Wikimania bid

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This page is kept as an archival reference.
If you want to raise a point about it, please start a discussion thread on the community forum.

See also

Wikimania is Wikimedia's annual conference. It takes place in a different location each year, so far in our summer. In 2010 it was in Gdansk, in 2011 was in Haifa and in 2012 in Washington DC. There are currently 9 bids to host Wikimania in 2013.

Typically it involves circa 500 people from all over the world, with about five simultaneous sets of meetings (tracks) a huge amount of logistics, more WiFi than any venue has yet successfully provided, a couple of parties, a creche and maybe even a cultural event.

It is entirely possible that the UK could bid to host Wikimania in 2014 or a subsequent year. A bid would require an enthusiastic team of volunteers (it would also require board backing, budget, location and various other details but this is the first hurdle).

2014 bid team


Please sign below if you would be interested in working to make a UK bid for Wikimania 2014. Any bid needs an organising committee that will make it happen.

  1. Extensive experience in sales and relationship management with some in medium-to-small events management. I want to be your gal. Panyd 20:54, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
  2. Bugger it; I'm in. I can do logistics and paperwork and other stuff. I've no directly relevant experience, but I want to make this happen. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 23:20, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
  3. Steve Virgin - Yes in theory - I have explained what I can offer a possible Bid team below based on previous track record of organising events of this scale for very little cost
  4. Tom; experience - organisation & logistics. sysadmin & programming work. Know a few people who might be able to do audio/visual (or at least hook us up). Take your pick :) --ErrantX 13:11, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
  5. Experience: HR; hospitality, community liason & various wiki-events; attended Wikimania 2010 Gdańsk (volunteer help) & Wikimania 2011 Haifa. Would be happy to be part of the UK team -- Marek.69 talk 19:19, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
  6. Extensive event, hospitality and project management experience. Many useful London contacts and resources. Let's make this an unforgettable event. EdSaperia 14:53, 7 November 2011 (UTC)


Please sign below if you have specialist skills or knowledge that you are willing to contribute that will help make this happen.

