Wikimania 2012/Bids/Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, the District, or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. It was founded on July 16, 1790 in accordance with a provision within Article I of the U.S. Constitution, which allowed for the creation of a special district to serve as the permanent national capital. The District is therefore not a part of any U.S. state and is instead directly overseen by the federal government. The District is located on the north bank of the Potomac River and is bordered by the states of Virginia to the southwest and Maryland to the other sides. The city has a resident population of 601,723; because of commuters from the surrounding suburbs, its population rises to over one million during the workweek. The Washington Metropolitan Area, of which the District is a part, has a population of 5.6 million, the eighth-largest metropolitan area in the country.
An International City: The headquarters of all three branches of the U.S. federal government, and of many national and international organizations, are located within the District. Washington, D.C. hosts 174 foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organization of American States (OAS), the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). As an international city, Washington, D.C. is home to large immigrant communities, including the second largest Ethiopian community outside of Ethiopia, as well as a large populations from Vietnam, El Salvador, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Colombia, and has a large African-American population. Washington is also religiously diverse, with 10.6% Muslim and 4.5% Jewish populations.
Technology: While the neighboring Dulles corridor area has been home to AOL's offices since its inception, D.C. has since become a hub for tech entrepreneurs, leading it to be referred to in a Huffington Post editorial as "Silicon Hill," alluding to California's Silicon Valley and D.C.'s Capitol Hill. Firms located in the D.C. area include LivingSocial, Clearspring, and JackBe. Within the federal government, members of the Obama administration are looking to open source software to reduce bureaucracy and cut costs. Washington DC has very active open source software and free culture communities, with regular DC tech meetups, and past events including DrupalCon 2009, RubyNation 2011, JSConf 2010, Gov 2.0 Expo, American Libraries Association (ALA) 2010 Conference, and the International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC 2009).
Sightseeing: There are countless opportunities for sightseeing in Washington. The National Mall is a large, open park area in the center of the city. Located in the center of the Mall are the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Pier. Also located on the mall are the Lincoln Memorial, the National World War II Memorial at the east end of the Reflecting Pool, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The National Archives houses thousands of documents important to American history including the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
Located alongside the Mall are several museums comprising the Smithsonian Institution, chartered by Congress in 1846. The Smithsonian museums have free admission, and these museums as well as several other private and public institutions are listed lower on this page. Located directly south of the Mall, the Tidal Basin features rows of Japanese cherry blossom trees that were presented as gifts from the nation of Japan. Located around the Tidal Basin are the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, George Mason Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, and the District of Columbia War Memorial, with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial set to open in August. Outside of downtown D.C., the Metro D.C. area has numerous historical sites and neighborhoods, such as Georgetown and Old Town Alexandria, to name a few.
Food: Washington, D.C. is very easy to navigate, and there is a plethora of restaurants, coffee shops, and bars at varying price ranges. Some famous places to eat in D.C. include Old Ebbitt Grill, a historic restaurant near the White House; Ben's Chili Bowl, an affordable landmark; Busboys and Poets, a combination restaurant, bookstore, and lounge in multiple locations; and Georgetown Cupcake, a cupcake shop featured on a reality television show. There are also numerous food trucks which provide a variety of delicacies for fair prices.
Safety: Most important to us, however, is the safety of the attendees. Washington's safety record is stellar, especially in the Northwest where most of the conference will take place. Murders are at their lowest level since 1966. In total, violent crime declined nearly 47% between 1995 and 2007. Property crime, including thefts and robberies, declined by roughly 48% during the same period. Once plagued with violent crime, many D.C. neighborhoods such as Columbia Heights and Logan Circle are becoming safe and vibrant areas due to overall trends of reduced crime in the District and also through the effects of gentrification. Furthermore, public transportation is readily used by millions of commuters each week as a safe form of transportation in the District, as opposed to other large cities where public transportation is associated with crime. Washington's former reputation as a haven of crime has largely become obsolete.
Washington, D.C. is also at very low risk for natural disasters, with earthquakes rare. It is out of hurricane-vulnerable areas, and it won't be prime hurricane season—factors that made nearby Ashburn, Virginia an attractive location for Wikimedia's new data center. Attendees can come to Washington and expect a safe and pleasant trip.
Parts of this summary have been adapted from the Wikipedia article on Washington, D.C..
