Welcome to the FAQ for Wikimania 2012! If you have any more questions not listed here, please feel free to e-mail us or ask on the information desk.
- What is Wikimania?
- A conference for people working on Wikimedia Foundation projects (primarily the world-famous Wikipedia) and other people who are interested in wikis, free and open content/software, and global development/education. See meta and Wikipedia for more information.
- Where will this year's Wikimania conference be held?
- Wikimania 2012 will be held at the Lisner Auditorium and Marvin Center at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
- When will this year's Wikimania conference be held?
- Developer meetings (Hackathon) will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 10 and 11, 2012.
- The main conference will take place on Thursday – Saturday, July 12–14, 2012.
- The Unconference will take place on Sunday, July 15, 2012.
- What and where is Washington, D.C.?
- Washington, D.C. is the capital district of the United States. It is located in the Mid-Atlantic region, about four hours south of New York City.
- What languages are spoken in the D.C. area?
- The primary language spoken is English, with a minority speaking Spanish and other languages.
- How's the weather during the summer?
- Hot and humid, with temperatures regularly above 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Centigrade).
- What types of clothing do you suggest?
- Light clothing, absolutely.
- What electricity and telecommunications are utilized?
- Electrical outlets in the United States use type A and B plugs at 120 volts and 60 hertz frequency. The major modes of mobile telecommunications include GSM and CDMA.
- What's the currency in the United States?
- The United States uses the United States Dollar. Currency exchange booths are available at the airports.
- Can I use my credit card in the D.C. area?
- Yes. Most vendors will accept credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.
- What is the D.C. time zone?
- During Wikimania, the time zone will be Eastern Daylight Time, which is UTC-4.
- Whom do I call in case of an emergency while I'm in the D.C. area?
- Call 9-1-1.
Registration and Lodging
- What types of accommodation are available?
- See Accommodation.
- Are meals included?
- Breakfast and lunch at the venue are included in the registration price. Dinner and meals outside the venue are not covered by registration, but there are a number of nearby restaurants.
- When is check-out time for the accommodations?
- Is there a gym or exercise facilities at/near the accommodations?
- Will conference accommodation rates be available the week before or the week after the conference, so that a visitor might extend their stay?
- I arrive late at night – what should I do?
- See also: Main Scholarships FAQ.
- How do I get a scholarship?
- See Scholarships for more information.
- I applied for a scholarship, when will I find out if my application is approved?
- The Scholarships committee will review the applications and get back to you after they have reviewed the hundreds of applications.
- I got a scholarship. How do I get reimbursed?
Transportation and Visas
- Are there any additional documents I need to enter the United States other than a passport?
- Visitors from certain countries are required to obtain a visa before entering the United States. Once your registration is confirmed, begin the process of obtaining a visa as soon as possible if required, since it will take a long time. See Visas for more information. Those who are from countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program will still need to complete an online form per the Electronic System for Travel Authorization program.
- How are the international flights?
- See Flights.
- Does my passport need to be stamped at the border?
- Yes, the Customs and Border Patrol officer will stamp your passport upon entry. Additionally, you will be fingerprinted and a picture of your eyes will be taken. See the CBP's guide for admission into the United States.
- Help! I'm at the airport. How do I get to the city?
- Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA): Take the Metro to (redacted) station. Metro opens at 5:00 AM Monday through Friday and at 7:00 AM Saturday and Sunday and closes at Midnight Sunday through Thursday and at 3:00 AM Friday and Saturday nights.
- Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD): Take the Washington Flyer bus (US$10.00 cash or credit card) from the airport to the West Falls Church Metro station on the orange line, then take the Metro from that station to (redacted) station.
- Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI): Take the B30 bus (US$6.00 in cash, or use a SmarTrip card) to the Greenbelt Metro station on the green line.
- Help! I'm in Washington D.C. How do I get to the venue?
- Help! I need to get to the venue in a cab.
Conference and Schedule
- I want to submit a lecture, where do I apply?
You can submit your presentation thru the Submissions site until March 18.
- Who's speaking when?
- See Schedule.
- When is the big party for attendees?
- The attendee party is on Friday evening.
- What other related events are there?
There is Wikimania Takes Manhattan which will be organized by Wikimedia New York City to explore the cultural sites of the Big Apple. If you feel interested, sign up!
- What is there to do before/after the conference?
- When will other people be there?
- Is tipping customary?
- Tipping is customary only in restaurants and hotels. Restaurant bills usually do not include payment for service, hence a 15% addition is expected for the waiter. Anything beyond that is considered a gratitude for good service. Tips are usually not expected in self-service restaurants or food stands. Tip the bellhop in the hotel (or carry it yourself − which is also customary).
- What is food like there? I have special dietary needs, what about me?
- What is the address of...? The phone number of...?
- See: Address book
- Will I be able to use my cell phone? Can I rent a cell phone?
- Should I bring my laptop? Will there be wireless Internet access?
- Wi-Fi will be provided at the venue, and at the lobby of the hotels. Some, but not all hotel rooms will have Wi-Fi at no additional charge.
- I'm a presenter; how should I bring my presentation?
Bring it on a flash drive, a CD or just on your computer: make sure it reaches the organizers a day in advance to ensure it works. Or email it to the organizers. Also, whichever option you use, upload it to Commons with a free license (or on this wiki if you don't own copyright of it) and in Wikimania 2012 presentation slides; otherwise, we'll do it for you after the conference unless you asked us not to.
- How do I get announcements about Wikimania?
- Before the conference – Watch this site or sign up for wikimania-l, a mailing list for most Wikimania related issues or announcements.
- During the conference – posted notices at the registration area will advise the attendees of any changes and notices.
- What hashtag should I use for tweets and photos?
- Use #wikimania for the conference in general. For individual presentations and sessions, a hashtag will be posted in the room.