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How to survive Wikimania

Noto Emoji Pie 1f4c4.svg This is an essay. It expresses the opinions and ideas of some Wikimedians but may not have wide support. This is not policy on Meta, but it may be a policy or guideline on other Wikimedia projects. Feel free to update this page as needed, or use the discussion page to propose major changes.

Wikimania is the largest gathering of Wikimedians in one place. It regularly attracts hundreds of people (in 2014, almost 2,000), and as such can be pretty overwhelming for those new to such conferences.

Some tips, adapted from former Foundation staffer Sumana's post on Wikimedia-l ahead of Wikimania 2013 (which are all still as valid today):

  • 5-2-1 rule: each day of the event, get at least 5 hours of sleep, 2 real meals, and 1 shower.
  • Each day, spend 30 minutes outside the venue, doing something that has nothing to do with the conference. (Esino Lario's location makes this quite easy.)
  • If you are overwhelmed or tired, it is okay to go back to your room and nap. Don't try to catch every single event (it's impossible to do so, for a start). There's no need to feel guilty about missing sessions, and if you're exhausted there's every chance you won't be able to listen as well as you might want.
  • Label your laptop charger just as you would your luggage. There will likely be dozens of chargers that look the same as yours. Stick some adhesive tape onto yours and label it with your name so that someone can get it back to you if you leave it behind. (You might also want to label your phone charger / bag in the same way.)
  • Searching for recent tweets about Wikimania can come up with talking points you didn't think of, or sessions which might be interesting.
  • Thank the volunteers when you have a chance. They make this work.