strong, organized team, with division of labor already underway
and support from Wikimedia Argentina. Many people contributed to the
bid, with obvious enthusiasm for organizing the conference and quick
responses to inquiries.
* A detailed budget proposal and planning schedule. Many major
expenses are being covered by the provider. The total budget is
similar to Wikimania 2007's, including a larger travel scholarship
fund, and they have provided detailed charts ahead of time.
* A significant number of sponsors already lined up, with some already
confirmed. They hope to cover half the accommodation and $60k in
travel scholarships, which will help to ease travel costs for
participants from far away.
* A solid venue : as with Toronto, this was situated within a
well-maintained cultural center in a major international city, near an
airline hub; culturally open, and an international melting pot.
* Relaxed visa rules, and easy entry from South American countries.
* Good Spanish-language media contacts, with the promise of outreach
to and the opportunity to work with the Spanish-language Wikimedia
Toronto, the runner up, also provided a great bid. The jury was
especially excited by:
* Strong English-language press in the area, and media experience
among the bid team
* A very accessible venue, especially for US/European attendees.
* An excellent venue : a university campus, with dorms directly at the
venue. As with Buenos Aires, it was situated within a well-maintained
cultural center in a major international city, near an airline hub;
culturally open, and an international melting pot.
* Extensive budget accommodation in the dorms; with many options for
casual social space.
* A dedicated bid team, with the hope of Wikimedia Canada being formed
in time to help coordinate.
However, the jury felt that Buenos Aires' bid showed stronger
organization overall. Additionally, much of the information in the
Toronto bid was carried over from previous bids, and it was unclear
how much of a commitment for the University of Toronto facilities
there was specifically for 2009.
Brisbane and Karlsruhe also provided good bids. Brisbane in particular
had an enthusiastic bid team and a strong proposal, with particularly
good local sponsorship opportunities; though this was offset by the
high travel costs for out-of-country attendees. The jury felt both
bids needed more detail (including specifics about accommodation
options, and more detailed budget information) to be compelling.
As in previous years, the relative accessibility of locations was
extensively discussed. The jury believes that it's important for
Wikimania to be accessible to as wide an audience as possible,
particularly to members of the Wikimedia community; the relatively
high cost of travel to South America from Europe and North America was
one of the most significant drawbacks we identified in the Buenos
Aires bid—especially coming on the heels of Taipei and Alexandria.
Having said that, the jury believes that the Buenos Aires bid overcame
this drawback with its numerous advantages, among those the
opportunity to hold the conference in a Spanish-speaking locale, on a
new continent. We hope to receive strong bids from easily accessible
locations for 2010.
Congratulations to the Buenos Aires team! Wikimania 2009 promises to
be an exciting and successful conference.
-- Phoebe Ayers, Cary Bass, James Forrester (non-voting jury
moderators), on behalf of the Wikimania 2009 Jury
foundation-l mailing list
Wikimedia-ca mailing list