The Wikimedia community in the Washington Metropolitan Area is one of the most active in the United States, with strong attendance at our regularly held meetups. In January 2011 we held our very successful Wiki X event, with a hundred Wikimedia and free culture enthusiasts gathering at the National Archives and Records Administration for a day of festivities. Long-term projects within the community include our collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution, the National Archives and the FedFlix project. We also have active and highly successful campus ambassador programs at Georgetown University. (Georgetown Voice, NPR) Local Wikimedians also participated in the Wikipedia Academy at the National Institutes of Health and partnered with the Smithsonian American Art Museum for Wikipedia Loves Art.
With the increasing organization of the local community, a local chapter organization is being planned. It is the goal of Wikimedia DC to formalize our existing relations with institutions in the area, acting as a local liaison between organizations such as the Library of Congress and the Wikimedia Foundation and its projects. In the meantime, the community has worked closely with Wikimedia New York City, the only incorporated Wikimedia chapter in North America. Wikimedia NYC, which meets bimonthly, has organized several successful projects, including Wikipedia Takes Manhattan and two heavily attended Wiki-Conferences.
The Washington bid is being organized by a grassroots efforts based in the DC metropolitan area. The bid committee comprises the most dedicated volunteers; committee members are assigned to handle specific issues related to the organization of the conference, with the coordinator ensuring that the bid moves forward in a timely manner. The committee features people of varying backgrounds, including lawyers, individuals well connected with GLAM institutions, attendees of past Wikimanias, and longtime Wikipedians.
We continue to welcome and will recruit additional volunteers, and welcome people to add your name to the volunteer list below. (More volunteer info) Please contact jamesmharegmail.com if you have any questions about volunteering.
|Name||Areas of responsibility||Experience|
|James Hare||Bid coordinator||English Wikipedia editor since 2004 and administrator since 2006. OTRS correspondent, 2009-2011. Presented at Wikimania 2007 in Taipei. Languages: en-N, fr-2.|
|Racepacket||Venue and catering Coordination||English Wikipedia editor since 2006. Wikimedia DC meetup organizer. Worked for national trade association which conducted two major conferences per year in Washington and other United States cities. Thirty years experience coordinating volunteer staff that conduct major events.|
|Djembayz||Sponsor outreach||English Wikipedia editor since 2010. Metadata specialist/librarian. Coordinated Santa Cruz County Bike-to-Work Day, 1992; press conferences for International Press Club, Managua, Nicaragua, 1989. Two years exp. in trade show sales, three years exp. in door-to-door environmental fundraising. Fluent speaker in German and Spanish, functional communication in Russian.|
|Ser Amantio di Nicolao||Sponsor outreach||English Wikipedia editor since 2006. Fluent speaker in English and French; functional in Italian.|
|Jyothis||Sponsor outreach and general help||Co-organized WikiXDC at the National Archives. Wikipedian since 2006, primarily on Malayalam Wikipedia. Wikimedia steward since 2010, and OTRS member for permissions & info queues. Speaks 5 languages (Malayalam, English, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil) and can read and write 3 (Malayalam, English, Hindi). Outside of Wikipedia, Jyothis is software engineer.|
|Katie Filbert||Program, visas & registration, sponsors + general help||Wikimedia DC meetup organizer (since 2007) and WikiXDC organizer (100 attendees); Wikimania attendee (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011); Wikimania program committee (2009, 2011); Wikimania 2008 tour organizer (Cairo); Co-organizer of International Crime Mapping Research Conferences, 400+ attendees (2005, 2007) and involved w/ 2004, 2009; Active in OpenStreetMap, CrisisCommons and involved with organizing 2010 Haiti CrisisCamps in DC; Also, a long-time resident of the Georgetown neighborhood, with strong ties to the community and local businesses. Langs: en-N, ar-2|
|Sadads||Program and general||Wikimedia DC meetup organizer (since 2010), Smithsonian collaboration organizer (Summer 2010), Wikipedia Campus Ambassador (Summer 2010-present), Campus Ambassador Steering Committee member, Wikipedia Ambassadors UK coordinator (2011); Langs: en-N, de-2|
|Tiffany Smith||Program and general||Wikimania speaker and attendee (2010). Former project lead for Diplopedia; has assisted with coordinating Tech@State conferences as well as other Washington, DC, area technology and library-related events. Long-term resident of the area with connections to the library, technology, academic, and Federal Government communities.|
|Ragesoss||Scholarships||Wikimania program committee (2009) and WMF staff for the Wikimedia Public Policy Initiative|
|Sarah Stierch||Special events planning, social outings & General help||English Wikipedia editor since 2004. GWU Masters student in Museum Studies, Smithsonian staff, active in GLAMWIKI, soon to be Wikipedian-in-Residence at a major cultural institution in DC (info soon). Lecturer at WIKIXDC among other events.|
