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Vaguely stats-y over here. I'd strongly suggest removing or at least adding a caution to that graph; if it's based solely on the rate of increase of attendance, it's not going to be at all accurate. Reasons:
  1. Attendance is not influenced solely by popularity. Other factors are invariably going to include geographical location (if we hold it in Australia, for example, we're likely to price a lot of people from Europe or North America out), scholarship numbers and the value of those scholarships, appeal of the core city and appeal of the core bid. These are not constants, and they are not things that can be guaranteed to increase at the same rate.
  2. Even if popularity is the only factor, I don't understand the statement that Wikimania will continue to gain popularity. In terms of the exposure of the event, sure, we get press coverage every year. This has been happening for quite a while, now. In terms of the exposure of the movement: our reader numbers are growing, certainly, but it's worth noting that the increase has actually been retarded over the last couple of years compared to the rate we were going at before. That can't be guaranteed to keep going up at the same rate. In terms of editors, our community is actually shrinking, year-on-year; same problem.
  3. You're inevitably going to run into a hard ceiling; if we set up an event for 1,500 people and 2,000 ask for tickets, that's fine. That's great. But 500 are going to lose out. If Wikimanias continue to be organised in the same way, we've got a practical limit on the number of attendees (and I'd argue that more attendees would alter the culture substantially).
  4. There is probably an argument to be made for non-Wikimedians attending, and bypassing the popularity problem that way: researchers, for example, or government organisations. But again, this is something that is going to vary a lot depending on location and the roots the movement has in that location. Ironholds (talk) 05:10, 13 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


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