Wikimedia Conference 2012/Information

1st information letter, e-mail 16 March 2012Edit

Dear participants of the Wikimedia Conference – Chapters' Meeting 2012,

With this e-mail we would like to equip you with some helpful information and directions for the time of the conference and also give a first programme overview. Further information will follow in a second e-mail next week.


ConferenceEdit

The programme overview as well as a final list of all conference attendees are now available online!


VenueEdit

Wikimedia Conference 2012 will be held at and supported by Cluboffice Berlin in Bundesallee 171, Berlin city west, see map. In the mornings of the conference days, 30 March – 1 April 2012, you will be taken to the venue on a hired bus. The exact meeting point and schedule for the bus transfers will be announced in short.


Flights and VisaEdit

We have now finished flight booking and sending out invitation letters. Everyone who requested Wikimedia Deutschland to book their flights should have received the flight tickets. If not, please get in touch immediately. Same goes for invitation letters! Those who did not confirmed delivery of flight ticket or invitation letter, please do it now. Please keep us also in the loop about the status of your visa application.


Financial support, AccommodationEdit

Support in paying travel and/or accommodation costs is granted to everyone who requested it in the registration form. All flights are booked and rooms are reserved in your names at the baxpax downtown hostel Hotel.

Please bring towels! Also bring padlocks for lockers if you want to lock your stuff.

Attached you find a list of all booked rooms and nights. You can find your ID in the email you received after registering on amiando. Please note, that a cancellation is now only possible against paying a compensation fee. If you are not on the list but want us to take care of your accommodation or you find out that your dates are incorrect, please let us know right away – deadline is Monday 19 March, 12:00 (noon) CET (11:00 UTC).

Participants who (or whose Chapters) are able to bear the costs for their accommodation themselves are asked to pay in cash. Please calculate 27 to 40 Euro per night incl. breakfast, depending on the type of room you are staying in. Since there have been recent changes in the booking list, we can only provide the final rates shortly before your arrival. Wikimedia Deutschland paid for all rooms in advance. Do not pay at the hostel reception but at our welcome desk in the hostel lounge on Thursday from 19:00 or at the conference venue on Friday morning (depending on your time and date of arrival).


Travel in BerlinEdit

Like last year, we have an agreement with the local public transport company (BVG) that they will provide tickets for public transport for all of you. You can pick them up with your attendee kit at the registration on Friday morning at the conference or on Thursday evening at the welcome get-together in the hostel.

We are not able to offer a pick-up service at the airports or stations but you will find helpful directions on Meta as well as a map of the main points of interest. Also, Berliners are tourist-friendly and helpful and almost everyone is capable of speaking English.


ReimbursementEdit

Participants who have asked for reimbursement of travel costs can ask for travel reimbursement already before the conference. You can hand in a reimbursement form together with your tickets via email to conference@wikimedia.de. Please note that we can only reimburse after we have received the relevant receipt/invoice from you.

Since it is very expensive and often complicated to make bank transfers to countries outside of the EU/US, we offer three ways of reimbursement: 1) Participants from inside the EU or US hand in the form including their bank account data and will be reimbursed via bank transfer. 2) Participants from outside the EU or US, who don't have an international bank account will be reimbursed in cash (EUR) at the conference. They have to send in their documents before the conference so that we can make sure we will have the right cash to reimburse your costs at the conference. 3) Third option for everyone would be the transfer to a PayPal account.

Please let us know how much you spent and how you would like your costs to be reimbursed by Thursday 22 March, 12:00 (noon).


Preparation by attendeesEdit

Display table

As we did in previous years, we will again set up a table where Chapters can display their outreach materials and other kinds of tangible material, so please bring some to the meeting! You can display whatever you want, basically, as long as it shows your recent activities.


State of the Chapters

Each participating chapter (or chapter-to-be) will need to present its activities in the last year in a brief and interesting manner. Please prepare something, but that something had better not be a boring and long PowerPoint presentation, as you have just a couple of minutes (a presentation is fine, but keep it very short and focused). Better if you have something fun to show or fascinating to present about your most exciting activities and achievements in the last year – not just boring data like number of members and year of incorporation. We're also interested in hearing about your difficulties, challenges and mistakes, so we can learn from them too.

It is highly recommended that you publish your material before the meeting so that the other participants can read them in advance and prepare questions. If you do not upload your material on Meta, please send it as PDF to Harel (harel.cain@wikimedia.de) 2 days before the conference or bring a USB stick so that we can load it onto the computer at the venue. Please also let him know in advance if you have any special technical requirements for your presentation. Also please do not forget to bring your own power plug travel adapters!


Evening programmeEdit

On Thursday 29 March from 19:00 we will host an informal welcome meeting and pre-registration to those who are already in Berlin at the Cosmo Lounge of the Baxpax downtown Hostel where most of you will be staying.

For after the conference programme on Friday and Saturday night we are planning casual events about which we will inform you in detail in our next e-mail.