|Jeremyb||Finance & general help||Vice President of Wikimedia NYC|
|Chad||Technical team||Long-time MediaWiki developer and now WMF contractor, worked on FlaggedRevs in support of its deployment on the English Wikipedia, and other misc. projects; commits as demon.|
|Dan Rosenthal||Media relations, OTRS & communications||Attorney (American University, locally from D.C.), former Wikimedia Foundation Community Associate (2010 Fundraiser), Communications Committee member, WMF Press Contact, and organizer for local D.C. Wikimeetups and GLAM partnerships with Smithsonian Institution; also did NIH Wikipedia Academy.|
|Nicholas Bashour||Media relations & communications||B.A. Journalism, 2010 DC Capital Pride Cultural and Educational Events Committee (organized a town hall meeting on aging in the LGBT community), Wayne State University Honors Student Association (created, organized and chaired the first annual Spring Health Fair in 2009), volunteered at various capacities for such events and groups as the Forum on Contemporary Issues in Society, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Michigan's Student Day the Capitol, and Wayne First: Campaign for Wayne State. Languages: en-N, ar-4|
|Carolmooredc||Local outreach & general help||B.A. economics and politics, longtime feminist, peace and libertarian writer/organizer, DC resident for 23 years, editing Wikipedia since 2006.|
|Mindspillage||General help||Wikimedia Foundation board member|
|Kevin Rutherford||General help|
|Kirill Lokshin||General help||English Wikipedia editor and administrator since 2005. Wikimania attendee in 2006 and attendee/presenter in 2009.|
|Patrick||General help||Online student ambassador, able to help with local campus logistics.|
|Qwerty0||General help||Georgetown alum, DC resident|
|Ed Summers||Programming, General Help||Software Developer at the Library of Congress|
|Dispenser||Programming, General Help||Toolserver developer|
A two-month exploratory process has led to our selection of the Georgetown University Conference Center as our venue of choice.
Georgetown University is a private university, located in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. and 2 miles (3.5 km) west of the White House. John Carroll, later the first American bishop, founded the school in 1789, as a Roman Catholic college. After the American Civil War, the college expanded into a branched university under the leadership of Patrick Francis Healy, and today, is governed independently of church authorities. The university is co-educational and has around 7,000 undergraduate and over 8,000 post-graduate students, who in most years come from all 50 U.S. states and over 120 countries. Georgetown's most notable alumni include former U.S. President Bill Clinton and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball team has won a record seven Big East championships, has played in five Final Fours, and won the national championship in 1984.
With Georgetown University ranked at the top of the Wikimedia Public Policy Initiative leaderboard, there is a great deal of understanding and appreciation for Wikipedia—as well as considerable potential for continued outreach—on campus. In addition, there are other strong ties between the university and the local Wikimedia volunteer community, especially though the Communication, Culture and Technology program, which would be supportive of the conference at Georgetown.
- Plenary sessions
- Wikimania will be centered on the university's conference center, which features a 10,500 sq. ft. (975 sq m) ballroom for plenary sessions. The ballroom has a maximum capacity of 881 people with theater seating or 870 with banquet seating, and can be configured into a smaller space with breakout rooms. There are additional smaller rooms, across from the ballroom, that are suitable as speakers' and press rooms or smaller breakout rooms (up to 50 people with theater seating). We will be the sole user of the conference center during the conference period.
- The ballroom is recommended as the main plenary session space, possibly configured banquet style and one of the plenaries could be a keynote luncheon. An alternate option for a special keynote session could be the ornate Gaston Hall, with theater seating for 734 attendees, but has some disadvantages including being in an older building, up two flights of stairs (or a small elevator). The conference center (and breakout sessions) is in a very modern building, with full amenities and excellent air conditioning.
- Breakout sessions
- There is some breakout space within the conference center. In addition, the university will provide additional space for breakout sessions, most likely in the adjacent Rafik B. Hariri Building, home to the Georgetown McDonough School of Business, which was recently built and opened in August 2009. The Hariri building includes 15 classrooms and a 400-seat theater, and is a LEED-certified green building. An alternative option for breakout session space is the Bunn Intercultural Center building, which opened in 1982 and features solar panels on the roof. Both the Hariri and ICC buildings have auditoriums that seat 350-400 (theater seating), that could be used for larger breakout sessions.
