2022:Event design process
This is a summary from the 2022 event design process – which was carried over 4 working sessions spanning the entire month of March 2022 – and its final outcome; a prototype (or format) for the 2022 edition of Wikimania.
Introduction[edit | edit source]
In 2021 Wikimania was organized to be a virtual event due to global limitations as a result from the pandemic. The Core Organizing Team of 2021 (COT) successfully organized the very first virtual edition of Wikimania. Being able to experiment with the format of Wikimania has given us many learnings we will be implementing for 2022 Wikimania.
The effects of the global pandemic are still very prevalent in many countries of the world. It is for this purpose that a consensus was reached with the Wikimania Steering Committee (WMSC) to host Wikimania 2022 as a virtual event - with the opportunity for our wider community to independently organize their own Wikimania events in their communities. This would allow for people to self-organize events as circumstances allow in their country.
2022 COT[edit | edit source]
A call for volunteers to form the COT for Wikimania 2022 was launched and over 70 applications were received. These were evaluated by the WMSC according to a few criteria that were collaboratively decided upon. This led to the selection of a globally distributed team of 10 Wikimedia community volunteers that are Wikimania's Core Organizing team for the 2022 edition of Wikimania. The 2022 COT were able to build off previous discussions and considerations that were initiated by the WMSC around the duration and potential dates for the 2022 Wikimania.
On the 17th of March 2022 the COT announced the days and duration of Wikimania 2022:
" Wikimania will take place this year from August 11-14. The conference will be primarily virtual, with support for local gatherings and events where possible."
Learnings from the first virtual Wikimania[edit | edit source]
We have performed an extensive evaluation of the 2021 virtual edition of Wikimania, and gained quite a few strategic insights that we were able to kick off the design process with. These become design frames, or design challenges as we kick off the design for 2022 Wikimania.
- Newcomers tended to appreciate the conference more than returnees. What features are needed to keep newcomers engaged? What program features can be added to cater to the needs of returnees?
- Given what we have learned in 2021, what will Wikimania 2022 seek to achieve? How can the use of the Unconference space or Community Village be structured more strategically?
- What additional features or processes need to be in place to ensure that Wikimania 2022 is even more accessible and inclusive? How can translation services be further mainstreamed? What technological platform can be used to meet the goals of Wikimania 2022?
- Should a virtual Wikimania 2022 span across five days, one weekend, or several weekends? How can the program better align with the different time zones? Does the Hackathon have to be part of a virtual Wikimania?
Why Event Design?[edit | edit source]
Online communities, while primarily interacting through technology-mediated environments, also include [offline] meetings between its members, promoting interactivity and community building. These are crucial opportunities to deepen bonds through shared experiences, build alignment, and create group cohesion. Wikimania is a key offline space where our global and diverse online community comes together yearly to meet each other, get inspired by the work of others and share their own work among peers. It therefore has a pivotal role in the rejuvenation, growth and fostering of our communities.
Events do not just happen; they are carefully crafted to weave narratives (content) into places (context) through processes of experience design. [...] Effective design of an event can also become a key element in adapting to changing external conditions and can even create new opportunities where there was a threat (or nothing else) before. [....] It is less about the practical, micro aspects of design and far more about how events are designed to meet a range of different needs and aspirations for their organizers, visitors and other stakeholders.
It is therefore crucial to adopt effective Event Design as a strategy for an event with the profile of Wikimania. This became imminent in the case of the pandemic ("adapting to external conditions"), when we first engaged with Event Design as a strategic practice in 2021 to craft an impactful, innovative and experiences.
Design Process[edit | edit source]
To be able to develop a concept or a design for a (logistically) complex, multi stakeholder event like Wikimania, we need to adopt a methodology that embraces the use of creative practices that enable the organizers to holistically look at co-creating an experience as prolific as Wikimania. Building a thorough Event Design can be achieved through a multi-step methodology where the team involved in the event systematically analyses, articulates and outlines the inputs for the components in the final canvas prototypes.
We have utilized applied Design Thinking within the context of events, and have engaged in a series of highly collaborative design sessions. This methodology enables the designers to use context analysis, user testing, problem finding and framing, ideation and solution generating, creative thinking, sketching and drawing, prototyping, and evaluating to support the design process.
To facilitate these activities, we made use of the Event Canvas (Janssen, Frissen) as a strategic tool. The Event Canvas is a tool that facilitates co-creation and co-design by going through a number of sequential steps. This methodology is a holistic approach taken with the COT, in a series of activities that are tackled in a chronological order. The methodology makes use of a range of visual thinking techniques like: Empathy Mapping (Dave Gray and Xplane), Value Proposition Canvas (Osterwalder), Event ROI methodology (Phillips ROI Methodology), the Business Model Canvas (Osterwalder), Service Design Canvas (Stickdorn & Schneider) and Instructional Design Model (Dick & Carey).