  1. Attendee of 2009 and 2010, attending in 2011 happy to convene a couple of sessions in 2014 and to be a sounding board for the bid team as to what worked or didn't work in the Wikimanias I've been to. WereSpielChequers 19:30, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
  2. Couldn't attend this year, but will in 2012. Decent experience organising teams & bids (it seems to be all I do any more :() --ErrantX 19:43, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
  3. Attended 2010, was involved in the 2010 Oxford bid, have been involved in organising a variety of sized conferences (including currently on the LOC for a 500+ person astronomy meeting). Mike Peel 20:29, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
  4. I'm a maybe, would've been "oh yes" had it been a 2013 bid - plans are still up in the air as to which part of the world I'll be residing in as of 2014. Hong Kong is bidding 2013. Will help out if UK wins 2014. I attended W'mania 2010 and 2011. Deryck Chan 03:45, 28 July 2011 (UTC), edited 18:45, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
  5. Can I be a maybe as well. Never attended Wikimania, but I have been involved in local organising committees and scientific programme committees for a range of national & international conferences.Rodw 07:46, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
  6. Yet to attend a Wikimania, hope to attend 2012 though (despite being an impoverished student). Nonetheless, happy to help with the grunt/prose writing/formatting/IT-related tasks. Jarry1250 14:55, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
  7. Attended Wikimania 2011 which I followed from early on. I do also have some experience with contacting organisations and organising things as part of my degree. CT Cooper · talk 22:43, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
  8. I organised the Annual Wikimedia Chapter Fund Raising Conference May 2010 (in Bristol) backed by Bristol Festival of Ideas, Bristol City Council, HP Labs) - then during the 8 week run up to our 10th Birthday in January earlier this year, I organised two events for WMUK in Bristol (same morning) - one Jimmy Wales talking at the University of Bristol Victoria Rooms (Jan 13) 750 people in roome, 3500 watched through live streaming - also earlier that morning I got the Cathedral and Jimmy Wales ran the morning assembly for Bristol Cathedral Choir School (500 people). the May 2010 Fundrasing Conference cost nothing (all costs met by sponsors). the Jimmy Wales 10th Birthday event cost a few hundred pounds (train fares and coffees and sandwiches for the 20+ Twitterers and Bloggers that worked from the Watershed to promote the event) - all other costs were met by sponsors across the city.
  9. In the organisation of these two events, I have established strong contacts with businesses, council officials, venue owners etc - so much so that the Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Bristol has submitted a reference letter of support to WMUK to help us with our charitable status application with the charities commission. So too has a top official at Bristol City Council and the Watershed (a possible break out venue - should we win). The head of communications at Bristol City Council said he'd be interested in backing a 2014 bid, as do our referees, as do Invest in Bristol, Tourism Bristol - should we proceed.
  10. The problem we all have is - do we want to do it outside London (yes/no). I can provide a strong lead and many of the components needed to construct a bid fairly easily, but I cannot do this outside of the south west as I don't have the contact network there. If it was not in Bristol everything would have to start again from scratch. So the costs would be more along the lines that I have been told by a leading W'pedian (upwards of 1m pounds).
  11. I am prepared to head this up (for now) if it stays in the south west as part and parcel of my role on the Board of WMUK. I have a business to run and commitments, so cannot promise support outside of a bid for the south west. I am, though, in the ideal position of having done something similar for WMUK (twice), I know the venues well, I'd be able to easily get sponsorship, I could get a city vibrantly supporting it with (possibly a dedicated staff member of their own). I also organised the WMUK AGM in Bristol last April - this time we had a budget and the costs were paid by the Chapter no sponsors were involved - this means there have been 3 major events in Bristol - so the city is used to seeing and supporting us.
  12. A discussion is needed to resolve whether Bristol is a suitable candidate. —Steve Virgin
I completely agree, we should have at least a dedicated day where those who have proposals should be able to put them forward with full details (such as your impressive track record above) available to all interested parties; as well as give those who disagree with a Bristol bid the opportunity to put forward what they have so far and how they think they will realistically achieve a bid for 2014 in their selected location. In my opinion if we wished to moved forward for a speedy resolution we should answer the questions: A) Who is an interested party? and B) How and when will each party present to them in a way that gives everyone an opportunity to speak?
I would advocate a meeting in person with interested parties to discuss. I would also advocate that an interested party is anyone involved in WMUK and the people who are listed above. I would normally advocate a geonotice but we all know how well that went! Panyd 13:04, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
I agree with that... perhaps we could hijack a Wikimeet (although it might be better done in an actual office space). My initial thoughts are that what we need to do is some form of mini internal bid process to decide on the locations. So allow a couple of months for people to develop a basic idea (and potentially write a page up on the details) and then have a meeting for presentation & discussion. Nothing serious - just a way for us to put together an idea of the kind of package each location could give us. --ErrantX 13:25, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

Proposed Venues

Location Airport destinations/Name of airport Direct train services to Local transport Partner organisations (eg. GLAM) Header text Header text Header text Header text Header text
London Global/6 airports UK & Europe Excellent 24 hour service, including hire bikes en:British Museum, en:British Library, en:Imperial College, en:Victoria & Albert Museum, en:National Maritime Museum Example Example Example Example Example
Bristol W. Europe/en:Bristol Airport UK Bus service, excellent cycle network en:University of Bristol, en:ARKIVE Example Example Example Example Example
Oxford Private/en:London Oxford Airport UK Bus service, bike-friendly city: see also en:Oxford Tube en:Oxford Internet Institute
en:Bodlian Library
Example Example Example Example Example
Nottingham W. Europe/en:East Midlands Airport Example Example Example Example Example Example Example
Manchester Eastern US/Europe/India/en:Manchester Airport en:West Coast Main Line + Northern England + North Wales + West England en:Transport in Manchester Example Example Example Example Example Example
York Europe/Egypt/en:Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield Example Example Example Example Example Example Example Example
Cardiff Western Europe/Greece/en:Cardiff Airport Example Example Example Example Example Example Example Example
Edinborough Europe/en:Edinburgh Airport Example Example Example Example Example Example Example Example
Glasgow Europe/Eastern US/Egypt/en:Glasgow International Airport Example Example Example Example Example Example Example Example
Belfast Western Europe/Florida/en:Belfast International Airport Example Example Example Example Example Example Example Example
Brighton Global/Gatwick 37 mins by train Example Example Example Example Example Example Example Example
Birmingham Europe/Egypt/Pakistan/Turkmenistan/en:Birmingham Airport, England Example Example Example Example Example Example Example Example
Derby Europe/Orlando/Egypt/en:East Midlands Airport Example Example Example Example Example Example Example Example
Exeter Western Europe/Egypt/en:Exeter International Airport Example Example Example Example Example Example Example Example
Liverpool Europe/en:Liverpool John Lennon Airport Example Example Example Example Example Example Example Example