- Registration area
- The conference center contains several areas that can be used for registration and check-in, including the west lobby, the south gallery, and the east hallway areas.
- Lounge space
- The Hariri building is connected to the conference center via an outdoor terrace, which provides comfortable lounge space. In addition, indoor lounge space is located just inside the Hariri building, and abundant additional space and comfortable seating is available in the Hariri building's atrium. The ICC building also has a large atrium, and there are a variety of additional spaces that could be used for lounges (e.g. Copley Formal Lounge—200 max capacity—connected with one of the dormitories).
- The university conference center is connected and adjacent to the Leavey Student Center, which has several coffee shops (Uncommon Grounds, Starbucks), a Cosi cafe, a food court (Taco Bell, KFC, Subway, Pizza Hut), a convenience store, a bookstore, a bank, and ATMs. Inside the conference center is the Faculty Club, a nice sit-down restaurant that is open to everyone for breakfast and lunch. Epicurean is another eating option, with hot/cold buffets, sushi, pizza, etc., as well as a lounge/bar, located in a building adjacent to the conference center.
- The university shuttle bus stop is located just outside the Conference Center and Leavey Student Center, running every 15 minutes with transportation directly to/from the Dupont Circle station on the Metro's Red Line. The shuttle bus is free for university visitors and conference attendees. The Wikimania organizing team will work with the university to ensure the shuttle bus service is available very frequently, and with plenty of capacity to serve attendees. In addition, numerous other local transportation options are available.
- The Conference Center, Hariri Building, Leavey Center and other campus buildings and facilities are accessible for the disabled.
- Reliable wi-fi Internet access throughout the conference center and campus buildings is available at no-cost, with full open access and ability to handle extensive usage. As a member of Internet2, Georgetown University has excellent network connectivity and capacity, and handles many thousands of students using the network each day.
- Georgetown on OpenStreetMap
Possible conference theme
- "Free Culture Capital"
- "GLAM, Outreach and Collaboration: Bringing Other Communities Into Wikimedia Projects"
- GLAM & outreach - Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums
- Wikis, policy, & government
- Academic/research track
- Wikis & collaboration
- Disaster response and crisis coordination
- Others to be determined
A big advantage of holding Wikimania in DC is the ease of getting keynote speakers and presenters that might already be in DC or willing to come to DC from elsewhere in North America, Europe, and other areas. Major conferences in Washington, DC, frequently welcome keynote speakers from the White House, Congress, and Federal Government agencies; academia; major news outlets; and nonprofit organizations. As many such US-based organizations are headquartered in Washington, DC, it's generally not very difficult for those who would be otherwise unable to clear their schedules for travel to stop by a local event to give an inspiring and motivating talk. The bid team plans to invite appropriate keynote speakers based on the conference theme.
We suggest the following agenda for the conference:
The attendee party will take place at the Artisphere, a cool, hip new venue located just across the Potomac River from Georgetown, in the Rosslyn neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia. Resident companies of the Artisphere include the Aurora Opera Theatre, Fashion Fights Poverty, and the Washington Shakespeare Company; these companies and others host frequent successful events as well as parties at the venue.
The VIP will be at the Phillips Collection in Dupont Circle, which boasts a prestigious art collection and an outdoor patio that is very cool for events. Please see images on The Phillips 2010 Gala page for a sense of what the space looks like during an event.
Other special events
OpenStreetMap mapping party: On Wednesday, July 11, there will be an OpenStreetMap (OSM) mapping party (workshop + party!), at a special location in the DC area. Participants can be newbies, and experienced folks are welcome too. This is a learning opportunity, no GPS required! There will be an introduction to OSM, then we will go out and map, collecting information and map data, come back and enter the data into OSM.
WikiExpedition: On Sunday, July 15, there will be a WikiExpedition event, which would be a photo safari + scavenger hunt, with points for taking photographs and bonus points for collecting coordinates / locations for OpenStreetMap. Participants would be organized into small teams, and the event will be in style of Wiki Takes Manhattan.
Guided tours and activities: During the evenings, volunteers will lead guided tours, group dinners (self-paid), and and outings for attendees, in smaller groups (20-40), to various sites and neighborhoods of Washington D.C., including U Street/Shaw, Adams Morgan, Dupont Circle, Capitol Hill, Foggy Bottom, downtown DC/Chinatown, and Old Town Alexandria, as well as walking tours of the Georgetown neighborhood, visits to the Smithsonian museums, and behind-the-scenes tours of sites such as the National Archives. Some tours and activities may also be arranged as pre-conference and/or post-conference activities.
