  • Lots of social space and events were planned, which was praised
  • Wikimania pockets caused a little security issue at the airport … We got an extra queue, they did phone calls about the pockets and my luggage got completly packed out.
  • More XL/XXL tshirts requested
  • Media sharing guidelines: Event materials and wiki should not recommend proprietary hosting sites (YouTube, Flickr) to the exclusion of Commons
  • Official media should be shared on Commons if possible
  • Video from event should be edited carefully, including legible slides and/or shots of the presenter as appropriate
  • Please test Commons upload early enough before Wikimania 2012. This year upload wasn't possible for days and at the end of the conference still slow and buggy.
  • Music at all the parties was so loud that it made conversation very difficult, even when standing far from speakers. Especially important in a multilingual environment.
  • A clear way for those not in attendance to experience and engage with Wikimania desired (including synchronous and asynchronous viewing of presentations, as well as opportunities to connect with remote Wikimedians)

More feedback[edit]