This is a list of potential venues which could be used for a UK Wikimania:

  • London - Does quite severely need serious consideration and comment if it's still in the running. Please consider volunteering to comment
  • Bristol - Wonderfully scenic and cultural - airport to south of city flies mainly to Europe, few trans continental air links - does have two high speed rail lines into city from Padidngton (conencts with Heathrow Express). Very tech-centric area - home to UWE, University of Bristol (WMUK has partnered), ARKIVE (WMUK has partnered), Ardman Animations,(MD attended and met Jimmy Wales at his talk in jan '11 in city), close links to National Trust (HQ in Swindon), Sustrans... the city as a track record of backing large scale WMUK events in city (May 2010 + January 2011 + April 2011 (WMUK AGM) & would have two unversity campus sites in walking distance of ny venue during event
  • Oxford - Culturally lovely, but we might get shunned by the "educational elite". Previous bid here: meta:Wikimania 2010/Bids/Oxford
  • Nottingham
  • Manchester - V friendly council, V friendly university, excellent conference facilities. Bit of a distance from London, but has good rail links (2 hrs from London), and an international airport that flies to the US. See Manchester Wikimania Bid for now-inactive 2013 bid.
  • York -
  • Cardiff - very few Welsh Wikipedians, but would get good PR in the local area, getting more Wikipedians from that area.
  • Edinburgh - few Scottish Wikipedians, but would get good PR in the local area, getting more Wikipedians from that area.
  • Glasgow
  • Belfast
  • Brighton - historically used for political conferences. Beachfront location. Bit of a jaunt to get to from North but trains from Gatwick take less time than to London.
  • Coventry/Birmingham - National Exhibition Centre/ International Convention Centre, international airport, excellent rail links. Central location.
  • Derby - International airport nearby, decent rail links. Birthplace of QRpedia. Conference facilities unknown. (who cares, it gets my vote Victuallers 16:07, 20 October 2011 (UTC))
  • Exeter - possibly too remote.

Bid choice, needs location and person to do it

"Someone should organise a Wikimania bid" is an idea that everyone could agree on. I'm hoping we might even have a high vote if its in the U.K. (on this page at least). "I want to help with a Wikimania bid" is great and we need lots of those. However I'm looking for people who say "I can lead a Wikimania bid".

Why is our registered office in Nottingham? Why was there a Wikipedian in residence in Derby? Because people live there. One guy in Israel got a standing ovation because he had worked for a year on creating Wikimania in Haifa (Israels 3rd biggest city with no airport and very strict security on the one that you could use). I don't think anyone thinks we could have a successful event run by someone who we just handed a cheque to organise it. I'm not sure that "Someone should run a Wikimania event in Edinburgh (say)" is very useful, because we need someone who will. If you send a large cheque then I'll do it, but we are not offering a large cheque. We need someone who says "I will organise this event" much more than we need to discuss the location, I think. I flew all the way acoss Europe to get to Haifa, the fact that I travelled for an hour or two on the train meant that I saw the country. If it had been in Tel Aviv then I wouldnt have seen very much of Israel at all.... I wouldn't have minded though because I actually went for Wikimania and it was well organised, my sheets were clean and there was beer.

I suggest that unless we have two people who both want to lead this then I'm not sure there is much to debate. If there is only one and no one wants to help then regrettably its a very easy decision. Ideally we want one lead, one place and lots keen to help that person and take over if (s)he is ill. Anything else would fail to win backing from the chapters even it it was made into a bid. Victuallers 16:07, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