(section blanked, new venue is in a different location)
Dorms and Hostels
We have confirmed arrangements with Marymount University, in nearby Arlington, to use their dormitories as a more affordable option. Prices for 2012 are not yet available but this year's prices are $45/night for a single room and $70/night for a double room. We would provide shuttle buses to/from the dorms throughout the day.
We are continuing to investigate other low-cost housing options, including dorms at Georgetown, but they can't be reserved until November at the soonest, and the university gives priority to recurring programs from Summer 2011. We will work hard, with support of our university contacts, to pursue this dorm option but don't have a guarantee at this time. Summer 2010 conference rates for most of Georgetown's dorm rooms were $48/night for a double room or $24/night per person, if sharing a room. 
Other options could be dorms at George Washington University's Mount Vernon Campus, located 1.4 miles (2.2 km) away, and dorms at American University, located 2.4 miles (3.8 km) away.
There also are numerous inexpensive hostels in DC, including:
- Hosteling International, Chinatown
- International House of United Tel, Shaw/Mount Vernon
- Washington International Student Center, Adams Morgan
- DC Trekker, Columbia Heights
- William Penn House, Capitol Hill
- DC Lofty, 2 Locations: Capitol View & Shaw/Mt. Vernon
The Sustainable Endowments Institute conducts an annual rating of universities in the United States, and in 2011, Georgetown University received a "B" green report card rating overall and an "A" for food and recycling. Georgetown recycles 45 percent of its solid waste. The dorms at Marymount also offer a full recycling program. In addition, the bid team encourages use of the existing Georgetown shuttle buses and Washington Metro and Bus lines for sustainability as well as efficient transit.
Travel and transportation
Get to DC
Washington is a convenient site for an international conference, with numerous transportation options.
- Reagan Washington National Airport is conveniently located in Arlington, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from DC and is Metro-accessible. National Airport has scheduled non-stop flights to 77 cities.
- Washington Dulles International Airport has scheduled non-stop flights to 79 domestic and 43 international cities. Dulles has express bus services that connects the airport with DC's Metro system. Metrobus 5A (pdf) to Rosslyn and Washington Flyer Coach has express service to West Falls Church Metro Station.
- Baltimore Washington International (BWI) Airport is located less than one hour away and has scheduled non-stop flights to 65 domestic and 5 international cities. The B30 Metrobus (pdf) connects the airport and the Greenbelt Metro station, and MARC commuter train operates on weekdays, connecting BWI with Union Station in DC.
Rail: Amtrak runs out of Union Station, served by the Acela Express, Capitol Limited, Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Northeast Regional, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, and Vermonter services. Regionally, Washington is accessible through MARC Train and Virginia Railway Express.
Bus: There are numerous affordable, non-stop, wi-fi equipped bus services between Washington and New York City. Bolt Bus and DC2NY both pick up/drop off passengers near Union Station and DC2NY also has pick up/drop off at Dupont Circle. Tripper Bus and Vamoose pick-up/drop-off in nearby Bethesda, Maryland and Rosslyn, Virginia.
Roads: Washington is also the hub of a national highway network, making it convenient for attendees to drive to Wikimedia. Interstate 495, the Capital Beltway, runs the perimeter of DC, and Interstate 95 connects DC with northeast corridor cities and the southeast United States. Cities within a 5 hour drive of Washington include Baltimore (1 hour), Richmond, Virginia (2 hours), Philadelphia (3 hours), Pittsburgh (4 1/2 hours), New York City (4 1/2 hours), Raleigh, North Carolina (4 1/2 hours).
Note: This page does not constitute legal advice.
Citizens of the following countries do not need a visa in order to enter the United States:
Those who are not in those countries will need a B-1 or B-2 visa, a temporary, non-immigrant visa for business or pleasure purposes.
Our organizing team has excellent, close contacts within the U.S. State Department and an official endorsement of support from them. Ultimately, the decision on granting a visa is up to individual consulate officers, but we will do everything possible, including providing attendees with letters of invitation (upon registering for the conference), making sure consulates are informed about the conference and who is attending/applying for a visa, to help ensure it's as easy and painless as possible for attendees to obtain visas.