There is no official programme for the days before and after the conference but Martin Rulsch, Board member of Wikimedia Germany, offers Berlin sightseeing tours starting from Tuesday 27 March. If you are interested, please sign up and contact the tour guides in advance, here.


We look forward to welcoming you all in Berlin at the end of the month! If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us!


Best regards,

Harel, Nicole, Danny and Maria



2nd information letter, e-mail 27 March 2012Edit

Dear all,

In only a few days the annual Wikimedia Conference and Chapters’ Meeting will take place, and we are excited to welcome you all here in Berlin.

In addition to the information letter we e-mailed to you a week ago (see above), this message contains important updates on the programme and logistics of the conference. Please read both carefully!


AccommodationEdit

Please check again the updated list of all booked rooms and nights at baxpax downtown Hostel, attached. You can find your ID in the confirmation e-mail you received after registering on amiando. Please note, that a cancellation is now only possible against paying a compensation fee of 100%. If you find out that your dates are incorrect, please let us know right away! Otherwise we cannot ensure that we can meet your wishes.

Participants who (or whose Chapters) are able to bear the costs for their accommodation themselves are asked to pay in cash. Please calculate 25 to 40 Euro (depending on the type of room you will be staying in) per night incl. breakfast. Since there have been recent changes in the booking list, we can only provide the final rates shortly before your arrival. Wikimedia Deutschland paid for all rooms in advance. Do not pay at the hostel reception but at our welcome desk in the hostel lounge on Thursday from 19:00 or at the conference venue on Friday morning (depending on your time and date of arrival).


ScheduleEdit

Please find the conference schedule on Meta.

The conference officially starts on Friday. However, also on Thursday, some of the conference rooms in the Cluboffice venue will be available from 10 am. Those of you who are already in town and want to get together for any kind of activity or discussion are welcome to use the space. Please let us know about your plans until Tuesday morning, 3 pm UTC.

The venue will be open for you on Friday from 9 am. Please make sure you will be on time for the bus which will take you to the venue in the morning. Pickup will be at 8:15am in front of baxpax downtown hostel (8:45am for guests at NH hotel, in Planckstraße).

The third day of the conference has been set aside almost completely for a BarCamp format to give the opportunity to discuss specific issues in smaller groups devoted to topics participants suggest themselves. The aim should be to come up with solutions or recommendations. We also chose this format to give room to topics that come up during the conference and need more time to be discussed in order to guarantee a sustainable outcome. Please either add your suggested session ideas to the existing suggestions on the schedule or bring them up on Sunday morning.

The conference will be facilitated by Anja Krieger and Anna Lena Schiller. You can find out more about them on Meta.


PreparationEdit

Each participating chapter (or chapter-to-be) will need to present its activities in the last year in a brief and interesting manner. Please prepare something but that something should not be a boring and long PowerPoint presentation as you have just a couple of minutes (a presentation is fine but keep it very short and focused). It would be nice if you have something fun to show or fascinating to present about your most exciting activities and achievements in the last year - not only data like number of members and year of incorporation. We are also interested in hearing about your difficulties, challenges, and mistakes so we can learn from them, too.

It is highly recommended that you publish your material before the meeting so that the other participants can read them in advance and prepare questions. If you do not upload your material on Meta, please send it as PDF to Harel (harel.cain@wikimedia.de) at least two days before so we can check whether it works on the conference computer or not. Please save your presentation including fonts otherwise we cannot guarantee its proper display at the event. Please also let Harel know in advance if you have any special technical requirements for your presentation. Also do not forget to bring your own power plug travel adapters!


Do not forget!Edit

At the conference
At the hostel
  • padlock (or buy them for 2.50 Euro at the reception)
  • towel


Evening programmeEdit

On Thursday evening, starting at 19:00, we will have an informal welcome gathering & pre-registration at the hostel bar "Cosmo Lounge" / "Wintergarten" at baxpax downtown Hostel Hotel. There will be drinks and snacks and room to meet and chat. Please collect your conference pass and attendee kit there! We will also prepare the requested reimbursements and ask those who pay for accommodation or travel themselves to bring cash and pay at our registration desk (NOT at the hostel reception!).

On Friday evening we will have a get-together with Wikipedians and friends in the Hostel club in the basement of baxpax downtown Hostel Hotel. The Wikimedia Foundation generously sponsors this event. Thank you very much!

On Saturday night we would like to take you on an exciting and informative trip through the "Underworlds" of Berlin (Berliner Unterwelten e. V.). There will be two differently themed guided tours in English language. You can either go on Tour A or on Tour B. Only 50 people can go on each tour so please sign-up for one of the tours in advance! We would like to thank Wikimedia Israel for generously co-sponsoring this activity.

Also, you can still sign-up for Martin Rulsch’s sightseeing tours.


If you have questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

See you soon!


Harel, Nicole, Danny, and Maria