"I can lead a Wikimania bid" - with a good team behind me and the backing of the community. Without those things, I don't think anyone can lead a successful bid (especially as you said, in case of emergency or contingency). I have spoken to people in private about the possibility and practicalities of going for a UK bid in an area other than Bristol. Were they willing to step forward and proclaim that they would be active organisers for a particular location (I stress organisers here rather than volunteers), would this be in the region of what you're looking for? If a team can't be put together for a location other than Bristol, then I agree, we have nothing to discuss, but I feel there is scope here for that and I would be willing to take a lead. Panyd 16:36, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
I'm uncomfortable taking the lead at this stage, but I am perfectly happy to be second-in-command, and especially happy to be Panyd's second-in-command. And I would be happy to take the reigns if she were unable to devote the time. We have already privately discussed how we would assemble a team, and I have sounded out a few people who would be happy to work with Panyd and I. We can make this work. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 19:09, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
Panyd; I was abit confused by your comment - do you have a specific location in mind? Or do you mean "if someone commits to being on-site organiser in X place I can head up the bid team"? Either way - it sounds like we may have two potential locations?
I toyed with putting myself forward with Nottingham as the potential venue - but bid lead is not something I could focus on for the next few months :) However, whatever location we choose I can commit to taking an organisational role (remote project work is one of my skillset :)) - I'd throw my hat in the ring to help/head up technical side of things if possible. Networks, development, ops etc. are my work/hobby so it's ideal for me & I have experience with big networks and small teams :) --ErrantX 22:04, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
Hey, sorry about that. We're hoping for a London-based bid, and for that I would throw my hat in the ring as a lead. Should that bid fail though, I would be happy to help others in a smaller capacity. Panyd 22:07, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
That's ok, I was up at 6am so my brain is going slow. Thanks for breaking it down :D --ErrantX 22:13, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
I can lead a Wikimania bid if it's in London. I have organised large events before - I did Wikimedia's 10th Birthday Party, a small music festival, and I've managed a live venue - and I have a large contact network here, as well as many other useful resources. I'm confident organising and doing project management on this scale. I can devote myself to this project nearer the time, and can travel to help out with Wikimania 12 and 13. I've worked on events with Panyd before, and I am very likely to be able to bring in other experienced event crew as volunteers. --EdSaperia 01:20, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

Update and Provisional Timetable

So! I've spoken to Steve this evening and we agree that this is the best way to go forward. Outside input would be appreciated:

  • Create bid pages for three possible locations on the WMUK project, in this case: Bristol, London and Manchester
  • Work on these three bids from now until mid-February/early-March - whichever gives people some reasonable time to recover after the fundraiser and gives us time to create realistic bids
  • I will present all three bids to a committee which will be made of interested parties
  • There will then be a vote taken to decide which city we would like to work with to achieve a completed and solid bid
  • Should Bristol be chosen, Steve will lead, should either other city be taken, I will lead. In either case there will be a solid organisations team behind the lead ensuring that we have contingency plans and a solid organisational base.

Does this sound good to everyone? Or do you think this can be improved? Panyd 16:28, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

The process sounds good to me. I would add that if anybody wanted to extend feelers to a fourth city, they should be welcome to, and to submit that for presentation as an option. Also, it might be an idea to have the vote a little earlier—giving ourselves a full calendar year until the deadline for submitting a bid should be enough to give everyone breathing space and to iron out any creases caused by volunteer unavailability (because few or none of us can make a full-time job out of Wikimania in addition to our real life commitments). HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 21:51, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
I do think there's a case for considering a smaller city, and/or a campus university - Oxford, Brighton, Canterbury in the portfolio. Johnbod 11:11, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
A strong case can be made for any of those cities, and for several others, but somebody will need to prepare a bid if they're to be considered. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 11:58, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

Announcing the bid on Meta

Don't worry I haven't actually done that. But if you have a committee and are in the process of deciding a venue then I think you should consider when to announce the bid on meta. Last year the 2013 bid page was created on the 20th November, though it didn't really get going till March. So you could start a UK page quite early - I'd suggest copying the French and announcing it whilst you have decided the UK will bid and are still whittling down the shortlist of venues. My theory is that the earlier and more impressive the bid the less likely it is that others will put in the effort to counter it. What I wouldn't suggest is holding back from Meta until you have finalised the venue. WereSpielChequers 21:23, 26 October 2011 (UTC)


There are a whole load of potential lessons from past wikimanias, everything from making sure the ID cards are printed on both sides and let wikimanians decide individually whether they want their username, firstname, whole name and or home wikiproject to be printed on them, to including child size t shirts for the inmates of the creche is a useful starting point. WereSpielChequers 21:02, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

Wikimania has its own Mailing list I think it would be useful for the bid if some of the organisers siged up. You will pick up issues which the UK Wikimania could respond to. You might even have the opportunity to occasionally say "interesting problem, this is how we hope to resolve it in 2014". WereSpielChequers 07:53, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

2013 bid

So! After having a meeting at the last London Wikimeet we have decided it would be beneficial to put in a 2013 bid rather than a 2014 bid. There are a few benefits and risks to this so I'll just list them below:

