Wikimania 2016 bids/Esino Lario/Communication/Tasks

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Cute and cuddly, boys. Cute and cuddly! Skipper, Madagascar, 2005.

Issue Description
Reference and report Communication of Wikimania Esino Lario (please update the page if changes occur)
  1. Triggering visibility and content about Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects (with an emphasis in inviting people to contribute) and about Esino Lario, Lake Como and Valsassina area.
  2. Documenting what we are doing and the event (texts, videos, guidelines and photos).
  3. Producing all the documentation needed for the event (signs, program, guidelines, online information, panels, welcome kit) to allow people to take full advantage of the program and venue.
  4. Contacts. Making sure information is available, questions are replied and ideas/proposals are collected, sent to the relevant teams and documented.

Critical issues to mention:

Most relevant outputs
  • Wikimania Esino Lario online documentation:, social media, pages related to Esino Lario, information, FAQ
  • Video to launch Wikimania Esino Lario at Wikimania Mexico City.
  • Wikimania Esino Lario Making Off (how the project developed - the story - probably a short video).
  • Wikimania Esino Lario in the press (articles, links...).
  • Documentation to allow people to take advantage of the event afterwards (accessing videos, photos, report on meta, evaluation).
  • Guidelines and procedures of the event.
  • Permanent signage in Esino Lario and in the area.
  • Documentation about the territory on the Wikimedia projects (in collaboration with the Documentation team)
  • Numer of volunteers and people active in Wikimania Esino Lario (online discussions, participants involved in the program, people participating and volunteering in the event, active engagement in the communication). We are not looking at the quantity of press but rather if the press commits to the event and what it focuses on.
  • Feedback of people (questions answered, comments about the event, suggestions taken into consideration).
  • Experience replicated (guidelines used, formats experimented and used elsewhere, ideas copied).
  • Better content on Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects: increased participation in Wiki Loves Monuments in Italy in 2015 (specifically complex), statistics.
  • Press office: Lorenzo Colombo (chair of the communication working group)
  • Identity, scenography and script: Roberto Paci Dalò
  • Graphic Designer: Vincent Plisson
  • Special guests: Chiara Somajni
  • Social media: Lara Marziali
  • Wikimedia websites and mailing lists:
  • Photos: Niccolò Caranti
  • Videos:
  • Radio:
  • Local signage during the event:
  • Local permanent signage:
  • Welcome kit:
  • Printed program:
  • Guidelines and report:
  • Front desk

Please note that

  • The team can collaborate with the communication team of the Wikimedia Foundation (in particular for the international press).
  • You will need to have a close collaboration with the Program team: coordinator Ginevra Sanvitale.
Budget At the moment we have
  • An in kind support of 3'000-5'000 euro from A+E Milano srl (communication agency, prints): Reference person Enrico Messa
  • 4'000 euro for video recording and uploads.
  • Registration packet (lanyards, badge holders, bag, t-shirts, conference brochure) - 5'000 euro [please note that some of the materials can be printed by A+E Milano srl]

We will have a more clear idea of the budget in March 2015.

Documentation Wikimania Esino Lario procedures related to communication:

Other relevant information and procedures

Guidelines Wikimania[edit]

Online participation[edit]


  • conference wiki (
  • set up a planning wiki or do planning on meta (hrm, note that it's best to not use a separate planning wiki)
  • When your team is ready, file a request on Bugzilla to open the wiki. Once the wiki is created, do the following:
  • Make sure the Translate extension is enabled
  • Set up an interwiki link on the interwiki map (e.g., wm2012 for the Wikimania 2012 site).
  • Import last year's templates into the website, including translation templates
  • Appoint one or two people on the conference team to serve as site Bureaucrats. Appoint admins as necessary to delete spam, etc.
  • Reply to comments posted on site
  • Look at the previous conference websites to see what pages you will need to include on your website.
  • content: local information
    • how to get around
    • airport transfers
    • basic phrasebook, money changing info, tips
    • how to get from transportation to the hotel/venue
    • information about facilities before arrival are helpful
    • emergency contact info
    • all the necessary information for an emergency, including the emergency hotline (9-9-9 in Great Britain, for example), the conference duty phone number, and the location of the nearest hospitals
    • FAQ on the conference
    • pages describing the registration, presentation submission, and scholarship processes
    • solicitation for sponsors.

Social networks[edit]

Public mailing lists[edit]

For public communications, focus on the following lists:


CentralNotices allow you to disseminate brief messages throughout the Wikimedia websites. For more information, see CentralNotices.