Estimation of travel costs from all continents
|Cape Town||United Airlines||$1,945|
|Los Angeles||Frontier Airlines||$358|
|Rio de Janeiro||Copa Airlines||$1,378|
|Tel Aviv||Lufthansa/Austrian Airlines||$1,170|
|Tokyo||All Nippon Airways/United||$1,211|
- Washington Metro: A convenient and fairly inexpensive way to get to the heart of DC. Fare ranges from $1.60 to $5.00, depending on the time of day and distance traveled. The most convenient metro station is Dupont Circle (red line), easily accessed via Georgetown University's campus shuttle or the Metrobus D6 or G2 routes. The Rosslyn metro station is also a good option for getting to/from Georgetown's campus, via a campus shuttle bus to the south part of campus, the DC Circulator to M St, or a 20 minute walk.
- Metrobus: A bus system with stops throughout the Washington Metropolitan Area. The D6 route will take you to Dupont Circle metro, stopping across the street from campus on Reservoir Road, and the G2 stop is on the edge of campus at 37th & O St NW, also taking you to the Dupont Circle metro station. Fare varies based on the bus route, $1.75 with cash and slightly less if you use a SmarTrip card. Express buses to the airport cost $6.00.
- DC Circulator: A bus which connects the Georgetown neighborhood with downtown DC, Rosslyn, Dupont Circle and Union Station. There is the Georgetown-Union Station route, which comes up Wisconsin Ave NW through Georgetown and takes you via M St to Foggy Bottom, downtown DC / Chinatown, and Union Station. Another Circulator route runs between Rosslyn and Dupont Circle, via Georgetown's M St. Fare is $1.00.
- Capital Bikeshare: Capital Bikeshare is a bicycle sharing system with service in Washington, D.C. and Arlington County, Virginia. A one-day membership is $5.00, a five-day membership is $15.00, and usage fees range based on time per use. There is a Capital Bikeshare station at the main gates of Georgetown's campus, at 37th & O St NW. There also are numerous bike rental shops located in Georgetown.
- Taxis are readily available and meters are used for fares. The starting rate is $3.00 for the first 1/6 mile, and $0.25 per additional 1/6 mile. The maximum fare is $19.00. Numbers for two taxi services are (202) 387-6200 and (202) 829-4222. Taxis between Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Georgetown cost $20, including tip, and it's a quick 5-10 minute ride.(Taxi Fare calculator)
- Walking is another good option for getting many places, as the campus and Georgetown neighborhood are highly walkable. The main commercial strips are M St and Wisconsin Ave NW, with a large number of restaurants, bars, shops, and amenities. There is a CVS pharmacy (open 24 hours) on Wisconsin Avenue between O & P St NW. The nearest supermarket is the newly rebuilt and massive "Social" Safeway on Wisconsin Avenue, just north of R St NW. For a nice walk or jog, the C&O Canal tow path runs through the heart of Georgetown, Rock Creek Park is on the east end of Georgetown, the Mount Vernon bike path is just across the Potomac on the Virginia side, and another nice walk (45 minutes) is along the DC side of the Potomac, from Georgetown, past the Kennedy Center and to the Lincoln Memorial and National Mall.
Washington has embassies for most nations. This not only means readily available consular services for visitors from these nations, but also a chance to reach out to these nations and seek their involvement in Wikimania:
Full list of embassies in Washington, D.C.
Submitted before the jury is a realistic estimate of the cost of the conference based on research and our collective prior experiences with conferences, including Wikimania. We plan for every dollar spent, and as stated above, we have many potential sponsors in the area. Assuming 700 attendees, the amount of money spent is about $445 per attendee for the main conference.
All amounts are in USD.
|Regular Registrations||$11,250.00||225 people, $40 early, $60 late|
|Student & Wikimedian Registrations||$14,000.00||400 people, $25 early, $45 late|
|Comped registration||$0||VIPs, scholarship recipients, and conference volunteers (e.g. Georgetown University students)|
|Diamond Sponsorship||$50,000.00||1 sponsor @ $50K. Naming rights to a lounge space, 5 VIP tickets, full-page ad in the program, exhibit table, name & logo prominent on conference website, promotional items in attendee bag, logo prominent on slideshow prior to start of plenary sessions|
|Platinum Sponsorship||$40,000.00||1 sponsor @ $40K. Naming rights to attendee party, 4 VIP tickets, full-page ad in the program, exhibit table, name & logo prominent on conference website, promotional items in attendee bag, logo prominent on slideshow prior to start of plenary sessions|
|Gold Sponsorships||$75,000.00||3 sponsors @ $25K. Naming rights to a lunch break, 3 VIP tickets, half-page ad in the program, exhibit table, name & logo prominent on conference website, promotional items in attendee bag, logo prominent on slideshow prior to start of plenary sessions|
|Silver Sponsorships||$80,000.00||8 sponsors @ $10K. Two VIP tickets, naming rights to a coffee break or breakfast, quarter-page ad in the program, exhibit table, name & logo on conference website, promotional items in attendee bag, logo on slideshow prior to start of plenary sessions|
|Bronze Sponsorships||$60,000.00||12 sponsors @ $5K. Two VIP tickets, acknowledgement in the program, name & logo on conference website, name on slideshow prior to start of plenary sessions|
|Meals||$137,500.00||Includes a light breakfast and lunch, as well as coffee breaks. We can adjust the meal budget depending on how sponsorships develop.
