When can we start? As an organiser, you can register your interest now and we will send you information when we have made changes to the website (September) or register to start earlier if you want, just let us know on the form Start Your Own
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Where can I see the FAQs for participants? FAQs for Participants can be found on their dashboard when they log in. Alternatively, they are publicly displayed on the website: https://windowwanderland.com/faq-for-participants/
What are the benefits of making an event through us? We are all about sharing and celebrating the individuality of your area and broadcasting that to our community. It is a locally created event, with your community at its heart, with your own spin on it. This is no Mc-mega-corp-profit-making project. The KEY to Window Wanderland is to give opportunities to everyone to make a display. Through years of passion and trial-and-error we know how to do just that so why reinvent the wheel? We also have other good reasons for you to join with us:
- We are a great community to be part of, we have seen over 48 events internationally so far.
- We have established a positive name with the media, with appearances in The Sunday Times, on Radio 5 live, Radio 4 and the One Show in 2017.
- Your event will connect to neighbourhoods in other areas, ping your images across the ‘insta-twitter-face’, which will celebrate your area and inspire others to make their own.
- We get feedback from our organisers:
100% found the toolkit useful.
100% feel more connected with their communities.
80% of all our events are returning every year.
We have received over 1800 surveys from participants about the events, and we give you useful statistics to help you fundraise in the toolkit.
Why can’t we just make our own event using your idea and images? We hope though that you will share your event with us, to inspire others as we have inspired you. You can create your own header logo, we encourage you to be independent! We have a lovely community of Window Wanderlanders who love to see what your own local community will create. We have spent years for no financial gain to build a central hub to connect you all together, using technology for good. We are all about sharing, making a happier world, and our community loves looking at other events. If you make your own you are simply invisible to the wider community, your images will not inspire others, so should you decide to do it alone and not join Window Wanderland that would obviously make us sad, especially when friends send us links to your event. Please remember that we are trademarked, so do not use our name, or reference our photos or any content from our website or our media.
Is there a charge to put on a Window Wanderland? Yes, but we only charge what is manageable and fair. We have been volunteering for years to provide resources and spread this; a labour of love. Our website and toolkit are a product of years of work, which means that you have much less work to do. If you had to start from scratch to make this happen it would take weeks of your time to get started, not to mention making original windows for inspiration! We appreciate you are all different, from volunteers to NPOs we are open to everyone, but we are NOT funded at all so we are volunteering our time and have been mainly subsidising the events.
We know how hard volunteers work to make community events happen, our dream is for an open-source approach but we have I.T overheads to cover so there has to be a charge. Believe us, this is no money-maker, and I.T is not free 🙁 This project is all about connecting and building communities so every penny we get, as a voluntary not-for-profit, will help us keep the fee low for volunteers.
How do you fundraise for charity? This is up to you, Window Wanderland provides a great common focus enabling you to collect locally for a cause of your choice should you wish, there is more info in the toolkit.
How can I fund this? It is a wonderful opportunity for local traders to show their support for the neighbourhood through sponsorship, with visibility on the flyers. We give examples of successful funding bids in the toolkit to help you if you go for community grants.
How much work is it to organise this event? Window Wanderland is designed to be inclusive and accessible to everyone in the community and we are passionate about this. So the biggest part of running the event is telling people about it. If you live in a community where everyone reads the same noticeboard, telling everyone is easy; but if you live in an area with different kinds of community engagement, and where getting to everyone is harder. So, if your community might take time to tell, we recommend a commitment of around 20 days part-time over a period of at least four months, this is shared amongst the team.
What do I get from Window Wanderland? There is a list on the Start Your Own page, but basically everything from mapping and template engagement letters to timelines and powerpoint displays.
Can we choose our own theme? Our focus is purely on getting people engaged, if you feel that making a theme will mean more people will be brave and participate that is completely up to you. In our experience this can put people off as once they see the images from past events they will get the idea and they will want to bring their own personal touch to their display.
