Wikimania venue selection
Each year, the first and most vital decision to be made about the annual Wikimania conference is where it will be held, and what local group will plan and execute the conference. The following components comprise the venue selection process:
- Wikimania jury: A body of 5-15 people, selected about 18 months prior to the conference for which they will determine the location. This body runs the bidding process and makes the final decision about the site.
- Wikimania bids: Documents submitted by local groups, advocating for the choice of their city. The deadline for final bids is typically in March.
- Wikimania judging criteria: Bids are evaluated by the jury (and by any Wikimedia community members who wish to participate in the open process) according to factors like the suitability of the city and of the venue, the enthusiasm and experience of the local volunteer team, and other factors like cost and local sponsorship opportunities. (The criteria evolve from one year to the next, as the collective understanding of what makes a successful Wikimania grows.)
- The location is typically announced in April, after a deliberation process that is mostly open to input on meta.wikimedia.org and on the #wikimania chat channel of IRC's Freenode network.
- Members of the volunteer team are encouraged to participate in the Wikimania that immediately follows the venue selection, in order to learn from the process and build relationships with the previous team.