Here is a breakdown of the budgeted total and a minimal, "bare-bones" version:
|Meeting space||$0||The $25,000 fee for meeting space will be waived at $100,000 of catering expenditures|
|Accommodations for VIPs||$5,000.00||5 @ $1000. For out-of-town VIPs.|
|Travel for VIPs||$5,000.00||VIPs accounted for in this line item are primarily keynote speakers and community leaders|
|Scholarships||$50,000.00||A "full ride" to Wikimania for someone outside the continent would be about $1500.|
|Promotional materials & supplies||$15,000.00||Includes t-shirts.|
|Participant gift bags||$3,000.00||800 bags — we will use in-kind donations for the items|
|WikiExpedition||$1,000.00||Scavenger hunt/photo contest|
|Volunteer appreciation||$1,000.00||Comped registration and goodies for volunteering Georgetown students|
The Washington DC area is one of the top hubs for technology and innovation in the United States, including numerous startups and companies that work on social media, open source software and technology. Larger companies are also increasingly interested and involved with open source technology, as emphasis is placed on open government and open data within both government and international organizations. Local companies in DC, Virginia, and Maryland include Living Social, JackBe, Clearspring, MicroStrategy, AOL (which owns MapQuest, a big supporter of OpenStreetMap ), Rosetta Stone, Blackboard, Gannett, Booz Allen Hamilton, and OPOWER. Other tech companies, including Microsoft and Google, have offices and a significant presence in DC.
Our bid team has personal connections with many of DC's Tech Titans, and will actively reach out to them and others in our network to connect with and attract sponsors for Wikimania 2012. We will also reach out to perennial Wikimania sponsors, such as WikiHow and the Open Society Institute. We also will seek advice on sponsorships from contacts at the Online News Association, which had a major conference in DC last fall, as well as from our contacts at the Sunlight Foundation and at iStrategyLabs which organizes the annual Digital Capital Week festival, to name a few. At this point, the sponsorship levels are suggested but we can adjust them as we work with sponsors and get feedback. We are confident about the prospects for obtaining sponsorships. In addition to the listed benefits, sponsorships also give companies the opportunity to associate their brand with goodwill, and open source knowledge and technology, which are very hot topics in DC.
We have taken the first steps to form a DC-based corporation, with help of an attorney on our bid team, and through this entity, we can handle financial aspects for the conference. We hope it will eventually become recognized as the Wikimedia DC chapter, after going through the chapters committee process and broad community input. Additionally, we have worked closely with Wikimedia New York City, Inc., which has agreed to support our bid, including handling any financial details needed through them.
Media and public relations
As the capital of the United States, Washington, D.C. and the surrounding metro region has become the home of numerous national and international media and press outlets. The headquarters for Discovery Communications, National Public Radio (NPR) and Public Broadcasting System (PBS) are located in this area. The Washington Post, an internationally recognized and award-winning newspaper, is the largest newspaper in the region and the oldest still in circulation. CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox all have local television studios. International broadcasters with studios in Washington, DC include Al Jazeera English, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), and Japan's NHK, to name a few. National print news media based in DC include The Atlantic and US News and World Report, which is based in Georgetown. There are many radio stations in the area as well, including WAMU, a public radio station; WTOP-FM, an all-news station; its sister government-centered news station, WFED; and a wide variety of music stations. New and social media is very popular in the Washington, DC, area as well: DC is ranked the "most socially networked" city in the US, and local events are frequently included in top 10 trends on Twitter as they happen. This region also ranks 9th largest designated market area in the nation, with 2,389,710 TV homes and the 9th largest radio market in the United States with a Metro 12+ Population of 4,394,600.
Local media outlets
A variety of media outlets exist in the region that we would include as a part of our media outreach.
