Wikimania time! What to Bring


Have you made your packing list and checked it twice before hitting the road?

Wikimania 2012 is arriving in just two weeks! What with the tech talks, hackathon, and collaboration sessions everyone knows to bring their computers and smartphones but what about the not so glamorous items, the clothes and toiletries?

Well, honored attendees and speakers should be glad to know that, no matter where they will be staying, toilet paper will be provided in their rooms. While hostels may not provide them, hotels will also definitely include fresh towels, hand soap, and shampoo as well as clean sheets for the bed. Hostels will have lockers available, so make sure to bring a lock!

Everything else is up to the guest. Since this is Washington, DC in the middle of the summer, temperatures will most likely not dip below 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32.2 degrees Celsius) with stifling humidity, so dress lightly! Clothing made from rayon, linen, cotton, and silk are generally the best for hot, muggy weather. When walking around Washington DC, seeing the sights, meeting up with people, or just exploring the city, shorts, t-shirts, and sandals are perfectly acceptable as well as sunglasses and hats to soften the bright sun bouncing off of glass buildings and white sidewalks. At the conference there isn’t a dress code, but at the opening reception, nice-yet-comfortable clothes are encouraged, be they western style or national dress.

If there are plans to be out and about for hours in the sun, sunscreen and a water bottle are a must. There is a CVS grocery store/drug store right on Dupont Circle where the hotels are where guests can purchase sunscreen, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, razors, and shaving cream if they want to, so if you don’t have room in your luggage for these items, you can still buy them in DC.

Besides the necessary toiletries, guests should also not forget to bring plug adapters for their electronic devices if they come from outside the United States. Check out this Wikipedia article on power outlets in the US and make sure to purchase an adaptor that works for you! Books or something to do on the plane over are also recommended but are really based on personal preference and can be used as conversation starters if nothing else. “You’re reading a book on King Ludwig the Second? Wasn’t he a crazy monarch?” “Oh no, actually he was just misunderstood genius, he sponsored Wagner…” “You crochet baby socks?” “Actually they are smurf hats…” etc.

That’s about it on what to bring to Wikimania, besides bounding enthusiasm of course! Paper, pen, pencil, business cards and smiles don’t hurt to bring either.

We look forward to seeing you here!

Lisa Marrs, Outreach & Program Coordination, Wikimedia DC

Copyright info: FIAT Topolino Super (1948) mit Sonnenmarkise und Gepäckablage by Sigismund von Dobschütz, imported from Wikimedia Commons, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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