Generally speaking, anyone can schedule a CentralNotice, so long as it does not conflict with others, but a meta admin has to actually post it. (some technical skill involved)


  • OTRS is an e-mail ticket system set up for all of Wikimedia, with several queues dedicated to Wikimania. See the list of queues (and people with access) on the Wikimania team wiki.
  • General documentation about OTRS is available on the OTRS wiki, which can be accessed by OTRS agents. If no one on your team is already a registered OTRS agent, contact an OTRS admin to request an account for you, providing your name, e-mail address, and username.


  • The leadership of Wikimania 2011 and 2012, however, both decided against streaming, noting that the money can be put to better use.)

Communication with outside communities[edit]

  • Coordinating with other institutions in hosting Wikimania can help reduce costs while bolstering relations between the Wikimedia movement and outside communities.

Media contacts[edit]

  • working with the press is a crucial part of the conference. Wikimania is always well-covered by the press, and the conference is a great opportunity to promote Wikimedia and the local Wikimedia community, to make announcements, and to give interviews.
  • Contact international and local press and make you list ready at least a month before the conference
  • The first day is the big day; a lot of unexpected media will show up. Be ready
  • Sponsors will like to communicate with media, make sure you can facilitate that if possible
  • handling the press (including issuing press passes and press kits and explaining and promoting the conference) is a job that every team must take on.
  • This is a good area for the local team to partner with Foundation staff and other Wikimedians who routinely deal with press and public relations.

Press kit[edit]

  • Wikimania 2012 issued portfolios containing written press releases and documents describing the Wikimania 2012 conference and Wikimedia District of Columbia, the Wikimedia chapter conducting the conference.

Press conference[edit]

  • If you are having a press conference, make sure it is well organized with panel/speakers/coverage..etc
  • consider holding this shortly after the opening plenary so that attendance is maximized. Work with the WMF Executive Director and/or Chair and Jimmy Wales so that they are available for the press conference.



Please refer to the programme.

Credits and logos[edit]

Communication with the participants[edit]

  • Make sure attendees know whom to speak to when they need what. Print names and phone of organizers on the back of the name tags and maybe on program sheet as well
  • Registration
  • Scholarships
  • Visa
  • email attendees before arrival, reminding them where to find everything
  • If you are a lead organizer, your phone will be ringing non-stop on site. Try to answer all calls and don't put your voice mail. There will be lots of urgent cases that require your interference. Be ready for an evening phone call of an attendee with an accommodation/transportation problem. You should always have a plan B for that
  • Make sure you announce when sessions start.
  • Make sure you communicate every and any updates to all attendees.
  • If you are in a non-English speaking country, make sure your team has good communication skills in English. Other language are an asset of course
  • Whatever transportation scheme your logistical team agrees to, be sure to document it thoroughly and to disseminate this information among attendees. For instance, if you are renting a charter bus, publish a bus schedule of when people will be picked up from where. If you are encouraging public transportation, link people to the transit authority website and say which bus stops / train stations to travel between, as well as the cost of fare.

Announcements (change in the schedule)[edit]

sometimes you will need to communicate information to the wider conference attendance, and to do so effectively requires some advance preparation. For example, say you need to communicate a change in the schedule. If you have a plenary session before the affected part of the schedule, announce the change at the plenary session. The other half of the process entails blanketing the venue in ad-hoc signage. Using your war room's on-site printer, print multiple signs communicating the change. Place those signs at the information desk, the affected venue rooms, in the lounge, and any other highly visible parts of the venue.

  • Announcement of shuttles at party need to be provided with clear warning.

Welcome bags[edit]

  • It is conventional for Wikimania attendees to receive t-shirts for the conference.
  • Make sure there are enough small and medium t-shirts, as well as XL and XXL. Medium and large seem to be the most popular sizes, though you could always ask folks. Men and women need different styles
  • Collect t-shirt sizes at registration so that you know how many t-shirts of what sizes you will need to print.
  • If you are ordering your own t-shirts for distribution, be sure to order both men's cut and women's cut t-shirts. You will need to do this about one month before the conference.
Paper booklet[edit]
  • Consider having as little as possible in the physical book, as nearly everything you put in the book could also be put online, and longer books can be very expensive.
  • you will need to submit your conference book to the printers about two weeks in advance.
  • anything you put in the book will risk being outdated.
  • Consider leaving the session schedule out of the printed book, instead featuring it on large-screen displays throughout the venue.
  • each attendee is provided with a book featuring greetings, conference policies, the schedule, presentation abstracts, local information, and information about sponsors.
  • Including abstracts and short biographies of the speakers.
  • internet access publicized--don't forget to type the password.
  • Type names and numbers of on-site helpers on the back of the name tags.
  • Sentences and useful words in the local language.
  • Emergency number
  • all the necessary information for an emergency, including the emergency hotline (9-9-9 in Great Britain, for example), the conference duty phone number, and the location of the nearest hospitals
  • Clearly mark in your conference book's map where first aid is provided in the venue.
  • Theft prevention should always be emphasized. Discourage vendors from leaving equipment at the venue except in a locked storage room, and discourage attendees from leaving their laptops or cell phones in plain sight—even when going to the restroom
1 page schedule or small booklet[edit]
  • With the schedule and a map of the conference venues and rooms.
  • internet access publicized--don't forget to type the password
  • Type names and numbers of on-site helpers on the back of the name tags


