Jump to content

Wikimania checklist

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki


  • Team checklist

Sponsorships and budget[edit]

  • set up a separate Wikimania bank account or accounts if it will have different currencies
  • budget -- prepare budget for the WMF. Ask previous teams for the template
  • make up sponsorship packet. Make sure your team has someone with experience in proposal writing and knows how to sell Wikimania
  • sponsorships -- local. Make sure you have good communication skills and understanding of potential local sponsors. If you did not get any funding after 3 months, make sure you ask for help. Money shortage on last minute is dangerous
  • sponsorships -- international -- work with Kul


  • Form program committee -- local and international volunteers
  • Make early decisions regarding tracks, keynotes, special sessions, languages. Some Wikimanias have had all presentations in English, others have also had a track in the host language. Buenos Aires had simultaneous translators and the whole conference was bilingual in English and Spanish. If you anticipate having coverage in a language other than English then you want to decide that early enough to attract first time delegates in that language.
  • Step by Step: Make sure you have a draft 6 months after the bid result. A near complete schedule should be available at least 6 weeks before the conference date. Be flexible with editing on last minute, but make sure everybody is informed

General program[edit]

  • Recruit moderators for each session

Keynote speakers[edit]

  • Send them invitation emails at least 4 months before the conference; they are usually booked
  • Make sure you have a back up for late apologies



  • People from many countries will receive a visa only if they have a scholarship; make sure results of scholarships are announced at least 12 weeks before the conference date
  • Have a local organisations writing an invitation letter for people applying for a visa
  • Have the Wikimedia Foundation writing a letter confirming the scholarships; include in the letter what the scholarship covers
  • Contact the tourism agency, the Ministry of culture or other national organisations to inform them about the event and to ask for a partnership; this can facilitate also visa
  • Partner with an university for the event; university conferences have sometimes facilitations for the visa process



  • Rooms booked: large auditorium; 4-6 classroom sized breakout rooms
  • onsite large open space
    • includes couches, internet access, power outlets, refreshments
  • internet access
  • Live streaming and sessions recording is advised
  • Spacious enough to acquire changes in sessions locations, or adding a track on site
  • Open areas should include many seating options. Scattered seatings are not comfortable
  • Have a semi private space where groups can sit together and talk
  • Spacious enough for sponsors to place their stands and booths on equal display advantage; you do not need a conflict on-site
  • Having plasma screens display on site is an advantage
  • Conference venue should have good air conditioning/ventilation for rooms and outdoors spaces
  • A small internet corner on site is helpful
  • Double check if the venue is hosting another event at the same time. Make sure that this will not affect the services you should be expecting from venue management

Accommodation, transportation and dining[edit]

  • Accommodation should preferably be near the conference venue; ideally within walking distance
  • Cheap (student dorms) accommodation booked (majority of attendees)
  • Nicer accommodation (hotel) options reserved, options given on website
  • Check-in options negotiated (do attendees pay wikimania or pay the hotel? when and where can they check in?)
  • Roommate options
  • Onsite coffee breaks twice a day during the conference days
  • Onsite lunch during the conference days--make sure you include vegetarian/vegan meals
  • book dining group reservations in various local restaurants for dinner; have a signup sheet for people who want to join a dinner, recruit volunteer leaders for dinners
  • Make yourself aware of details of no-show penalty
  • Check availability of extra rooms before the conference, in case of unexpected requirements
  • Keep a list of alternative hotels with prices and availability
  • Make sure the hotel provides a ride to the airport or train station or venue if they promised it
  • If you are providing the ride to/from the airport. Make sure you plan this very well. It takes a lot of organization to coordinate between flight arrivals and car pools. Avoid offering to organize the ride unless you can do it efficiently. Otherwise, announce options of public transport and rented cars, with prices. If some attendees are arriving at a different airport, make sure you provide a clear train schedule (or website) as well as other transportation options. If subways or trains are not safe enough in evenings in your city, please make this clear to attendees so that they avoid risky decisions
  • Some attendees will show on the second day asking to change their hotel. Be ready with a resolution
  • Have contact with travel agents, maybe have a booth for them on site. Some attendees will need their services

