WikiStage events are not only the main source of our video library, but they offer the opportunity to bring people from very different educational and professional backgrounds in direct contact with each other.
A WikiStage event is not an ordinary conference, but an extraordinary gathering of people passionate about open education and lifelong learning. It does not matter how old you are or where you come from, everyone has a personal puzzle piece to share.
Most people have seen WikiTalks that were recorded at a WikiStage Conference in a big hall or theatre with many people. This, however, is only one of the ways that WikiTalks can be produced. There are the classic big WikiStage Conferences, the smaller WikiStage Café format as well as WikiStage Virtual Conferences. Organisers who obtain a license can choose between each of these three formats.
These events are entertaining conferences typically celebrated in a bigger venue such as a conference hall or a theatre. The first WikiStage event, for example, took place in the main lecture hall of a university in Paris with 400 people in the audience, It was a half-day conference that started after lunch and included two coffee breaks and a cocktail in the evening. while the biggest one was organised by WikiStage Algiers team in Algiers's Opera with 1200 attendees.
WikiStage Café are smaller WikiStage Events. For those who prefer a smaller and often less formal location, the WikiStage Café is the right format. The first WikiStage Café was organized in a Café in Paris and took about 2 hours. In contrast to a WikiStage Conference, a WikiStage Café can also be organized as part of an existing event.
WikiStage Virtual Conference
The third way to produce a WikiTalk is in an online format. Generally, a WikiStage Virtual Conference organiser can be any person or organisation that disposes over the technical equipment and the motivation to enrich the WikiStage video library with quality content.
These days, the coronavirus pandemic has caused many events around the world to be cancelled or postponed. While virtual events may seem like they’d be less engaging, you’d be surprised at the value they can bring. It allows you to bring together a wider audience. Travel costs that could have prevented attendees from being able to attend a live event are no longer an issue. In these times of uncertainty, online events are a smart way to connect with your attendees and motivate them.
The WikiStage Virtual Conference is attractive because organising an event takes time and the number of speakers is limited by the event’s duration. For those who want to record more WikiTalks in one go, the WikiStage Virtual Conference is the right format.
Many high-profile conferences and events lack gender balance, despite there often being no shortage of qualified women. The absence of women at public professional forums is a problem. Because speakers are usually male, audiences are given a narrow perspective. The lack of diversity limits the quality of the conversation and potential outcomes.
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 it 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.
WikiStage strongly encourages women speakers to speak at our events. For example, the #ShareHerVoice Conference was an inspiring and eye-opening experience aiming to support future gender equality champions. Amongst the speakers we welcomed on stage, there were a lot of amazing women. You can read more about this empowering event Empow’Her: Share Her Voice.
Sometimes it feels like many people (women and men) fear public speaking more than anything else. Whether this is true or not, it is a hard reality that a lot of people are afraid of, or at least uncomfortable with, public speaking. If you have something valuable to say, then you have all the talent and "gift" required to speak. Now, what you need is skills, practice, and feedback. Coaching can also be very valuable. See why is it important to say "yes" to a WikiTalk request and how one of our speakers overcome podium panic: The Power of Saying YES to a WikiStage Talk Request.
What is important in WikiStage is that WikiTalks are not exclusively provided by one small group of celebrities or just a handful of teachers. We want to encourage you to get involved to bring your perspective on stage; in your community and in your language. WikiStage empowers you and your community to take part in a global conversation. Add your piece of knowledge to our collaborative video library for learning.
Apply to become a WikiStage speaker HERE.
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
- 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.
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.
Social media channels are very powerful tools for promoting events. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn can be excellent ways to spread a word about your WikiStage conference. Make sure you’re present online in order to reach your conference’s target audience, engage with them and keep them informed!
1. Choose Social Media channels
The first step is to choose the right social media channels based on your target audience. Choose between Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or Snapchat which are best suited to your target audience’s demographics, interests, and online behavior. You can use more than one or all of them but keep in mind that all your accounts should be actively managed - sometimes it’s better to focus on one single platform and do it right. Many WikiStage organizers chose Facebook.
2. Create an event on Facebook and promote it on your event page
Creating an event gives your audience a place to find the details, see who’s attending, and ask questions. This is also a great place to encourage networking before the event. The advantage of an event page is also sharing by attendees.
3. Use targeted advertising
Facebook allows you to target your promotions in extremely specific ways. This requires an investment, but it can make it easier to connect with people who still don't know for your event. This investment doesn't have to be big to help you reach a large audience.
4. Share a teaser video
It’s a good idea to give potential participants a teaser of the great experience that awaits them at your event. Share some of the most interesting bits of information to show them that your event is exactly where they should be.
5. Create images featuring each speaker
Feature the achievements of your speakers to really shine the spotlight on them, inform your audience about their short biography and what they will be talking about. This can be free publicity if your guest speaker decides to share the image with his audience.
6. Post relevant quotes from speakers
People love quotes and they enjoy sharing them, which will grow your engagement on this kind of posts. Show your audience exactly what they can expect to learn from your speaker by featuring a great quote on a shareable image.
7. Announce the opening of the registration form
Promote the date of the opening of the registration form using an image to catch followers’ attention. This way you keep your audience updated and informed when they can register to attend the event.
8. Engage with followers by creating a poll on Facebook
If you have some doubts during the preparations of your event, ask your audience questions to find out what exactly they are looking for. You will make them feel directly involved in the planning process and you will be able to prepare a better event for your specific audience.
9. Share behind-the-scenes visual content
This content is super engaging for your followers. It builds an emotional connection by creating a sense of being an insider to the event. When your audience sees how much hard work your team is investing in the preparations, they will get more excited about the event.
10. Use live video on the event day
YouTube enables live streaming and so does Facebook through its Facebook Live feature. This is really easy to do it's extremely engaging.
Use all of these social media advantages to entice the people to your event - be creative! It’s important to try a variety of tactics and see what works best with your audience. Also, don't stop interacting with your audience once your event is finished. You can keep the momentum going and attract even more people to attend your next event.