The event design process is divided into 3 phases:
- Change ⇒ part of the process used to analyze a stakeholder in how they enter and exit an event: What is their knowledge level and how has this been affected? What are their pains (what are their obstacles, fears and frustrations?) and gains, what benefit are they seeking? What are their expectations? And are they satisfied post-event?
- Frame ⇒ part of the process used to define design boundaries, or limitations and set requirements. They form the constraints in which the event must deliver its intended value. We define the frame by looking at the: Commitment, Return, Costs, Revenues, Jobs to be done and the pivotal event promise to the stakeholders. Once we have those boundaries are in place, the creative challenge to do the actual design has now been set.
- Prototype ⇒ this part of the process is where we will start putting together the actual format of the event. The 2 previous steps have been making up the necessary ingredients for the design of the event itself.They represent the opportunity for prototype thinking, to iterate and reiterate within the frame to reach the ultimate goal: change of behavior in the desired direction.
A successful event consists both of an emotional experience and a logical instruction. Planning both during the design phase gives us the opportunity to orchestrate a flow that will make up the entire event experience, or in other words, the experience journey.
The outcome of all the sessions combined is to have a blueprint and a format that we will bring to life over the next few months. It will be a guide for setting the theme, programming scope and other aspects that are important for the event experience.
Who is part of the design team?[edit | edit source]
The entire 22 COT & some Foundation staff. We are all co-designers as we work through the sessions.
Why are we doing this?
The outcome of all the sessions combined is to have a format that we will bring to life over the next few months. It will be a guide for setting the theme, programming scope and other aspects that are important for the participant’s event experience.
[Change] Stakeholder Analysis[edit | edit source]
Wikimania has many different types of stakeholders that are affected by or through Wikimania. During the broad historical analysis we completed in 2021, we were able to identify a long list of all the different types of stakeholders. This exercise enabled us to categorize the stakeholders into 4 different groups; stakeholders to satisfy, inform, involve and ultimately the stakeholders to delight. Last year we identified the following stakeholders: The Wikimania Steering Committee, The Volunteer Participants, The Wikimedia Foundation and the Technical Communities.
Following the extensive evaluation of Wikimania 2021, we decided to prioritize the following stakeholders to delight. Now we know who to design for:
- New Wikimania participant
- This is someone that has engaged with the movement in some way shape or form but has never been to a Wikimania before.
- Return Wikimania participant
- This is someone that has been to a, or a number of Wikimania's before.
- Technical Communities
- These are the core participants of the Wikimania Hackathon.
By applying the practice of Empathy Mapping, the design team analyzed the 3 stakeholders mentioned above, and identified a whole set of ENTRY ⍈ behaviors 6 months prior to the event, and did the same for EXIT ⍇ behaviors after the event had concluded. This includes having an in-depth look at what the stakeholder in question says, thinks, does, feels, sees and hears (empathizing) in the context of Wikimania.
This activity enabled the design team to articulate what the change, difference, or Delta Δ is of what needs to happen during the event to achieve the desired EXIT ⍇ behavior. The articulation of the change allows the designers to formulate the design goals for the event. Applying this frame of thinking enables the design team to center the participant in the development of a format for 2022 Wikimania.
[Frame] Event Delta Δ - Design Goal[edit | edit source]
This phase is used to define design boundaries, or limitations and set the requirements for the event. They form the constraints in which the event must deliver its intended value. We define the frame by having a deeper look into the following categories and do this per stakeholder: Commitment, Return, Costs, Revenues, Jobs to be done and the pivotal event promise to the stakeholder in question. Once we have those boundaries are in place, the creative challenge to do the actual design has now been set.
The design team prioritized a top 3 ENTRY ⍈ and EXIT ⍇ behaviors per stakeholder, and articulated the design goals (Delta Δ) accordingly.
|⍈ Entry: I want to pitch a new idea or evolve an existing idea
Δ [Design goal 1] Delta: I met 2-3 new people that I got to collaborate with on a project, and participated in sessions that gave feedback on my idea
⍇ Exit: Working on a project I started during the event using connections with people with similar interests
|⍈ Entry: “Do you want help with that?”
