Volunteer are not just  precious they are the essential component both during planning and during the event itself, also with that goes the desire to put that effort in. WMF Staff, Affiliate Staff and Contractors while necessary are paid its something that can be augmented as needed but not volunteers, that means also consideration of the energy within a community to host the event.

We should be expecting a real professional approach from those paid to make this happen, for the WMF to hire skill conference people to do that work, its these skilled people that ensure the processes reflect needs, improve the outcomes and critically builds on established successes. By the time Montreal opens, 2018 should be signed sealed and ready to go with 2019 being finalised, venues booked and contracts on the table.

after 10 years the basic frame work is there, there are common things and physical needs that occur every Wikimania;
even the basic give away gumf (bag t shirts, usb stickers, pins, pens) are kind of consistent they just change to suit the logo. The registration is the same, media passes, speakers passes.  The WMF could even go into longer term sponsorship for the event, there would also some legal and contractual issue that the WMF would be better suited to manage, WMF employees would chair/co-chair the associated committees 

The locals focus on

On 17 July 2016 at 14:31, Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com> wrote:

Another committee to add to Chris' list is the Scholarship Committee.

I'd be interested in knowing the number of volunteer, contractor, and WMF and affiliate staff hours that are involved in Wikimania from start to finish, and having some thoughtful consideration of ways to increase efficiency as well as effectiveness and alignment. I believe that Christophe is thinking along these lines for WMF staff time; I would suggest including affiliate staff, contractor, and volunteer time in the list of considerations. I consider volunteer time to be particularly precious.


On Jul 16, 2016 11:23, "Chris Keating" <chriskeatingwiki@gmail.com> wrote:
Well this thread turned out bigger (and much more productive) than I expected!

To my mind, Wikimania continuing to happen every year is a minor miracle, and one that's only possible with the hard work and dedication of lots of people.

However, it's a miracle that isn't without its problems. The most obvious problem to my mind is that there is a very mixed quality of actual conference programme, and without clear objectives (or at least not consistent objectives). The Wikimedia Conference, by contrast, has a much clearer alignment of the programme with a set of goals, and work happens to follow up before and after the conference. 

The second problem is that the responsibilities for governance and management of the conference are really very unclear. We have the Wikimania Committee, we have the local team (and in some cases a local chapter who may or may not be working closely with the bid team), we have the Programme Committee and we have the WMF. (Actually we have the WMF at least twice, as the priorities of the WMF team involved in organising the conference don't always seem to align with those of the rest of the organisation).  

In my view, the most useful thing for all these groups to do is to work out who is actually responsible for what, and document it, in public.


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