  • Dedicated person
  • Instructions for moderators
  • Make sure sessions moderators know where their sessions are

Communication on-site/materials[edit]


  • Large, clearly visible signs featuring the conference logo will make your attendees' lives easier.
  • Large signs direct the flow of traffic, and if attendees see the conference logo, they will know they are in the right place.
  • Well in advance of the conference, walk throughout the venue and decide on logical places to put signs.
  • Signs pointing people to Wikimania
  • Make sure there is clear signage to all places (Restrooms, dinning places, internet, exits..etc)
  • Rooms should have signs posted out front (large room signs indicating the room name and number were printed on foam board, with paper signs attached indicating the events of that room).
  • schedule changes will happen, and they need to be communicated effectively.
  • Emergency number
  • You will need signs that
    • point people to the right rooms
    • signs for each session room. put the name or number of the room on it, leaving a space to tape written information about the events of that room.
    • signs for the registration queues.
    • outside the restrooms so that they are easier to find.

Communication on-site related to the program[edit]

  • schedule changes will happen, and they need to be communicated effectively.
  • Definitive schedule more than two days beforehand and templates with few holes to fill in. We can print daily schedules (better big on a wall).
  • Announcements and program of the day each morning.
  • Providing a forum for people to announce meetups (whiteboard or a well-publicized page on the wiki)
  • Make sure attendees know that the online schedule is always the latest and greatest. Be sure to include such information prominently by the printed schedule, should you choose to print one.
  • Also keep an up-to-date schedule in a central place such as the help desk in case attendees cannot access the online versions themselves.


  • Printing name badges can become complicated, since people's registration details change, people turn up on the day wanting to register, the printer breaks, someone made a typo (you'll be blamed even if the attendee goofed), someone is registered as a normal attendee but want a speaker/organiser/press badge... the list goes on. Be prepared to create new badges on-demand at registration.
  • The name badge needs to include the name of the conference, a logo to prevent easy duplication/faking, and information per the request of the attendee
  • You should either print this information on both sides of the badge, or engineer the badge such that it cannot flip over. What you don't want is a case where badges easily flip over, causing them to fail in their most basic function.
  • The font should be as large as you can fit on the badge, but note that some people have very long names and user names (over 40 characters is not unknown in some attendees).
  • Badges need to be attached to Wikimanians. This is usually done by hanging them round the neck on a lanyard with an option for clipping them to clothing. Pins are a bad idea, since they are difficult for some clothes, there is a potential for injury, and they are less visible).
  • Use different colors and text labels for different type of attendees, including organizers, volunteers, speakers, and especially press.
  • Include a small booklet with the schedule and most important information, such as venue layout, nearby shops and pharmacies, and shuttle schedules, and put this booklet inside the badges so it can't get lost and can easily be transported. This was a great idea from Wikimania 2011 that was repeated for Wikimania 2012.
  • Not all information on the badge is of equal importance. Use different font sizes to easily identify the important bits (e.g. name).
  • Landscape badges have more space
  • username@homeproject is quite long to read—consider separating onto different lines
  • You (or your funding sources) may wish to add sponsors' logos to the badges too
  • Some attendees will not want their photo taken, and will ask for a marker to indicate this. Sometimes we have included this either on the badge or as a sticker to apply by attendees on registration.


  • Keep a printer in your conference's on-site office so that you can print these things on demand.
  • During the conference you may need to print impromptu signs to affix to your larger venue signs, or other things for distribution throughout the venue.


Video recording[edit]

  • Please refer also to streaming.
  • At minimum you should record videos of all the sessions and to do so with the help of a professional video production company. It is worth the expense, since you will need a dedicated team just for video, and by contracting it to an outside firm you can be assured that all necessary setup, recording, takedown, backing up, and editing is accounted for.

Communication among the team[edit]

  • add team members to: teamwiki, planning mailing list, wikimania-l
  • making sure that all team members know what is going on, what their responsibilities are and how to get the answers to questions;
  • making sure that planning meetings are well-documented for the sake of those who join your team later; a
  • making sure that planning documents (including budgets and timelines) are up-to-date and accessible.
  • Good communications makes it possible to get additional volunteers, since people are more likely to help if they can figure out what is going on and if they know what the areas are where their assistance is needed.
  • It can also help the lead organizers feel less stress, since if you have a good plan that is well communicated (and all your team members communicate back to you) you will know exactly at what stage of the planning process you are in and what needs to be done next.
  • The conference team should have a rapid communication mechanism to use during the conference. Walkie-talkies or even cell phones are good for this purpose.

