Finding someone who can connect with your audience, be it an entrepreneur, a scientist, an artist, a community leader or a local hero is essential. WikiTalks are at the very heart of WikiStage and it is extremely important to find the right speakers for your event. Before you start, here are two questions to ask yourself: Who is my audience? Think of what issues or concerns they want to address, what problems they would want to be solved, or what is their passion? What do you want from your speaker? Decide what you expect them to bring to your event, and how they are going to help you achieve your goals. Is it to motivate, educate or entertain your audience?   When you define answers to these two questions, you are ready to start. Here are some tips on how to find matching speakers for your WikiStage event:  1. Use your own network Your colleagues and friends may be able to refer you to a speaker that they have personally seen in action or they personally know. Also, you could find expert speakers by connecting with organizations and clubs in your field. 2.  Use the Internet Start with searching through your LinkedIn network of mutual contacts, YouTube, and other social media. Seek out professionals who are developing content that is being read and shared by readers online. 3. Check your local university Professors can be ideal speakers because they are skilled communicators and educators. Also, many universities have a speakers bureau that connects conferences and event organizers like you with professionals interested in speaking opportunities. 4.  Look to nonprofits in your area Leaders in NGO are often very active in the community and are likely to share their experience. Consider a local nonprofit as a potential resource for a speaker. 5. Attendee feedback Always keep the desires of attendees in mind. Collect attendee feedback to see if they can recommend a speaker they are interested in hearing from. As an event organizer, you are well aware of the role that speakers can play in the success of your event. Event organizers often tell us that they find it more difficult to find women speakers. Nevertheless, we think is worth the extra effort to look for great female speakers. A good mix and balance is a very enriching ingredient in every WikiStage conference. If you get a line-up of who can deliver excellent content to your audience, then you’re likely to have a very successful event. 
Even though finding sponsors is just one piece to the event puzzle, it’s vital for your event. For many event organizers, potential sponsors are hard to find. Providing sponsorship involves a lot of hustle compared to other organizational initiatives. But this doesn’t have always to be so difficult. Follow this 4-step guide that will help you find sponsors, and build smart relationships with them, one step at a time: 1.   Build a list of potential sponsors The first step is to create a list of sponsors. Here you should think about - who could be interested to support your event? When researching potential sponsors, start with your personal network. Then find out who has sponsored similar events in your city in the past and which companies would be interested to be presented to your audience. Contact the companies from your list to ask who makes sponsorship decisions, so that your proposal goes to the right person. As you build your list, create a spreadsheet to keep track of your outreach progress. 2.   Make the first contact online The first email you will send to potential sponsors should be concise and to the point. Let them know why you chose to reach out to them specifically, and most important - give them the answer to the question: why should they sponsor your event?  Provide them with the next information: -Your event’s mission or cause (what differentiates your event from others) -Your event’s audience (show how many people a sponsor could reach and what defines your audience) - How they will benefit (on-stage announcements, logo placements, website marketing, email marketing, social media/press mentions, etc.) At the end of the email request for a short meeting, so you can work together to customize your proposal. 3.    Follow up with those who didn’t respond It’s important to remain consistent and maintain close contact, especially when you don’t hear back from your leads right away. Simple statements that require a short feedback work the best here. Sometimes your prospects simply don’t like what you’re offering. Try to provide as many alternatives as possible, whether it’s about the channel of communication, your sponsorship package, or any other important aspects of the pitch. 4.   Measure ROI data and present it to the sponsors after the event After the event is finished, be prepared to supply each of your sponsors with evidence that you fulfilled your commitments to them. This can be done by: - taking photos - uploading WikiTalk videos on the YouTube Channel and sharing links with sponsors - monitoring media coverage - headcount - social media mentions - attendee data collected (satisfaction, pre/post awareness, etc.) - unique website visitors   or any other evidence that proves your event was successful. Securing event sponsors is never an easy task, but with the right resources and strategy, this can be much simpler and more enjoyable than you expect. The secret to how to get event sponsors is to understand their needs and be flexible enough to meet them. And in the end, your main goal is to organize an exceptional event that people will enjoy and talk about!
