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How would you make Defcon better?

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  • #16
    Re: How would you make Defcon better?

    To address an idea with the signs. I can't remember if there was one more just signs with arrows but possible have a blown up sign with a map of the convention area. I had a couple people ask me to see my program for the map when they were looking for someting. Kind of like the mall you are here. in the rotunda and one down the long hallway. The only issue i guess though with that is people would be stoping infront of it blocking foot traffic

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    • #17
      Re: How would you make Defcon better?

      For the badge line, how about ONE line but you see 5 people who are side by side a few feet apart? You give cash to the first, exact change only. Next person gives you a lanyard, next a CD, next a program, next any misc stuff, and then the badge. Keep walking, don't stop. Sort of like military issue if anyone has done that. One or two runners makes sure all the staff stay stocked. You can do 15-30 people a minute that way.

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      • #18
        Re: How would you make Defcon better?

        Originally posted by kallahar View Post
        [about the badge purchase line] they either need to serialize it (one person takes the cash, the next gives the badge, the next gives the lanyard, etc) or they need 50 people working (we'll make room.)
        Originally posted by astcell View Post
        For the badge line, how about ONE line but you see 5 people who are side by side a few feet apart? You give cash to the first, exact change only. Next person gives you a lanyard, next a CD, next a program, next any misc stuff, and then the badge. Keep walking, don't stop. Sort of like military issue if anyone has done that. One or two runners makes sure all the staff stay stocked. You can do 15-30 people a minute that way.
        It looks like you agree with kallahar's suggestion. Getting people to not stop to ask questions would be the more difficult part; DoS becomes easier with only a small number of people choosing stop, or go really slowly.

        * Intentional DoS: "I'm a dick, see how much of a dick I am. I'll stop badge sales by myself."
        * Unintentional DoS: "Dur. Uhhhh. I'd like an order of fries, and a drink." (Sir. This is the line for badges.) "Dur."

        Then you have complications where a person buys more than one badge. With a single person accepting cash and providing a badge, all parties in the transaction know how much cash has been exchanged, and therefore how many badges to provide. When serialized, a number value needs to be communicated from the person that accepted the cash to each person in line, so the correct count of each item can be provided. We can't just trust each consumer to tell us how many badges they bought.
        Last edited by TheCotMan; March 22, 2012, 12:08.

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        • #19
          Re: How would you make Defcon better?

          Originally posted by Bbox View Post
          but it sure would be nice if they had a setup somehow closer to the line on the real busy badge sale days.
          Actually they did in fact have one in the main rotunda. You had main badge line, speaker/staff badges, then the info booth setup on a foldout table with table cloth and such. For a bit better, it was right in front of you when you walked out of the swag area.

          Not to try and sound like a dick but that proves the whole aspect of info booth needing better signage or markings.
          Saving the world one computer at a time...

          or possibly destroying, I haven't figured that out yet.

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          • #20
            Re: How would you make Defcon better?

            My recollection was the Info booth was in the rotunda by the Vendor area. It is a good spot during the con, however I believe if it was in the main corridor that the badge line is in that if somehow (probably a problem due to fire issues) the line can pass the info booth so people prior to getting to the front were money is taken can have their questions answered or make their silly comment the line would move better.

            I think that many of the people with questions are newbie's to defcon , many of you on this forum are seasoned veterans and may not remember how overwhelming it is to see those huge lines and not be sure what's going on and dealing with the whole experience. You don't want to lose your place in line so you don't go looking for the info booth, you may be alone and not have the guts/balls/nerve to ask the stranger next to you to hold your spot. So if the line ran past the info booth and signs informed people that they will eventually pass the info booth prior to purchasing a badge so they will have a chance to have their questions answered, it may help lower the anxiety level and also make the line move faster in the long run..

            Remember newbie's may not have been to the Defcon 101 talk yet so they may not understand "yet" that it is their responsibility to make their Defcon experience great, they do not yet understand they need to step up and speak to the person next to them or Ask someone with previous years badges or a Defcon Forum avator badge questions. At the point they are in line they are still deer's in headlights.

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            • #21
              Re: How would you make Defcon better?

              Originally posted by Bbox View Post
              My recollection was the Info booth was in the rotunda by the Vendor area.
              If I recall correctly, there were at least two or three Info booths.

              There were goons at a table in the vendor area answering questions. i am not sure if that was an info booth or not.
              There was an info booth in the contest area.
              There was an info booth at a corner desk in the hallway around half way between the badge sales and the Security Goon room.
              There may have been more.

              [Updated:]
              On page 42 in the Program for DC19 there are 3 info booths on the map. Two are near the contest room (one out in the hallway on a corner) another in the contest room, and one on the map that appears outside the vendor room, but I'm not sure if I remember that one being outside the vendor room as shown. Maybe there was one perpendicular to the alignment shown, against the wall closer to the badge sales.
              Last edited by TheCotMan; March 23, 2012, 11:09.

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              • #22
                Re: How would you make Defcon better?

