Practical information A-Z

Airport (National Airport “Minsk”)

Minsk had in the past two airports, nowadays only National Airport “Minsk” is in use. The airport is an easy 40-minute drive outside the city and serves international flights. The airlines that service Minsk are: Lufthansa, Austrian Air, LOT, Estonian Air, El Al, and Belavia. The major connecting cities into and out of Minsk are Frankfurt, Vienna, Warsaw, and Moscow. The airport is well served by public transportation - buses ($3) and taxis ($45). For more information please visit http://airport.by/en/.
Badges

You will receive your personalised name badge at the registration. The name badge must be worn at all times to access the sessions and the Conference social programme. Admittance without a badge is not possible. Only full participants may attend the session.
Certificate of attendance

A certificate of attendance will be issued upon request at the conference office.
Climate

Minsk is a city with a “mild continental climate”. The average temperature in the first decade of September varies around 17-20 °C. Umbrellas may be useful although the month usually shows more of the sunny side. For more information please visit https://weatherspark.com/averages/33831/9/Minsk-Minsk-Province-Belarus/.
Cloakroom

Staffed cloakroom will be located next to the Registration area, coats and luggage may be left during the Conference hours.
Conference language

The Conference language is English. No interpretation is provided.
Currency / Exchange

The currency of the Republic of Belarus is Belarusian Ruble. Recently the Belarusian ruble has  been redenominated with existing notes exchanged for new ones at a rate of 10,000:1. From 1 July 2016 to 31 December 2016, the old and new banknotes circulate in parallel.  For more information please visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Belarusian_ruble.
You can exchange foreign currencies (e.g. Euro and USD) in almost any bank or currency exchange office which can be easily found in Minsk. The exchange rates don’t differ much as to bank. Be very careful, exchange kiosks will not exchange any bill that is damaged or marked on in any way. Be sure to take only relatively new and undamaged foreign money with you.
International credit cards (VISA, Mastercard, Eurocard) are accepted in a majority of hotels, in many shops & restaurants, and can be used in most cash machines ("bankomat"). For more information (including actual exchange rates) please visit http://www.incoming.by/eng/guide/info/currency/.
Doctor / First Aid

In case of urgent matters, dial 103 to get specialised help. For medical assistance, the nearest clinic is located at Russiyanova street (10 min. walk).
Dress code
No formal dress is expected at any part of the Conference. If someone likes it, “business casual” shall be the maximum just “casual” will do too.
Emergency numbers:
101 - Fire brigade
102 - Police
103 - Medical emergency (Ambulance/First aid)
Electricity

The electric current for use in homes and hotels, as in most of Western Europe countries, is 220 volts (50 Hz) and the plugs used are two round pins.
Exchange

See the Currency / Exchange section above.
Exhibitors

All information in regards to exhibition are to be found in the section Sponsors and Exhibitors.
First aid

Please see Doctor / First aid section above.
Guided tours

For assistance on guided tours, please contact the info desk at the registration area. The meeting point for all guided tours is located at the lobby of the venue. Please make sure to arrive 5-10 minutes prior to the planned start of the tour (09:30). The guided tour overview is to be found in the section "Social programme".
Information

The Registration staff will be happy to help you with any questions you may have with regards to the Conference or any other matters. Do not hesitate to contact us.
Insurance and Liability

The Organizers do not accept liability for personal injury or loss or damage of private property of participants and accompanying persons either during or while travelling to the Conference. Participants are strongly recommended to seek insurance coverage for health and accident, lost luggage and trip cancellation.
Internet

There will be free internet (WiFi) available in the lobby of the venue.
Invoice
Invoice for the Conference services shall be requested at the Registration desk.
Language
The state languages in Belarus are Russian and Belarusian. Russian is widely spoken in the cities and towns with over 90 per cent of population using it, while in the villages they sometimes use a mixture of both languages. The knowledge of English among Belarusians remains low.
Lost & Found

A lost and found service will be available at the Registration area.
Messages

A message board will be located in the exhibition area. You can post your messages there.
Mobile Phones

Participants are kindly requested to keep their mobile phones off in the meeting rooms during sessions.
Official letters of Invitation

Should you require an official letter of invitation to obtain your visa to enter Belarus, please contact the Conference Secretariat. Please note, however, that the Organisers do not undertake any obligation to pay any expenses incurred by supplying these letters. Furthermore, for some countries, a confirmation of registration with payment may be required by the authorities.
Passports and Visas