WikiStage Stanford, WikiStage Berlin, WikiStage HEC Alger, WikiStage New Cairo - These are only some of the WikiStage Event Names of past WikiStage Conferences. If you are planning to organize a WikiStage Event yourself you probably wonder: how will I call my WikiStage event? Since our first event in 2013, we have grown into a network of more than 100 event organizers in 15 countries. Currently, we have 60 upcoming events all around the world, and this number is increasing rapidly! That's why a very important detail for us is the exact name of your license. Every WikiStage event is identified by its license name, for example: “WikiStage Stanford” or “WikiStage Maison de l’Europe de Paris”.  The number of licenses that we give out every week is growing fast, and it often happens that there is more than one event in the same city. Because of this, we have established a set of principles for event names, so that your audience and speakers can best identify the nature of your event and who is organizing it. For this reason, for example, it is not possible to obtain very large and broad license names, such as “WikiStage Italy” (name of a country) or “WikiStage Alps” (name of a large region) neither for generic topics, such as “WikiStage Medicine” or “WikiStage Marketing”.  We also don't give out licenses for too short names with only 2 or 3 letters, like an acronym - there needs to be an additional word to make it more specific.  Sometimes we even receive several applications for the same event name. If two people apply for, say, "WikiStage Paris", it's first come first serve. If we have already given out the license for a name, we can't give it to somebody else anymore. However, it is possible that you organise a WikiStage event in the same city where another WikiStage event already exists - what you need to do is chose a license name that is clearly different from the existing one in your city. We would like your license name to reflect either: - the name of your association, organization, university or company - The name of the area within the city - with large cities: the name of your district, a monument or a parc that symbolizes your district - the name of the location where the event is held, for example: Oslo library, or Théâtre de Châtelet. We would like to find a name together with you that more specifically represents who you are and where you will be organizing the event. We would like you to choose and be happy with your license name. By choosing the right name for your WikiStage event you will make it clear to your audience, speakers and sponsors who you are and which city or organization you represent. We hope that with these rules we can allow many people to contribute to share fresh ideas and change the world - one event at a time.
This weekend, we entered into an official partnership which turns WikiStage into a real-world stage for Wikipedia. We are often asked: what is our link with Wikipedia and why did we chose the name “WikiStage” in the first place? Sharing knowledge openly is in our DNA and with Wikipedia, we share the ambition to create a vast pool of knowledge, to democratise, to decentralise and to encourage as many people as possible to collaboratively share so that we all can benefit from our collective wisdom. This is why we called our stage “Wiki”. Wikipedia is mostly text and our format at WikiStage are videos. At WikiStage Conferences, independent organisers record videos of the WikiTalks of the speakers. We publish these videos on YouTube, embed them into the WikiStage.org platform and share them on Twitter Facebook. This way, we can offer a broad and global reach to the videos filmed by local WikiStage Event organisers. As videos increasingly gain in importance, Wikipedia is encouraging efforts to bring more and more videos to its encyclopedia and other Wiki-Projects. This is where WikiStage is the perfect match: we produce videos of experts sharing ideas and knowledge at every WikiStage event - and now we will make our videos available to the media database behind Wikipedia: the Wikimedia Commons. This is the essence of our partnership agreement with Wikimedia France. For our speakers this is fantastic news: with a bit of luck, your talk could be on Wikipedia! Wikipedia requires videos which are uploaded to have an open license: Creative Commons CC BY SA. This license allows users to use the videos freely as long as the source is credited and the newly created video is shared under the same open license. We encourage all WikiStage speakers to log in to www.wikistage.org and grant us permission to use their video with this “Wikipedia-ready” license. For Event Organisers: this is one more reason to chose WikiStage as format for your event! Equally, for speakers, this is an extra encouragement to give your best in your WikiTalk! WikiStage becomes a stage for Wikipedia.
