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What was good or bad at DEF CON 25 . Make DEF CON 26 better

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  • sb702
    Wow I thought this thread would be flooded by now. Are people bitching somewhere else?

    Anyway, here are things I liked this year:

    Venue. I've been coming since AP and this was my favorite venue yet. (Aside from fond/drunk memories) Very spacious and tons of water around. Linecon even felt tolerable for the most part. I never felt like I wasnt going to get into a talk.

    Variety of the talks. It just seemed like there was something for everyone.

    Amount and helpfulness of goons. It seemed like there was one around every corner and while I didn't have a lot of questions, when I did, they were either able to help me or point me towards a close-by goon that knew the answer.

    Chillout areas. Similar to the venue, just felt very spacious and comfortable. May be improved by having a monitor with the talk schedule in each of these areas.

    A/V. I mostly come to defcon for the track talks. I would say that 90% of them had some type of A/V issue. Most of these issues either caused the talk to be off schedule or caused an interruption during the talk, which causes it to either run long or causes the speaker to rush, which doesnt help anyone. Either the presentation wasn't showing, or it flickered, or the audio was going in/out or having volume issues. I kept thinking that having the AV booth and techs at the back of a giant room was probably a bad idea and thought it would have made much more sense to have them up front near the podium or make a small backstage area and keep them back there.

    Possible fixes: Expand the AV team staff. Try to the get the staff and booths closer to the podium. Instead of allowing the presenters to provide their own laptop, create a standard pc that can be placed at each podium and fully tested for AV. Let the speakers know what the standard is and instruct them to prepare their presentation to work on this standard. Setup one of these speaker pc's in the speaker prep room to test before going into the talk. The speakers should be able to walk up, put a usb stick in, and go.

    For the audio side, I think a lavalier on the speaker should be required. Again, standardization would greatly reduce the amount of issues.

    Queue and traffic organization. This always seems like an afterthought and I don't know why it has to be. Figure out traffic and queue lanes before the con starts and set up stanchion posts and belts to direct people on where to walk and/or queue. Once you get this setup, you can design signs and other visual aids to tell people what to do at each area. I dont remember having a problem understanding what the purpose of a room was once I got there, the door signs were done well, but getting there, especially at a first time venue, was very difficult.

    Swag. I thought the product selections were pretty cool this year, good mix of black and shiny, but a couple of things could have been done better. I really do not like the whiteboard inventory tracking system. I’m not sure what the fix is for this, but there has to be a better way of tracking what is in stock, and displaying it in real time. May be it would even be possible to display this outside of the swag room as well? Also, it would be great if they accepted Bitcoin. I would have spent a lot more money if that were an option.

    Free swag. I know defcon isn’t a typical “conference” but it would be nice to get a few things thrown into the registration bag each year. Pens, pins, flash drives, stress balls, etc.. Maybe even a free tshirt. The basic DefCon shirt in the swag store looked like a free shirt that should have been thrown in. Maybe instead of giving it away at registration, give out a voucher that can be redeemed at the swag store? I would think it would be possible to get some type of sponsors to provide this kind of thing.

    Overall, I was happy with the con and love to see that is has improved over the years without losing too much of the “fun”. These were just some ideas I had over the last few days. I will definitely be back next year.
    Last edited by sb702; July 31, 2017, 14:11.

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  • rmd6502
    The video feeds sucked OUT LOUD. After sitting through the pre-closing ceremony slide show, literally right after "Okay let's get started" the screen went to the blank weather page. What the fucking fuck?!
    Every video I watched crashed, froze, or went blank midway through.

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  • ASCIIxTended
    Bring back 1o57

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  • cntdstryr
    - Create a dedicated VOC - Video Operations Center, make video a priority

    * Provide LIVE video streams for all talks - or at least all the major tracks. Like with the two available streams right now: Accessible also from outside the defcon network.
    * Talks are available for download on media.defcon _immediately_ after the talk
    * Drop DefconTV hotel channels

    - Choose a conference location where there can be more life besides the talks:
    Open desks / tables (with ethernet) where people can hang out / hack / work in groups / collaborate - open 24/7
    OR for instance watch the live streams of the talk they want to see when the talks are too crowded

    - "Linecon" / "Hallcon" are not compliments. Work on removing them.

    - Do less, but do the things you do more consistent / focus on better quality

    - Limit the number of attendees by pre-registration / pre-sale
    Last edited by cntdstryr; July 30, 2017, 14:31.

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  • What was good or bad at DEF CON 25 . Make DEF CON 26 better

    The yearly thread is now open. Your feedback is desired.

    What did you really like at DEF CON 25 and want to see return at DEF CON 26? How would you improve them?

    What was absolutely terrible and should never return to DEF CON 26, and why? Is there anything that could be done to fix this and have it return?

    What did you see that could use improvement, and how would YOU improve it?

    Now is your time to pretend you are Dark Tangent and you are planning DEF CON 26: what would you do differently and why? What is your goal? How would you accomplish it?


    Feedback is how DEF CON improves. Feedback with constructive criticism is more likely to be used than complaints without explanation or suggested fix.

    UPDATE: Your ideas posted here will be included in a report to DEF CON Department Heads to help plan for DEF CON 26. The DEADLINE for getting your ideas into this report is August 15, 2017 at noon, pacific time. You can continue to post your ideas and thoughts after that, but the chances of being used for DEF CON 26 decreases after August 15, 2017 at noon, pacific time, and decreases even more as DEF CON 26 approaches.
    Last edited by TheCotMan; August 5, 2017, 15:23.