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Wikimedia Conference 2017/Feedback evaluation

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Wikimedia Conference 2017 from above

Results of the feedback survey[edit]

tl;dr: you can find the #wmcon survey evaluation (PDF) (2,1 MB) on Wikimedia Commons.


  • Online feedback survey via Qualtrics
  • Questionnnaire on Wikimedia Commons
  • Data collection:
    • April 2nd – April 17th 2017 (after closing of Wikimedia Conference 2017)
    • Conference participants: 333
    • Participants invited to the survey (via email): 338 / Two reminder emails
    • Completed questionnaires: n=228 (68% of conference participants; 2016 survey: 63% of participants, 2015 survey: 67% of participants)


Survey Report
Survey Report

Background of participants[edit]

  • This year’s participants showed a similar distribution of age as in previous years, but the share of participants which are already 12 or more years involved with the movement was higher (12% vs. 4% in 2016). 
  • The proportion of first time participants has clearly risen (2017: 53%, 2016: 45%, 2015: 32%). Only 35% of the 2017 participants have also attended the 2016 conference.
  • The proportion of female participants remained stable (2017: 30%, 2016: 31%, 2015: 29%). 
  • Due to the adapted eligibility criteria and the still increasing number of Wikimedia User Groups, there was a strong increase in representatives of User Groups at the conference (2017: 30%, 2016: 20%, 2015: 12%). Additionally, due to the expanded audience for the movement strategy track, the participant field was more diverse (12% „other“ or „does not apply“). 

Looking back[edit]

  • Outcome-orientation of the Wikimedia Conference seems to has further risen: 96% of the respondents who attended both WMCON16 and WMCON17 experienced tangible outcomes of the 2016 conference for their Wikimedia work (36% “strongly agree”, 60% “agree”; 2015/16: 86%).
  • 74% of these respondents stated also having pursued concrete initiatives they had joined or started in the aftermath of the 2016 conference (2015: 66%).
  • Most of the initiatives mentioned focused on new or better collaborations within the movement or with other partners, setting up contests, engaging with WMF grants, regional collaborations or improving the own organization‘s/group‘s work

Content / program[edit]

  • The majority of the respondents judged the conference as an opportunity to exchange ideas with others on movement issues (99% ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’), as providing useful information to them and their organization (97%), and as making clear the significance of sharing and collaboration in the Wikimedia movement (95%).
  • In line with the conference‘s focus on movement strategy, 92% of the respondents agreed that the conference contributed to a shared understanding of the future of our movement. Given this, aspects like gaining applicable knowledge or improving capacities (90%) were slightly less prominent than in 2016. Most other aspects remain at the level of the 2016 ratings.
  • Satisfaction ratings for the different program facets are less comparable to figures from previous years due to the more heterogeneous character of the program (strategy track vs. capacity building and partnerships tracks). Satisfaction was particularly high for the conference facilitation (93% ‘very satisfied‘ or ‚satisfied‘), the composition of the audience (92%), the overall flow of the conference (93%), the quality of contributions (92%) and the overall scope of topics (93%).
  • The aspect of a call to action / definition of next steps was further improved compared to previous years (2017: 80%, 2016: 71%, 2015: 62%), but still 20% of the respondents are less satisfied with this aspect.
  • Further remarks on program and content in general have been very diverse, though predominately positive. The strategy track itself and the separation of it from the other tracks tend to polarize. 


  • Getting in contact with other Wikimedians and affiliates is one major benefit of the Wikimedia conference. In terms of networking, 29% of the respondents reported making up to ten new working contacts and 40% reported 11-20 new working contacts. 30% of the participants made even more than twenty new working contacts.
  • Meeting all the Wikimedia people at the conference mainly helped to gain knowledge (98%, ‘strongly agree’ or ‘agree’), share knowledge (98%) and to achieve a better understanding of each others views about our movement (97%). Making new friends was a bit less prevalent than in previous years (2017: 91%, 2016: 97%) – presumably due to the much larger number of participants at this year‘s conference. At least 80% of the respondents felt supported to join or start an initiative (2016: 85%).
  • Overall, the 2017 ratings in terms of networking showed no significant differences to the 2016 conference survey results.
  • Regarding the ‚Buddy project‘ (bringing together newcomers and more experienced conference participants) there is a slightly mixed picture: 89% of the more experienced participants perceive the project as being helpful for newcomers. Among the newcomers, only 78% perceive it as being helpful for themselves. But, the broad majority of participants are willing to participate in such a buddy project at Wikimedia conferences again (51% ‚definitely will‘, 40% ‚probably will‘).

Organizational aspects[edit]

  • As in 2016, the organizational aspects of the 2017 conference received very good ratings: especially the support by the WMCON logistics team during (100% ‘excellent’ or ‘good’) and before the conference (98%) or their help with visa formalities (100%) were highlighted. Also perceived very positively: the overall atmosphere at the conference (99% ‘excellent’ or ‘good’).
  • Overall, no major (or significant) differences occurred between the 2016 and the 2017 evaluation of the organizational aspects. The conference catering (84%) seems to be perceived a bit more critically than in 2016. Also, evaluation of the two accommodation possibilities differs slightly.
  • In the open comments, positive remarks clearly dominated. Some critical remarks referred to the setting or the food at the Saturday party, the lacking air ventilation in the conference venue and the sometimes noisy room settings.

Overall Evaluation[edit]

  • Learning from the organizational profiles the affiliates and teams filled out prior to the conference: participating organizations mainly expected connecting & networking, sharing of experiences and learning as main conference benefits.
  • Networking and learning were also stated as main benefits after the conference (Networking, new contacts: 68% / learning: 43%).
  • On the one hand, sharing of experiences was less prominent at the conference than expected before (prior: 44% / post: 19%). On the other hand, shaping the future of our movement was mentioned more frequently as expected (prior: 24%% / post: 37%), as well as understanding the movement a bit better (prior: 13% / post: 18% ) and working on specific issues (prior: 8% / post:16%).
  • Generally, expectations were more frequently exceeded as in 2016: 50% of the respondents stated that their expectations regarding the conference were even exceeded (2016: 45%). 39% perceived their expectations as entirely met (2016: 48%). 11% stated that their expectations were not entirely met (2016: 8%).
  • Finally, the conference received an even better overall rating as in 2016 (and 2015): 72% ‘excellent’, 27% ‘good’ (2016: 67% ‘excellent’, 32% ‘good’).

Detailed survey evaluation[edit]

  • You can find the detailed survey evaluation as a pdf file (2,1 MB) on Wikimedia Commons.