WikiStage is a non-profit Wiki Project of event organisers who create a free library of educational videos. How is this different from Wikipedia, YouTube, TED and open university lectures? At the heart of WikiStage are WikiTalks, where experts address one specific question in 3, 6 or 9 minutes. These WikiTalks are recorded at WikiStage events and uploaded as short educational clips to the free video library of WikiStage online.    Wiki Spirit and Wiki Project We love the spirit in which Wikipedia editors engage and contribute to what has become the largest encyclopaedia on the planet. This “Wiki Spirit”, which causes people to collaborate to create this vast text-based library, inspired our choice to associate our project with the Wiki brand. With WikiStage, we want to build a “Wiki Project” where people work together in a similar spirit.   How is a WikiTalk different from a Wikipedia article? Besides the obvious difference of text vs. video, the content of a WikiTalk can be very different from a Wikipedia article. While Wikipedia lets its articles be edited by a great number of people, a WikiTalk is given by one expert who is responsible for his content.  Diversity is created at WikiStage when one particular question is addressed by different experts in several WikiTalks. For this reason, we do not expect our speakers to simply cite factual information but to bring otherwise dry knowledge to life and to make it relevant and accessible. At times, what counts is not just the content of a message, but also who delivers it, and how.   A common format for educational videos At WikiStage, we love the freedom that video platforms, such as YouTube, provide to the user. Unlike traditional TV, people are now empowered to create their own content and to watch what they are interested in whenever they need it. However, we do not consider a commercial video platform to be a Wiki Project. For this, the content is too diverse and the users do not work together towards a common objective. What we propose to establish with WikiStage is a library of educational videos where users can expect a consistent format and quality content.   How is it different to TED? While TED has one main event and all TEDx events are only small satellites, we at WikiStage understand that each new organiser makes our community stronger and a stronger community can give greater visibility to each organiser. WikiStage is shaped by a creative community of idealists who can create better events by adapting to their local situation and by allowing their teams to be creative.   Ideas for Change We are a non-profit association created by students in Paris. Our bottom-up organisation is supported by grassroot-style volunteers who believe in our potential impact for free education.  Our objective is not to spread ideas from a few to many, but to share them from many to many. WikiStage is not about selecting only the top 1% of the talks that may change the world, but our aim is to create a searchable video library of intriguing questions through a Wiki Project that invites you to contribute. This is why we offer not just the format of big events; we propose the additional format: WikiStage Café. We strive to make it easy for you to become an event organiser and instead of imposing a large catalogue of rules, we trust and support you when you decide to enrich our collective puzzle with your piece of knowledge.   Curiosity vs teaching Universities are a great place to host WikiStage events. This raises the question of how WikiStage is different from traditional conferences or open online courses. We know that at times, professors and conference speakers tend to get into a speaking or teaching routine that focuses more on giving you the information or the answers rather than to arouse your interest for the question. At WikiStage events, we work to create an environment that encourages the expert to use the short time of a WikiTalk to help the audience understand why he is passionate about his subject and why his question should matter to us. “Ideas for Change” expresses our ambition that new generation of innovators share new and bold ideas to change our societies and improve the status quo.  The objective of a WikiTalk is to create an open and global community to share Ideas for Change.
Our team at WikiStage has identified 3 core values for this project. Here they are: Ideas for Change The purpose of WikiStage is to “Ideas for Change”. We think that is important to share new and bold ideas to change our societies and improve the status quo. WikiStage is an open and global community to share Ideas for Change. Community We believe that a great way to ignite the spark of curiosity is to bring people together to discover fascinating questions. This can happen with a community online, yet, we know that nothing can ever replace people meeting each other in real life. WikiStage events are there to connect you with those people around you who ask those questions that matter to you. Openness We are proud to carry the word “Wiki” in our name because it represents more than just a technical term. Wiki stands for openness and the democratisation of knowledge. The WikiStage is your stage. What counts for us is not the notoriety of the speaker, but the quality of the answer. A WikiStage event can be organised by everybody who respects our quality standards and the public has free access to the videos online.
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