Management tools[edit]

  • Gantt charts and timelines
  • Critical path charts
  • Regular planning meetings
  • Mailing lists
  • Roadbook (a roadbook is a document that centralises everything in one place, from registration particulars to phone numbers of hotels attendees are staying at, to list of speakers). The roadbook can be on a wiki, but it must be easily printable so that organisers who are running around can have it in their hands while running around.
  • Volunteer handouts with contacts, timetables, assignments for each team of volunteers.
  • Tick-tocks, explaining minute-by-minute operations (especially handy for plenary sessions).

Mailing lists[edit]

  • For the private lists, the "new team" takes over the list every year.
  • Multilingual coordination is acceptable and expected, especially on the private lists; there is not a need to start a new list just for your language.
  • International planners subscribed to these lists expect to get messages in lots of languages.

Wikimania Team Wiki[edit]

The Wikimania Team wiki, accessible only to those with accounts

In case of problem[edit]

  • Make a list of all important persons and their mobile numbers, know when they are available during the conference and where to find them:
    • Facility manager: Helps you with locking/unlocking doors, power issues, lights
    • Audio technician : in case there is a problem with the local audio equipment
    • IT manager: To get access to server/phone cabinet with Internet uplink, switches, etc.

Contacting and reporting back to the Wikimedia Foundation, grant-makers and donors[edit]

  • Prepare a sponsor kit to show potential sponsors—be sure to include the different levels of sponsorship and the benefits for each. Example Wikimania 2012.
  • All of your funders will require clear, prompt and detailed communication about the state of the conference and how their money is being put to use.
  • report any major changes to the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • Upon the completion of the conference, prepare a budget report that compares original cost estimates to the actual costs, along with an explanation for any discrepancies.
  • At least one person should have the full-time task of persuading and keeping in touch with sponsors—this person, after securing sponsorships, should also do what they can to make sure they are happy.
  • The Wikimedia Foundation will work with teams to pursue big or international sponsors and can help work with sponsors on behalf of teams.
  • It is up to every team to pursue at least local and in-kind opportunities and to make sure that materials that make it easier to get sponsorship (such as up-to-date press kits, websites, budgets and other information) are available.
  • You (or your funding sources) may wish to add sponsors' logos to the badges too
  • Credits and logos of funding sources on the program.

Graphic design[edit]

  • Conference logo
  • Consider working with a graphic designer to design a common theme for the book/conference....


Wikimedia, Wikimania, and Wikipedia, as well as their respective logos, are registered trademarks of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. The Foundation gives permission for others to use the logos and trademarks pursuant to certain terms. Any chapter that has signed a chapter agreement will already have permission. Any outside organizations that are running Wikimania should contact the Head of Communications, Jay Walsh, at

Languages and translations[edit]

  • consider having translations available for any materials, directions, and announcements so that they are in English as well as the local language.
  • Clearly mark on the program which language each event will be in and whether translation will be available.
  • Translations of conference materials can be done over or Meta-Wiki.
  • If the host country is not English-speaking, it is normal to have some elements of the welcome and closing ceremonies in the host language. Thanks to local sponsors, helpers and volunteers do not need to translate these parts into English.

Conference "post-mortem" / Evaluation[edit]

  • It should be done as soon as possible after the end of the conference while the whole experience is fresh in everyone's mind.
  • you analyze each area of the conference (you might use the breakdown of this handbook) and have team members report on what went wrong and what went right.
  • The post-mortem serves two purposes:
    • knowledge collected from the session will help future teams decide what to do
    • it can provide a kind of closure to the experience for the team.
  • You may also want to collect attendee feedback about the conference, either online or in person at the end of the event. See wm2012:Feedback for example.
  • finish your reporting. You will have receipts and final bills to account for, and you will need to make sure all of your accounting is finished. You will then have to submit reports to the Wikimedia Foundation and any of your other sponsors that require them.
  • You may also choose to post a final report for the community.
  • Lastly, attendees will want to see the videos of sessions that were recorded and any other program notes (such as presenter slides) posted online for later viewing. This is a process that may stretch for several weeks (or even months) but a timeline for this should be developed and followed by the technical and program teams, who will respectively be in charge of these areas.
  • share your experiences with the conference on this wiki and in the handbook.
  • Collect all the purchase orders and other such documentation and make them available to next year's team so that they have an idea of what specific things they may need to order.
  • Consider developing your own "timeline" document on how to organize Wikimania based on your experiences.
  • A representative from your team will also be invited to join the Wikimania bid jury for the following year.