  • Risk - by putting together a bid at the last minute you risk putting together a 'half-assed' bid which is frankly embarrassing for everyone involved..
  • Mitigation - we have a strong team with complimentary skill-sets who have already procured contacts within London and Bristol. The biggest challenge involved in this risk is moving things along faster than we otherwise would do. However, everyone has agreed to put in the time and energy required of this.
  • Risk - What if we put all of this time and energy into it and we don't get it?
  • Mitigation - Toulouse is the current front-runner for 2013. Should we lose to them we would not be able to put in a feasible 2014 bid anyway as Wikimania is held on a different continent each year. However, the feedback we would get from the jury would be invaluable in a 2015 bid and well worth the energy expended.
  • Risk' - We look like the big, bad Wikimedia chapter coming in and stealing the bid off of a smaller chapter
  • Mitigation - Toulouse is also backed by a large and active chapter and are close enough to us that we can extend an olive branch to them in the way of collaboration.
  • Risk - The community will not get to decide which city the bid is put in for, as we have a choice between Bristol and London.
  • Mitigation - I am putting up bid pages for both cities, London Wikimania Bid is currently up and Bristol Wikimania Bid will be up when I have the relevant information/go-ahead for it. I would hope that the community would make their wishes and concerns felt on the relevant talk pages to be taken into account.

If anyone has any alternative risks they can see or alternative mitigation or indeed alternative suggestions in general, please do post them below. I look forward to your feedback. Panyd 15:12, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Those are the risks, what are the benefits? The only downside to a 2014 bid that I can see is the chance that France will get 2013 and then 2014 will need to be outside Europe. The upsides are enormous: given more time we can put on a much better Wikimania, 2014 will be the 10th Wikimania and it would be great to host that, and I think the loose principle of rotating continents means a European bid has a much better chance in 2014 than 2013 (we're too close to Gdansk and Haifa - 2013 is Asia's turn, as long as someone there can put forward a good bid). --Tango 16:20, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
There are two main benefits—a fantastic venue that likely won't be available in 2014, and certainty. Certainty because if we put all our eggs in one basket for 2014 and Toulouse wins 2013 (which is not unlikely given that theirs is by far the best-prepared bid at the minute), we've wasted a lot of time and energy, whereas competing directly with Toulouse give us much more control over our own destiny, so we're not wasting our time on what was a lost cause from the start. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 00:38, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
If Toulouse has a strong bid already that probably puts us on the back foot. Ultimately this comes down to politics... if the continent rotation thing is a strong deciding factor then any good Asian bid effectively scuppers anything else in 2013. It would be good to find out whether any such bid is likely to appear. FWIW I've argued for an earlier bid in the past, so you won't find me complaining if it is feasible for us to win it. We do need to get moving though.. :) --ErrantX 10:42, 21 November 2011 (UTC)


Ok; so as it looks like the timetable has shifted forward we need to talk "technical" because this may inform several budgetary/venue choices. The first thing to say is that in my experience tech conferences usually have bad internet access, so it would be cool to put together something really effective for our bid. I notice you're aiming for 1,000 attendees - this will mean very heavy network traffic. In terms of venue requirements they need:

  • Really good internet connection (a normal broadband connections is not enough) OR amenable to us temporarily getting good internet to the building(s)
  • Really really really good Wifi (which is unlikely) OR amenable to us installing our own equipment and potentially shutting down their internal Wifi.
  • Internal wired networking to all of the rooms is a big plus, especially if we can co-opt it

In terms of budget this largely depends on the size on the venue and how much tech we have to hire in (or purchase). If anyone has pointers as to the state of these things then that would be great (and from the description of the potential London venue - if there is potential to influence any refurbishment or improvements in ways to benefit us that would be great! :)) --ErrantX 10:52, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

(the alternative is to hire in network services; that could be expensive. From my experience I'd predict in the region of £10,000 or so depending on whether we need internet as well). --ErrantX 11:00, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
Haifa had wi-fi installed at the venue, specifically for the event as I understand it, over and above the native wifi. This should not be a big issue, we should be able to get it sponsored, these days it should be fairly easy to set up regardless. Rich Farmbrough
Best recent conference also had 4 way power leads running under every row of chairs Victuallers 22:53, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

Previous bids

Have people seen the bids for Oxford in 2010, and for London in 2008 and 2007? All history now, but might be useful for feedback from the juries and for any partnerships proposed at the time. Warofdreams 16:27, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

I was actually thinking about Oxford or Warwick for 2014. Rich Farmbrough