How can we test this to see if our area is interested? This is of course daunting, it was very scary the first year Lucy made one and she almost gave up after going door-to-door asking people to participate! Now after many years there are images, films, and lots of information on the website so it is now very easy to get across what this project is in order to gauge local interest. You could link the site to some community Facebook pages, email your local groups, and ask people to let you know how they feel before taking the plunge. We know how hard it is to try something new, and that each area is different, which is why we are flexible about payment. People in your area can express an interest, get in touch with you, and offer help before you pay the full price and commit to doing one.
Can it be made anytime of the year? We know that there are definitely good and bad times to make an event happen, we give you guidance about this in the toolkit.
How long does the event last? Again, this is up to you, we suggest a few days over a weekend to focus on getting everyone engaged, but you are given guidance in the toolkit about this. If in doubt, look at the events and see how they were done.
Can Window Wanderland be part of a larger festival? Window Wanderland is a standalone event that you can add other elements to, or maybe it can run as part of something else. Please note that we have seen less engagement when it is part of a bigger arts festival, this could be to do with the fact people feel judged by the community more when being part of something overtly artistic.
What if the participants ask about safety? There are various aspects to this question. We hope that your participants will look at the FAQs for participants, which you can have a look at too, but should you be asked, here are a few possible replies from our General Information page:
Will anyone come into my house? No, this is an outdoor trail. People will have a map with participating houses and look in as they pass.
Will people be able to see inside my house? There are different types of displays. You can put something on your window. This can be tracing paper, or tissue paper… and you can close the curtains over the windows that have no display on. Displays work best when you cover up the background so as to hide the inside of your room and avoid distraction. This means that no one will see into your room if you don’t want them to.
You can also put objects in your living room, and decide to include the room as part of your display, or you can draw a curtain/set up a screen to shield it away. Make sure you find a way to backlight the objects/drawing though, otherwise your display will be lost to the viewers! You can also choose to play with what people can see or not see in your room – it’s all up to you!
Will Window Wanderland bring people from outside my area to my street? Window Wanderland is a community event that happens in a public space. In our experience, lots of makers will invite their family and friends from elsewhere but we feel this is positive, as people want to share in a happy event and get to show off their display and feel proud of their community.
Will it be noisy and crowded? The event is open to anyone, and we aim at achieving a sense of community and togetherness. Your street may be noisier and more crowded than usual for a couple of hours. We also find that people report streets being much safer when there are families and groups wandering along, looking at the displays.
What if someone trips in my garden? Window Wanderland is not liable for the safety around your home on the night. Please be responsible for your own garden, using precautions with lights if there are steps or dangers. If using lighting outside it must be suitable for use outdoors, with appropriate outdoor power sources. If you use temporary structures, please ensure they are secure. You are welcome to do your own risk assessment, we like to think of it as ‘common sense’. The Resource Centre is a good place to start writing down your own risk assessment.
Branding and Social Media
How can I use the name ‘Window Wanderland’ as part of my marketing? Please do not use the name Window Wanderland on its own, but always add the name of your area in front of it. This goes for invoices, campaigns, and the press. For instance, the first Window Wanderland event was called Bishopston Window Wanderland. We want to keep each area with its own identity while also showing that it belongs to the wider Window Wanderland community. Also please remember that Window Wanderland is a trademarked CIC, so as a company we do not want to cause confusion.
Can I have my own Fb/twitter/instagram/pinterest page/hashtag? We encourage you to use our umbrella hashtag #windowwander whenever you post on social media, as this enables us all to cross-pollinate between Window Wanderland HQ and the arts organisation in your own community, in order to spread the word about Window Wanderland as much as possible. Window Wanderland HQ has already done the hard work of creating a page and getting thousands of followers for you, so rather than starting your own Fb/twitter/insta/pinterest page, we ask you to tag @windowwander everytime you post in your Facebook event, and we will share and repost to the wider community. However, if you feel that it is time for you to create your own page on all the social media channels, please make sure that you tag us @windowwander and use our hashtag #windowwander #windowwanderland in all your posts to give us credit, and do use our logo as part of your visual identity.