Wikimania 2008/Bids/London

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London, United Kingdom
Wikimania 2008 Candidate City
English: London is the capital city of England and the home of a huge number of businesses and individuals - Londoners as well as cultural spaces like museums, restaurants and world-famous locations: the Houses of Parliament, shopping in Oxford Street, Hyde Park - all in London, and via London's widely-used public transport network all available to Wikimania 2008 attendees. English is the main and official language spoken in London but as a diverse capital many different languages are spoken, with residents from all over the world.

Update:the London team dropped out of contention for Wikimania 2008.

City detailsEdit

Conference venueEdit

A central London (zone 1) university with all conference facilities on a single campus, WiFi internet and disabled access.

University College London ("UCL") is the oldest and largest college of the University of London. Founded in 1826, UCL was the first university to be established in England after Oxford and Cambridge; the first to admit students of any race, class or religion; and the first to welcome women on equal terms with men. Larry Lessig launched the Creative Commons UK licenses at UCL; and UCL hosted the 8th International Society for Knowledge Organization Conference and the Econometric Society World Conference.

The main UCL campus occupies one block in the Bloomsbury area of London. All seminar rooms, dining halls, lecture theatres, meeting rooms and lounges recommended below for Wikimania use are contained within this main campus, and are within five minutes' walk of each other. Sufficient dormitory and hotel accommodation is available within a few minutes’ walk of the main campus. All on-campus facilities have disabled access except the one stated.

  1. Main hall:
  2. Seminar rooms:
  3. Lounge facilities:
  4. Other rooms (organisation, staff, speakers, interviews/press, storage):
  • Socializing areas (Garden, lounge etc.), their capacity and the hours at which they are opened/closed:
  • Contacts with conference venue (emails, price quotes etc.)
  • FREE Internet access for conference attendees with WiFi coverage of almost the whole campus via RoamNet and ethernet ports in each Halls of Residence bedroom.
  • Full details of the IT provision available to conferences at UCL is available here. The organisers will liaise with the UCL Education and Information Support division in advance to arrange logins for attendees.
  • In addition to these standard services, we will have the use of computer, photocopying and printing facilites via the Department of Computer Science.
  • Streaming services and other allied services for online attendance at Wikimania will be provided.
  • Bulk printing facilities are available in advance through UCL's printing partner or at short notice via The London Student Print Centre or Kinko's, both of which are around 1 minute's walk from UCL.
  • UCL has a professional quality video edit suite (details) along with a Multimedia Unitwhich includes facilities to produce CD-ROMs, DVDs, and output to web via streaming servers.

AccommodationEdit

  • Location of main accommodation facilities
(where can the attendees be hosted. On site, off site, how far from conference venue? For attendees? For VIPs?)
  • Room details and price range
(What's the accommodation like? Dorms, B&B, Hotel? Singles, doubles? How much does it cost per person and per day?)
  • Catering (one meal a day, breakfast is a plus)
(Where do we eat, how much it costs)
  • Contacts with accommodation partner(s)
(Have you contacted the proposed locations, exchange of emails, price quotes etc.)

Party opportunitiesEdit

Wikimania traditionally hosts two parties, one for attendees (capacity of 250-350) and one for sponsors and VIPs (capacity 40-60).

  • Attendees party(ies) propositions
(location, how to get there, what's cool and relaxed about it)
  • Sponsor party(ies) proposition
(location, how to get there, what's chic and high profile about it)

Travel and transportationEdit

  • Estimation of travel costs from all continents:
  • Distance from international airport(s)and how do we get to the location:
London has several international airports, of which Heathrow and Gatwick are the busiest. All are connected to the capital by regular rail services and by low-cost coach services. High-speed Eurostars also run from Europe.
  • Local transportation and local social opportunities
The London Public Transport system has been voted the best in the world in a survey of tourists. It consists of the London Underground, bus and local rail services. London's famous black cabs are also available.
 
London Underground map
  • Visa issues
 
Countries whose citizens will require visas for entry to the UK

Those travelling from within the EU, North America, Japan, South Africa, Australasia or most of Latin America will not require a visa to visit the UK.