Attendee services[edit]

  • T-shirt (ask for sizes on registration) don't forget men and women need different styles, and remember to provide t-shirts for children in the crèche. Provide the organisers/volunteers with a different colour T-shirt.
  • Lanyards for badges - colour coded to show:
    • attendees
    • presenters
    • press
    • people who decline to be photographed
  • printed schedule highlighting updates of each day
    • 1 page schedule or booklet that fits into badge (as Wikimania 2011 introduced it)
    • conference book
  • internet access publicized—don't forget to type the password
  • Make some local mobile SIM cards available for purchase, on site
  • Make sure that the multi-plug power outlets/extensions are the kind with international sockets.
  • Type names and numbers of on-site helpers on the back of the name tags
  • email attendees before arrival, reminding them where to find everything
  • Provide adequate facilities for persons of reduced mobility
  • Provide induction loop for persons hard of hearing in rooms with poor acoustics

Onsite miscellaneous[edit]

  • Signs pointing people to Wikimania
  • Make sure there is clear signage to all places (Restrooms, dining places, internet, exits, etc.)
  • 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 also on program sheet
  • Make sure session moderators know where their sessions are
  • Assign someone to find the next speaker; some speakers have a bad sense of time
  • Assign someone to test presentations before time
  • Make a dozen circuit boxes[unclear] available on site
  • Bring enough international plug connectors - especially for US and EU plugs.
  • Make sure there are no PC to MAC problems; make extra connectors available, especially from mac to projectors
  • Test room facilities before session:
    • lights
    • microphone
    • translation devices
    • name tags
    • video equipment
    • projectors
  • Make AA batteries, CDs, DVDs, USB cables and flash drives available on site
  • Make sure you have people from the venue assigned to be at your service and know whom to talk to
  • 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 intervention. Be ready for evening phone calls of attendees with accommodation/transportation problems. You should always have a plan B for that
  • Make sure you announce when sessions start
  • Make sure you communicate all updates to all attendees
  • If you are in a non-English speaking country, make sure your team has good communication skills in English. Other languages are an asset of course
  • Follow up on everything, and keep a list. With chaos and large numbers, things will go off track.
  • Registration and on-site registration could be a hassle. Make sure you have enough room for the registration desks and queue. Categorize your attendees: Speakers, attendees, keynote, sponsor, press. Have enough people to help, but not so many that they become a source of chaos themselves
  • Flexibility. Do your best to make attendees pleased and comfortable
  • Have a printing facility on site available. Photographs printing facility is also nice
  • TV teams usually need a private space to work on their videos or interview someone. Make sure there is a media room or equivalent space available on site
  • For any major/minor medical emergencies, be prepared with an onsite option. Emergency kit, a next door clinic, a doctor on site. If emergency is not too fast in your country, please be prepared as well


  • registration website
  • payment options
  • badge printing -- badge template (offer privacy options: print real name and/or username, allow photographs to be uploaded, etc.)
  • Ask for T-shirt size
  • badge holders & lanyards
  • check in time and place determined and publicized


  • Determine how visas will be managed
  • Make sure results are announced at least 12 weeks before the conference date

External communications[edit]


  • conference wiki (wikimania20xx.wikimedia.org)
  • add team members to: teamwiki, planning mailing list, wikimania-l
  • set up a planning wiki or do planning on meta (hrm, note that it's best to not use a separate planning wiki)
  • Reply to comments posted on site
  • content: local information
    • how to get around
    • airport transfers
    • basic phrasebook, money changing info, tips
    • how to get from transportation to the hotel/venue
    • emergency contact info

Press & PR[edit]

  • Contact international and local press and make you list ready at least a month before the conference
  • If you are having a press conference, make sure it is well organized with panel/speakers/coverage..etc.
  • 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
  • Update your list of media attendees, on site
  • Preferable if press have different color of lanyards