An exhibition is a public event at a GLAM institution at which particular exhibits are displayed with a theme and setting. These are commonly highlighted with special publicity and sponsorship. They are intended to be popular and so ticketing and entrance fees are common. They provide a good opportunity for Wikipedians to co-operate with the institution, which can provide complementary access and entrance in return for article work which helps to promote the exhibition.
An example of an exhibition is Shakespeare: Staging the World — an exhibition at the British Museum which was part of the cultural Olympiad in London. Wikipedian John Byrne used his existing contacts with the BM to arrange a tour of the exhibition and a discussion over coffee with the curator Dora Thornton. Wikipedians were solicited by geographical-based banner ads on the English Wikipedia and a page was created at Wikimedia-UK for sign-ups. The event was fully subscribed and the Wikipedians toured the event in a "private view" session along with other invited guests such as members of the Friends of the British Museum and museum professionals.
The goals of an event based on an exhibition will be to develop Wikimedia content relating to its subject and to improve the relationship with the institution and its other partner organisations.
- The exhibition provides an organised and physical focus. There will commonly be privileged access for other groups such as the press and friends organisations. It should therefore be easy for Wikimedia groups to use the existing framework and facilities.
- The exhibition will be publicised and promoted and this helps to motivate volunteers.
- Normally groups will be limited in size, especially if a guided tour is offered - typically 10-15 is the maximum.