Δ [Design goal 2] Delta: I staffed the help desk, joined a welcoming team, and learned more about issues I can help solve
⍇ Exit: I learned about how to support like-minded developers newcomers in the Wikimedia ecosystem and expanded my network by 2-3 new people
|⍈ Entry: "I want to get to know other contributors and learn how to get things done in Wikimedia"
Δ [Design goal 3] Delta: I have socialized with Wikimedia developers, and have learned how to navigate the Wikimedia ecosystem through a mentor I have met during the event
⍇ Exit: I intend to reach out to the 2-3 community members that I met. I feel ready to mentor and confident about where and how to contribute
|⍈ Entry: "I want to experience a different online event that has great sessions, people and entertainment"
Δ [design goal 4] Delta: The randomness was intentionally designed and it felt safe to explore
⍇ Exit: I was wowed - amazing people took the event to the next level
|⍈ Entry: I want to meet my existing community and friends
Δ [design goal 5] Delta: Joined accessible spaces for networking and collaborating with community members
⍇ Exit: I’m proud and humbled by the amazing community we have and the people I got to talk to
|⍈ Entry: A space to present active and past projects to community members
Δ [Design goal 6] Delta: The ability for presenters to engage with the audience, interact, learn, and capture the recommendations / notes
⍇ Exit: Met new collaborators, people learned about their projects, got feedback on their work and diversified their set of skills.
|⍈ Entry: "I am new and don't know what to say, what to do and where to go"
Δ [Design goal 7] Delta: Learned a lot about different cultures in the context of Wikimedia projects and took part in social activities
⍇ Exit: "These aren't just projects, this is a social movement"
|⍈ Entry: "I want to join this movement"
Δ [Design goal 8] Delta: Learned about the Wikimedia movement and how people contribute to the many projects. I also learned how to edit.
⍇ Exit: "There are so many ways people create knowledge!"
|⍈ Entry: "I WANT TO HAVE FUN"
Δ [Design goal 9] Delta: Joined in interactive activities from communities nearby, participated in the entertainment program and even danced during the closing party
⍇ Exit: "I'm energized and exhausted at the same time, that was amazing"
Design goals as idea filters[edit | edit source]
Now that the team has been able to articulate what the design goals are, per stakeholder, the essence of the delta can be extracted. This will make it easier for the team to "filter" all ideas for the event as they create the experience journey for Wikimania 2022.
Creating the Wikimania experience journey takes into account the design goals from a participant's very first interaction (i.e. a "Save the date" announcement) with the event all the way to the very last (i.e. filling in a post-event survey) and everything that happens in between. The full event experience will be made up from a combination of the delta’s, as these -by design- will be tailored to all of the stakeholders we are designing for.
To provide an opportunity for even wider co-creation, the COT launched a survey to collect ideas from the wider Wikimedia movement. When considering the ideas received by the wider movement, the COT will be able to "filter" them according to the design goals that have been established.
A full overview of delta's and their filters:
- [Design goal 1] Delta: I met 2-3 new people that I got to collaborate with on a project, and participated in sessions that gave feedback on my idea
- Idea filter: How does the idea facilitate meeting new project collaborators
- [Design goal 2] Delta: I staffed the help desk, joined a welcoming team, and/or learned more about issues I can help solve through volunteering with the Wikimedia movement
- Idea filter: How does the event provide clear pathways to join as a volunteer
- [Design goal 3 ] Delta: I have socialized with Wikimedia developers, and have learned how to navigate the Wikimedia ecosystem through a mentor I have met during the event.
- Idea filter: How does this idea facilitate networking, socializing, mentorship
- [Design goal 4] Delta: The randomness was intentionally designed and it felt safe to explore
- Idea filter: How does this idea promote and facilitate random, safe, exploring
- [Design goal 5] Delta: Joined accessible spaces for networking and collaborating with community members
- Idea filter: How does this idea facilitate meeting new project collaborators
- [Design goal 6] Delta: The ability for presenters to engage with the audience, interact, learn, and capture the recommendations / notes
- Idea filter: How can the idea facilitate Presenter:Participant interaction
- [Design goal 7] Delta: Learned a lot about different cultures in the context of Wikimedia projects and took part in social activities
- Idea filter: How does this idea facilitate networking, socializing
- [Design goal 8] Delta: Learned about the Wikimedia movement and how people contribute to the many projects. I also learned how to edit.
- Idea filter: How does this idea support onboarding, or provide an overview of, What the Wikimedia movement is (movement, affiliates, communities, etc)?
- Idea filter: How does this idea facilitate access to how-to’s: how to edit, how to contribute, how to find information, how to solve popular challenges
- [Design goal 9] Delta: Joined in interactive activities from communities nearby, participated in the entertainment program and even danced during the closing party
- Idea filter: How does this idea provide a great Entertainment experience on- and offline?
[Prototype] - Creating a prototype[edit | edit source]
This part of the process is where the design team will start to create the actual format of the event by engaging in rapid prototyping. The 2 previous steps have been making up the necessary ingredients for the design of the format of event itself. They represent the opportunity for prototype thinking, to iterate and reiterate within the frame to reach the ultimate goal: change of behavior in the desired direction.