                Originally posted by inert View Post
                ... Like I said. I have never been, this is my first time. Just tossing in my 2 cents worth.
                What I think would help would be some ongoing method of helping first-timers/second-timers/etc. or those who are at DC on their own (as I will be, at my third DC) to help connect with others in the same boat. DEFCON101 is a great idea but it happens only once and there's no mechanism for followup and no way for someone who arrived after DC101 ends (as I did in my first year, since my plane ticket was booked before I knew anything about DC101) to connect with similar others to make their experience better.

                It could be something as simple as a specific twitter hashtag or something more formal like daily recons at a certain time/place.

                This will be my third DEFCON but I still consider myself very much an introverted noob.

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                • #23
                  Re: How would you make Defcon better?

                  Originally posted by OM5 View Post
                  What I think would help would be some ongoing method of helping first-timers/second-timers/etc. or those who are at DC on their own (as I will be, at my third DC) to help connect with others in the same boat. DEFCON101 is a great idea but it happens only once and there's no mechanism for followup and no way for someone who arrived after DC101 ends (as I did in my first year, since my plane ticket was booked before I knew anything about DC101) to connect with similar others to make their experience better.

                  It could be something as simple as a specific twitter hashtag or something more formal like daily recons at a certain time/place.

                  This will be my third DEFCON but I still consider myself very much an introverted noob.

                  This is one of those types of things, that if you took the initiative and did it, it would probably work out well.

                  Make up a Hash Tag

                  Set a specific location for Daily Meetups (or what not). Say that there will be a meetup for people on the Pavilion Patio at X & Y times.

                  If people think it's a good idea they'll promote it and pass it around.

                  One big recommendation though would be that if you're planning on making the commitment, do it sooner, rather than later. That way you have time to plan it and push the information out there.
                  And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts, And I looked and behold: a pale horse. And his name, that sat on him, was Death. And Hell followed with him.

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                  • #24
                    Re: How would you make Defcon better?

                    Originally posted by wrøng! View Post
                    I cannot believe you typed all of that.
                    oh how I can add to this....

                    TW

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                    • #25
                      Re: How would you make Defcon better?

                      Can one volunteer to help sell badges?

                      It's definitely the case that, in the past, one of the lamest points of my defcon experience was the badge line. Anything to speed that up would be a plus.
                      It's not stupid, it's advanced.

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                      • #26
                        Re: How would you make Defcon better?

                        Originally posted by YenTheFirst View Post
                        Can one volunteer to help sell badges?
                        while TechnoWeenie is probably very moved and appreciative with all the folk who volunteer to be extra bodies or extra hands in the badge process, that is not likely an optimal way of addressing matters.

                        i don't want to speak for him, and TW may weigh in on this himself, but speaking as someone who runs a lot of stuff at DEFCON, i can say that things often fall into two categories...

                        1. situations where you're short handed and you just want anyone who is free... people you can immediately (with no prep and no training) stick in a spot and say, "stand here and do exactly this for as long as is necessary or until you're relieved"

                        2. situations where some degree of exacting detail or a wide set of training and awareness of process is mandatory. in these situations, much as it hurts to say, it isn't possible to just grab an Eager Beaver and stick them somewhere... that will often be a detriment to the rest of the people in the situation who already know the process and expect a specific flow.

                        the Badge process is one of the latter... it's a tightly-coupled series of events that all have to happen in exact sequence. not to mention, the "minion" positions in the Badge area are right next to more sensitive matters (money, special badges, Black Badge check-in, etc) and TW probably knows all of the people on his staff... i believe that all have been vouched for and can be trusted in close proximity to all these things.

                        i'm not saying anything negative about you, Yen, or anyone else who would want to volunteer... but there are very specific and valid reasons why just throwing more people at the situation isn't a solution. they already actually have enough people there, people who know their job and can perform incredibly well.

                        the problem is honestly the line itself... the fact that the line forms way too early and is almost a self-perpetuating phenomenon. once Reg gets underway, the line actually moves insanely fast for a queue that size.

                        the line could be almost eliminated if the insane demand for badges (and the fear of not getting a "real" badge) were addressed. if DEFCON could order 50,000 human badges and have them all ready, completed, and shipped by Christmas almost all of the problem would go away.

                        of course, that's also not a finger-snap solution, and it begets a whole different series of "things are way too complicated and many people don't know what they're talking about" comments. however, addressing that very large undertaking would be a far better use of resources, i feel, than spinning cycles on matters of "the line" itself.

                        just my $0.02.
                        "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                        - Trent Reznor

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                        • #27
                          Re: How would you make Defcon better?

                          Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
                          of course, that's also not a finger-snap solution, and it begets a whole different series of "things are way too complicated and many people don't know what they're talking about" comments.
                          ^^^^THAT^^^^^

                          I'd like that in two dozen xl black t-shirts.
                          "Haters, gonna hate"

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                          • #28
                            Re: How would you make Defcon better?

                            People don't read. Info booth access is nice,more info people is nice, bigger signs are nice, people still won't read. Have roving info people during reg, in say, bright yellow safety vests, with a faq flyer, and get them to rove the line, asking people if they have questions. If it is easy, give em a flyer, with their answer highlighted, if it is complicated POINT OUT THE BOOTH.
                            "They-Who-Were-Google are no longer alone. Now we are all Google."

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