The Wikimania conference has been covered nearly every year by the New York Times, and we anticipate that coverage by the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other US-based newspapers and magazines would increase were the 2012 conference to be held in Washington, DC. NPR has been very supportive of the CrisisWiki project, and has extensively covered Wikipedia, including the Wikipedia Public Policy Initiative. The many local television and radio outlets would also provide a plethora of opportunities for high-impact public relations connections. In addition, local attendees using social media will help to amplify participation throughout the event. Keynote speakers of high caliber will also help to bring in additional media interest, and the bid team is prepared to coordinate media engagement throughout the event.
Statements of support
- Safe neighborhood — Georgetown, as an upscale residential neighborhood, is a very safe neighborhood to hold a conference. Additionally, as it is not right in the heart of the Washington bureaucracy, federal security concerns are not as great.
- Many exploration opportunities — DC is home to countless cultural institutions, restaurants, parks, etc., linked by a safe and affordable public transit system. Most museums in the city have free admission. Those who don't want to stick around at the conference center all day will have plenty to see in the very walkable Washington, D.C.
- Opportunities for partnerships — In addition to the many potential sponsors in the region, there are many potential speakers and event partners from cultural institutions, the local tech industry, and local universities. David Ferriero, the Archivist of the United States and avid Wikipedia reader, spoke at WikiXDC in January 2011.
- Very available for attendees in the Western Hemisphere — Wikimania has not been held in a location convenient for North America users since 2006. Given the remarkable popularity of Wikipedia, this would make the conference available to far more people than in recent years. This is why we are accounting for a higher-than-average attendance rate.
- Keynote speakers available — Within Washington D.C., as well as within North America, there are many excellent potential keynote speakers for Wikimania who likely can take time out of their busy schedule to speak at Georgetown University, but may not have time to travel halfway around the world. As well, such speakers do not require expensive travel or accommodations. With money saved in our budget, we can allocate funds to bring in some special keynote speakers from more distant places.
- Costs — As a major city in the United States, the costs of goods and services can be relatively high. We hope to remedy this through group discounts, sponsorships, and scholarships for attendees. Furthermore, transportation will be relatively inexpensive for those from North America who will be traveling.
- Visas and security theater — Due to extremely unfortunate events several years ago, our federal government's attitude has become very focused toward matters of border security. However, within DC, the security theater is surprisingly minimal, especially in Georgetown which does not have as many government institutions as other parts of DC. Furthermore, attendees from outside the country will have ready access to the embassies in the exceedingly rare event it should be necessary. We are also working in conjunction with the State Department, and will minimize hassles of the visa process as much as possible.
- Dorm availability — The dorms on Georgetown University's campus are not yet guaranteed available for us during the conference. As we work with the university, with department support and likely the university president's office, we very much hope that we can address this and make the dorms on campus an accommodations option.
Notes and references
- DC Population by Country of Origin, D.C. Office on Latino Affairs
- "Silicon Hill: The Rise of the New Washington, DC Tech Scene" by Raymond Schillinger. Published and accessed, 3 March 2011.
- Duggan, Paul, "Lanier pleased with DC's improvement in homicide cases", The Washington Post, 2010-01-01
- "No historical earthquake has been centered within the District of Columbia." - District of Columbia Earthquake History - USGS
- This paragraph is summarized from the English Wikipedia article on Georgetown University, a featured article.
- McDonough School of Business Opens New 179,000 Square Foot Building - McDonough School of Business
- Georgetown University’s School of Business: Traditional, Modern, and Energy-Efficient - AIArchitect
- Rafik B. Hariri Building receives LEED certification, Vox Populi
- Q: What is an unconference?
- A: It's fun! it's a more informal, participatory-focused conference, run in a BarCamp-style, with impromptu sessions proposed the morning-of on a whiteboard, rather than a preset agenda. Anyone may propose a session, which can include lightning talks, show-and-tell, open space and discussions, getting groups together to hack or work on a problem, informal workshops, or anything else.
- Georgetown University Green Report Card 2011 - Sustainable Endowments Institute
- About Reagan National, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
- Dulles International Airport, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
- Nonstop Flights, BWI Airport
- Washington D.C. Embassies, embassy.org
- Top 100 Socially Networked Cities in the U.S. - Mashable
- Local Television Market Universe Estimates - Nielsen
- Arbitron Radio Market Rankings: Fall 2010 - Arbitron
- TVQ TV Database Query - Federal Communications Commission
- Station Information Profile - Arbitron