  • Many people from other regions will also be able to visit the UK without a visa. To determine whether you will need a visa to visit the UK, go to www.ukvisas.gov.uk. The nature of any visa required will depend on your nationality and your current country of residence. An easy-to-use form is available here.
  • It is believed that citizens of the following countries will normally require a visa, however you should confirm using the links above.
Afghanistan Albania Algeria Angola
Armenia Azerbaijan Bahrain Bangladesh
Belarus Benin Bhutan Bosnia-Herzegovina
Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burma (Myanmar) Burundi
Cambodia Cameroon Cape Verde Central African Republic
Chad China, People's Rep. of Colombia Comoros
Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Cuba Djibouti
Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea Ethiopia Fiji Gabon
Gambia Georgia Ghana Guinea
Guinea Bissau Guyana Haiti India
Indonesia Iran Iraq Ivory Coast
Jamaica Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya
Korea (Dem. People's Rep) Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos
Lebanon Liberia Libya Macedonia
Madagascar Malawi Mali Mauritania
Moldova Mongolia Morocco Mozambique
Nepal Niger Nigeria Oman
Pakistan Palestinian Authority Peru Philippines
Qatar Romania Russia Rwanda
Sao Tome & Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia & Montenegro
Sierra Leone Somalia Sri Lanka Sudan
Surinam Syria Taiwan Tajikistan
Tanzania Thailand Togo Tunisia
Turkey 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' Turkmenistan Uganda
Ukraine United Arab Emirates Uzbekistan Vatican City*
Vietnam Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe
* (service & emergency passports only)
  • The Wikimedia UK chapter may be able to act as a sponsor if you need one in order to get a visa.
  • Tourism opportunities
(when people travel from far away, they like to come for more than just the conference. What re the tourism opportunities around the location?)

Local sponsorship opportunitiesEdit

Possibility of local sponsorships

  • Contacts
(no name needed, just "company X, 4000 USD or will provide 300 beds)

Local teamEdit

  • Wikimedia UK - there is a UK chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation with the company name Wiki Educational Resources.
  • See also the coordination page for list of volunteers and tasks.

MiscellaneousEdit

Anything you feel should be brought to the attention of the jury.

Self-evaluationEdit

WeaknessesEdit

1. Perceived threat from terrorism

The media around the world have reported on terrorist acts in the UK and London as they have in America, the Middle East and Indonesia. As can be seen by our own coverage on Wikipedia and Wikinews this coverage is often overplayed in the media's search for ratings. The UK have an unarmed police service and, along with security services, continue to keep the city and country safe with London having a very low crime rate generally. Whilst some international media has reported 'big problems', this city of 9 million people has proceeded with 'business as usual', as London residents will tell you.

2. Perception of London as an expensive city

London is a world city and attracts visitors from all over the world and, yes, some of those visitors choose to spend large amounts of money in expensive hotels and restaurants. But just as the resident population live well without finding it inordinately expensive so do most other visitors. Tourism brings many people to London every year and if we were 'too expensive' they wouldn't come. Attendees will find free museums, and can eat out and discover London for themselves, whatever their budget.

StrengthsEdit

1. Openness to all

London is a city where all nationalities, religions, and sexualities are welcome to visit without threat or worry about the possibility of 'issues' with the local population, police or security services. London is the most cosmopolitan city in the world with every nationality, culture and language represented in our schools and everyday lives, (and which also gives us the widest range of cuisine at all prices!) Similarly lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people will find a safe and public welcome here without any risks from their public or private actions, just as there are facilities for all creeds. This is a country that welcomes and supports free speech and free expression.

2. Ease of access

London is the crossroads of the world. Heathrow is the busiest international airport in the world and with five international airports - each with integrated onward fast train or tube services to the Wikimania venue - and an international highspeed railway service from Europe we are probably the easiest place for people to get to no matter where they start. And that multiplicity of travel routes usually means cheaper prices from the competition, indeed our checking of flight prices has shown we are the cheapest destination from just about everywhere.

3. Opportunities to learn, explore, meet and enjoy

Coming to Wikimania is not just about sharing our thoughts and ideas about Wikimedia, Wikinews, Wikisource, Wiktionary and the other projects in every language, but also to meet other editors socially and to have a brief visit to a new place at the same time. Wikimania London 2008 will not only provide facilities 'on campus' throughout the conference for these to happen but will also encourage visitors to take in the sights, the history and culture of London and the nightlife. Furthermore, the new Wikimedia UK chapter would benefit and learn much from participants of existing chapters.

4. Extensive Broadcast and Print Media Base

London is home to some of the world's biggest broadcasters and publishers. The UK's largest radio group - Gcap Media - are based at Leicester Square. Fleet Street is home to some of the oldest and most prestigious titles whilst the relatively new in comparison Canary Wharf is the UK base for many of the world's biggest FTSE100 companies as well as the Trinity Mirror publishing group.
London is also home to a wide range of highly prestigious broadcast radio stations including Capital 95.8 (official station of the 2012 Olympics) and major UK national stations such as Virgin Radio, Talksport and Classic FM.
The world famous BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) is also based at numerous sites in London including Television Centre and Broadcasting House - two of the most renowned and historic media centres in the world.