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  • Planning my first Def Con...

    Hi all!

    I'm already planning my first trip out to Def Con, to attend Def Con 25.
    I checked the FAQ, and have a few questions that I didn't see answered there related to planning:

    1. The payment at the door gets you access for the entire conference, for all days?
    2. What time do badges typically go on sale? Recommended time to get there to make sure I don't miss out?

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Originally posted by Baelix View Post
    Hi all!

    I'm already planning my first trip out to Def Con, to attend Def Con 25.
    I checked the FAQ, and have a few questions that I didn't see answered there related to planning:

    1. The payment at the door gets you access for the entire conference, for all days?
    2. What time do badges typically go on sale? Recommended time to get there to make sure I don't miss out?

    Thanks in advance!
    The one badge covers all 3-4 days of DEF CON from Thursday through to Sunday.

    The purchase of a DEF CON (Human) badge grants you access to all of the DEF CON spaces for attendees. There are other events at DEF CON that a DEF CON badge does not grant access. There are some private parties which may have their own fees/donation/requirements for entry, there have been workshops that are limited sized classrooms with their own fees. A human badge does not grant you access to all spaces all of the time. There are spaces only for speakers (and goons to help speakers), and there are periods where spaces are closed to attendees (like vendor room or contests/events after hours.) There are spaces that are for Press only (and goons to help them.) Last, there are spaces for goons only, to use with helping to manage and support the conference.

    A huge majority of floor space is for attendees while open. There have been rooms with music and dancing, open to attendees with Human badges at no additional charge, and sometimes alcohol nearby for purchase with proof of legal age to buy. (Sometimes in a hallway, sometimes in the room.)

    Historically, badges go on sale early Thursday morning, but a line starts forming before sale begins.

    At DEF CON 24, there were reports that some people started a line for badges at around noon on Wednesday. However, at DEF CON 24, sales of badges did not start until around 6am on Thursday. Badge sales was better organized last year than the year before. The greatest number of reports from people arriving at the end of the line right at 6am were for total time in line (from when sales started) at around 40 minutes. Some people claimed more time, but may not have started a timer when badge sales opened.

    DEF CON 24 badge sales were better organized than DEF CON 23 badge sales because goons could learn from the past and improve upon it, but DEF CON 23 was the first year at a new location. experience improved service.

    Next year, we are looking to use Caesars Palace convention center, so a new environment may create new problems to be resolved. Past performance on badge sales is no indication of future speed or times. The first year we move to a new location, we face new challenges.

    It is possible a great deal more will change at DEF CON 25. The above information is from historical information. As we get closer to DEF CON 25, a schedule should be published to help provide more details on expected schedules.

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    • #3
      Baelix , awesome questions and congrats on planning early for DC25. DC24 was my second time attending DEF CON and the posts from TheCotMan were instrumental in helping navigate the dos and don'ts each time, so pay very close attention to what he says, it's golden. That said, a couple of things from my two visits so far that may be of value:

      1) DEF CON is HUGE (they're having to move from the Paris + Bally's venue to Caesars, as I understand it, because Paris + Bally's wasn't big enough). My first year, I planned the crap out of it and thought that I knew what to expect and was blown away. This year, I tried to apply lessons learned (spent more time hanging out and trying to meet and talk to people instead of being in a talk every second of every day, the talks will be on Youtube if they aren't already, the conversations with other people will not be). The point here is that the DEF CON (Human) badge will get you into all of the areas that I can think of that you'll want to go and more than you'll be able to go (I don't think that it's possible to see everything). Some workshops and events will require additional things (either money, an invite, etc.) to get into but they're clearly marked.
      2) My first year, I was freaking about about getting a 'real badge' and considered getting in line the evening before and simply sleeping there. When I got to Las Vegas, I was exhausted and decided I'd just plan on going down a few minutes before the registration opened and take my chances. I got a good night's sleep and spent about 2 (awesome) hours in line to get my badge. I got a 'real' badge but, more importantly, I got a chance to talk to a lot of very cool people in line. By the end of the con, I also realized what TheCotMan had said months before that focusing on what kind of badge I got really distracted from what DEF CON was all about. This year, we knew that it was "most likely" an electronic badge year and took the same approach from last year. We got a good night's rest the night before and got in line when sales started (we got in line about 5:50am, so slightly before). The line was PACKED but only took about an hour to get through. In line, we met a ton of cool folks, got a beachball stuck in the lighting (actually, we *watched* a beachball get stuck in the lighting, but we were THERE MAN :)). Getting there when the registration started, even in a PACKED OUT year, we got the 'real badge'. I heard that there were some logistics problems with some of the badges but didn't get the details.

      I wrote a post-mortem of my first year here (https://forum.defcon.org/forum/defco...r-future-n00bs) that, based on this year, was still relatively accurate. There was airport construction this time (so it wasn't the same) and next year will be a different venue (with may render a lot of it null) but, ultimately, I think that the big thing is to meet people, learn things and have fun.

      This ended up WAY longer than I expected.
      .: This post contains 100% recycled electrons :.

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