Submissions/Managing mass volunteers in conference and afterwards

From Wikimania 2014 • London, United Kingdom

After careful consideration, the Programme Committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2014 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this August.

Submission no. 1054
Title of the submission

Managing mass volunteers in conference and afterwards

Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)


Author of the submission
  • Jeromy-Yu Chan
  • Kris Cheng
  • Deryck Chan
E-mail address
Country of origin

Hong Kong

Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)

Wikimedia Hong Kong

Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

In Hong Kong, it was never easy getting volunteers to help with the Wikimedia movement. But just before Wikimania 2013 we posted an advertisement on one of the most popular sites in Hong Kong, it attracted more than 200 people, mostly university students, in just a few days. By that, there was suddenly a extreme surplus of volunteers in the conference and we have to decide what to do with them. We want to share how to manage mass volunteers that have no idea of Wikipedia/Wikimedia during a conference, and what to do afterwards, as a review of having these volunteers for one year by then.

We had very little time, just a week or two, to prepare the volunteers. We designed several short training sessions for them to know more about Wikimedia movement. Most of them have never been to a (academic) conference or so. We prepared them to several different teams – for instance welcoming attendees from airport to trains/bus, managing dorms, on-site stationery requests, reception and even invite some of them to join planning team on spot if they have great talent. There are of course problems and frustrations such as some of them were too tired on the first few days and were not motivated to work on later days; very specific repetitive roles keeping volunteers from each other can easily make student volunteers bored; and most of all, misunderstanding can destroy the small trust developed not long ago.

Another part we will present is whether a successful conference experience can keep these volunteers in the movement – as the goals of most of them were not exactly to become Wikipedia editors but to gain experience in international events. We want to review what may keep the small amount of volunteers that continued to help with Wikimedia Hong Kong, and other Wikimedia projects, after a span of one year.

  • WikiCulture & Community
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?

Deryck and Kris will attend Wikimania 2014. Yuyu cannot make it. Deryck Chan (talk) 16:46, 3 August 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests

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