A change in behavior is realized when participants carry what they have learned into their communities. To enable this, we must look at the way people learn, this can be through: the experience journey or learning by instruction (Instructional Design). In the case of Wikimania, an instructional design covers the content, topics to cover, how these are best delivered, by whom, at what time, and in what place.
The experience journey is the sum of all moments of interaction that a stakeholder experiences in the event; listening, reading, watching, debating, mingling, speaking - all of these interactions are the building blocks of a participant's experience journey. So from awareness of the event (through a "save the date") to the post-event evaluation email and all the interactions in between.
A successful event consists both of an emotional experience and a logical instruction. Planning both during the design phase gives the team the opportunity to orchestrate a flow that will make up the entirety of the event. Utilizing all of the COT's ideas and assessing them according to the previously established design goals, has set the stage for the designers to create broad brushstrokes of what the event could potentially look like.
The designers engaged in two rounds of rapid prototyping and created the following prototypes with the following features:
|Prototype 1||Prototype 2||Prototype 3||Prototype 4||Prototype 5|
|"RUN IT LIVE"||"Volunteer Center"||"Wikimania Festival"||"TarNote"||"WikiWhacky"|
Wikimania 2022: The Festival Edition[edit | edit source]
Following the rapid prototyping session, the COT then voted on the prototype that resonated the most with them; Wikimania 2022 will be a festival edition! Over the course of these next few weeks, the COT will be working on bringing a festival to life, together with all of the Wikimedia Communities! All of the design work that was put into getting us to this point will eventually trickle down into all domains of event planning as we now move to the implementation phase of the selected prototype.
The concept of a festival will be translated into the following domains. Every domain has the design goals to use as their north star.
How do we tell the story of a festival to all of the audience segments for Wikimania? What do people need to hear, see and feel when we communicate about the festival edition of a Wikimania? Using what channels?
How is a festival reflected in the design of the program of the event? How do session formats look like? How are we being intentional to newcomers?
What type of technical tools and platforms does Wikimania need, in order for it to achieve its design goals? How do we manage in-event logistics for the realization of a festival?
- Scholarship & Grant Program
What is the connective tissue that will connect the virtual program with local events? How can we facilitate participation to the festival through the scholarship and grant programs?
[Implement] Design Principles[edit | edit source]
Last year, the Wikimania Steering Committee and other Movement Organizers established the ingredients for a successful Wikimania by analyzing its 16 year history and evolution. They identified the following principles to be engrained in the so-called "DNA" of every successful Wikimania. The DNA of the event can be described as the conventions that guide growth and change for the event. It contains elements that drive strategic internal decisions and goals in line with the Movement's vision and mission.
By staying true to the design principles of the event, it ensures a match between the event and needs of it's stakeholders
- Community Co-Creation - Wikimania is an event that is by the movement, and for the movement. The Wikimedia Foundation supports and sponsors the event but is organized collaboratively with the Wikimedia volunteers. This is essential for Wikimania to remain the Wikimedia Movement Flagship event.
- A celebration of achievements and the movement - Wikimania is the space where individual, collective and movement achievements need to be celebrated. Wikimedian of the Year is the vehicle where these types of celebrations usually occur.
- Safe & secure participation - By upholding and enforcing a code of conduct (or Friendly Space Policy) at events, we ensure safe participation for all of the participants of Wikimania
- International, Multilingual, and Diverse participation - Intentionally designing and accommodating languages other than English keeps us true to the international nature of our Movement. It invites people that do not speak English to participate and engage with the content delivered at the event. Last year, Wikimania supported 6 languages for interpretation of the delivered content.
- Learning and building capacity - Whether you are an organizer, supporter or participant, Wikimania must provide opportunities to build skill and capacity for relevant areas of interest. Last year the Wikimedia Foundation developed a Speaker Onboarding series of workshops and sessions for the speakers of 2021 Wikimania.
- Sense of belonging - All contributors are a part of something bigger. It's hard to know that if you are contributing virtually. Wikimania is the place to bring our diverse groups of international volunteers together. They get to showcase their work, find new collaborators, network with people from all over the world and have fun! Being able to meet these contributors, projects and spaces, you start seeing the bigger Wikimedia Movement picture. Event features like the Unconference space or Community Village contribute to promoting a sense of belonging.
- Free & Open source - Wikimania must offer an element of free & open source participation to its attendees. This can be done in a variety of ways. In example: uploading and archiving content programming sessions onto Wikimedia Commons is a practice that we will continue to allow for that type of participation.
- Inclusive to newcomers - First time Wikimania participants join the event every year. However, we need to be intentional in creating experiences for these new attendees. How are we thinking about newcomers to Wikimania?
The COT will apply the lens of these design principles as they further develop and implement the chosen prototype over the course of the next few weeks and months!
See you at Wikimania 2022!