Every person entering Belarus should be in possession of a valid passport. Some countries require a visa. Please contact your nearest Belarus Embassy or Consulate for further information or visit the website of Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Any document for visa application etc. will be issued only to the participants they duly registered and paid all conference fees in full. Note that the administrative procedure may take considerable time, so please register, pay, and apply for document(s) in time. More information about visas is available at Visas.
Pharmacy

The nearest pharmacy is located at Russiyanova street (10 min. walk).
Poster area

The poster area is located close to the lecture hall. All authors of poster abstracts shall use the number in Abstract book to find the poster board. The poster board size will be specified (A0).
Please mount your poster to the assigned poster board (marked by your number) in assigned time and date. In case any assistance is needed please ask the staff at the registration desk. Please make sure you remove your poster before the end of the last Conference day. Posters left behind are to be destroyed.
Presentation submission

MS Power Point presentations only (CD, USB stick) may be used. A data projector and laptop (MS Windows 7) will be at your disposal. Should you need to use your own laptop, please inform the technician. Please make sure to give your presentation the technician no later than 2 hours prior to your assigned lecture time. There are many “golden rules” for oral presentation visible e.g. through Google.
Program changes

The organizers cannot assume liability for any changes in the program due to the external or unforeseen circumstances.
Registration

Registration desk will be operated during the whole meeting.
Participant registration fee includes:
· Admission to all sessions, poster area and exhibition
· Admission to the Welcome Reception
· Conference bag including Abstract Book with bibliographic data and ISBN, Final program, City map,
· Name badge
· Voucher(s) for tours, Conference Dinner and lunches (if required and paid for)
· Coffee breaks
· List of participants
· Internet connection (WiFi) in the lobby
Safety

The crime rate in Belarus is reportedly low compared to other industrialized countries. Common street crime, such as mugging and pocket picking, occurs most frequently near public transportation venues, near hotels frequented by foreigners, and/or at night in poorly lit areas. Visitors to Minsk should be especially alert in the metro and bus stations. Travelers should keep a copy of their passport in a separate location from their original passport.
Shopping

Most of the shops in Minsk are open from 09.00 till 19.00, Monday through Saturday. Shops in the city centre are usually open from 09.00 till 20.00, Monday through Sunday. All major credit cards are accepted. For more information please visit http://www.incoming.by/eng/city/minsk/shopping/.
Smoking policy

Smoking is forbidden in all Conference areas, however it is allowed to smoke in some restaurants/bars and public areas.
Speakers’ preview

The Speakers’ presentation assistance will be organised. Please make sure to hand in your presentation at least 24 hours prior to the start of your assigned session. For the concrete point consult the Registration. Our staff in the Speakers’ preview room will be happy to assist you.
Time difference

Two hours relative to GMT.
Tipping

Service is almost always included in hotel and restaurant bills. A further tip of a few coins is appropriate. Typically, the tipping in restaurants would be around 5-10%, tourist guide 10%.
Toilets

Toilets are marked with symbol “WC” or “00”, or ideograms. In words МУЖ (or М) means gentlemen and ЖЕН (or Ж) ladies.
Transport
Minsk has a well-developed network of public transportation that is inexpensive and reliable, although often crowded at rush hours. It operates from 5:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. In addition to a modern metro, the system includes buses, trolley buses, and trams. Public transport tickets can be obtained from kiosks or drivers.
Ticket for one trip must be validated when boarding a vehicle. The ticket is valid for travel in one direction on one vehicle. In addition, card-based travel documents are used in Minsk public transport. A card validator mounted onboard a vehicle or at a Metro gate accepts fares. For more details on how to pay for travel please visit http://gusts.minsk.by/en/the-fare-in-minsk/how-to-pay-for-travel/.
Taxi services are available 24 hours a day, but require some Russian language to call the radio dispatcher or to give the driver instructions. Fares should be metered or negotiated in advance. Tipping is not customary or expected.
Visas

How to get Belarusian visa in 4 steps
1. Check here if you need visa to enter Belarus;
2. Receive a formal invitation which we send you (after your paper is accepted and full fees payment done);
3. Check here or ask us, where is the closest Belarusian embassy, collect the documents
(list is below) and apply;
4. Get your visa and see you in Minsk!
List of documents for Belarusian visa
1. A duly completed visa application form;
2. One photograph;
3. A foreign travel document;
4. An invitation;
5. Medical insurance;
6. A confirmation of the consular fee paid.
Visa is obtained during 5 working days. For more details see the link.
Please note that IUPAC conference sponsorship implies that entry visas will be granted to all bona fide chemists provided application is made not less than six months in advance. If a visa is not granted two months before the meeting, the IUPAC Secretariat should be notified without delay by the applicant.