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Unofficial comments on lines to redeem pre-reg codes, or buy badges....

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  • Unofficial comments on lines to redeem pre-reg codes, or buy badges....

    The authoritative source on badge stuff and more is in the DEF CON 30 FAQ:
    The FAQ is official.
    This document is unofficial and based only on observation of past DEF CON and present public info as of this document being created.

    People often ask, "how long will I have to wait in line to get a badge?"
    Or, "how early should I show up to get a "Fancy Badge" or "Limited Edition Badge" or some other name that describes a badge other than the paper badges when the availability of these "Fancy Badges" run out?"

    There are too many variables.
    * Will the DEF CON Badges arrive at the hotel on-time?
    * Will badge sales open on time? be earlier? be ready? Be late?
    * Have as many people as planned/predicted needed be working badge sale or code/token redemption points?
    * Will the "kits" (contain program and sometimes stickers and more) be pre-assembled on-time, before badge sale/claim opens?
    * How many people show up at what times based on assumptions and planning?
    * For code redemption, will they have enough code scanners? Will they work reliably and quickly?
    * Will a CiscoGate like event happen, forcing last-minute manual changes to kits? Will these change be done ahead of time, or during badge pickup?
    * More variables which could impact speed of sales/code-redemption to get badges.

    How long will I wait in line? - Then there is a variable you can control: when do you show up?
    Historically, if you arrived at the end of the line right when badge sales/redemption starts (and do not wait in line for it to start) average waits were from 50 minutes to 90 minutes.
    If you showed up 1 hour after badge sales opened, ~30-40 minute wait. 2 hours after sales open? less than 30 minutes. (Data gathered from a few years of people commenting how long they waited in line. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.)

    There is a limited supply of "fancy badges" (sometimes they are electronic badges, sometimes made of other materials.) After the "fancy badge" supply runs out, then they move to paper badges, which many attendees view as not as desirable. Whether paper badges or fancy badges, both allow the same access to same parts of DEF CON 30.

    Why wait in line to buy a badge longer than is needed?
    Many people justify standing in line hours before badges will be made available. Some want to socialize with others in line. Some want to have the best chances they can possible get to obtaining a "fancy badge" instead of a paper badge as a keep-sake, to play in a badge related contest, or novelty. One of the most urgent reasons are people that have plans to attend something else like a workshop and they want to reduce risk of not having a badge they (presently) need to gain access to the space that has a workshop they have enrolled into. (If there is any issue which delays sales of badges until after earliest workshops begin, ask at an Info Booth, or check online with workshops announcements to see if their requirements will change. Delayed badge sales interfering with workshop start time only happened once that I can recall, and they made on-site exception decisions to change policy. I doubt that will happen again, but plan for some things to not always happen when planned, and consider what options you have to work-around the changes.

    Where is the line?
    Before DEF CON starts, it should be possible to see maps of the venue and some may be updated to indicate where lines to pick up badges might be setup. Review maps before you travel. It is possible there might be TWO DIFFERENT LINES at DEF CON 30. One might be for people that paid for a token/code for preregistration of DC30, who just want to redeem their code to get a badge, and another line might be just for cash. When you arrive on-site, look for signs to see if any indicate different lines. If no signs, you can look for a "DEF CON Info Booth" and ask there or check or try asking several other people if they know. If no signs or info-booth, listen to what Red Shirt goons might be yelling. They may be telling you if there is more than one line and where they can be found. Please listen to these Red Shirt goons if you are able, as they often have information that will help you, and others around you. Many red shirt goons have work to help avoid safety problems at DEF CON, and may not have time to focus on people's questions while doing other work. If you must ask a Red Shirt a question because you can't find the answer online ( , , etc.) and you can't find any Info Booth being run by Info Booth goons, please keep the questions simple, and watch their body language to see if they are focused on other things. Info Booth and often have THE most up-to-date answers about DEF CON. Want the most current info and answers to questions? Check online or at Info Booth. If a Red Shirt is not busy, they may welcome social interaction, watch body language and language cues.

    How many badges can I get?
    One person can buy many badges. If you are travelling with several people, you do not all have to wait in line; you can give all your cash to one person (you trust with your cash/code) to claim badges. If there is a separate line for redeeming codes, you can give one person all your codes to get them all redeemed. Make sure you trust the person you give your cash or codes to, to not sell them or give them away. I do not know if there will be more than one line. I do not know if people redeeming codes will also be able to buy more badges with cash, or will be ask to visit the cash line separately. You can find this information later, or on-site.

    How early can I show up and be guaranteed one of those Fancy Badges?
    (Covering this again because people will still expect an answer)
    Too many variables to predict:
    * By making ANY prediction, the results can change if enough people plan around the predicted time.
    * A person can get more than one badge by redeeming codes or paying cash. If the first 100 people in line each all buy hundreds of badges with cash, what will that do to any prediction?
    * What if "Fancy Badges" didn't arrive on-site in time, and they have to start with paper badges? (Less common for this now than it was, but no matter how good people plan with logistics, chaos can still ruin the best of plans.)
    I've seen some people claim that if you arrive within 5 hours of badges sales being open on Thursday, you have a very good chance of being able to get one of these "Fancy Badges" but if you read the items in the list above, it is just a best guess based on past experience. Life is a gamble, and so is trying to predict a best time to arrive early enough to get a "fancy badge".
    NOTE: I am not claiming this "5 hours after badges are made available on Thursday" I'm relaying this prediction I read elsewhere in public.

    I read about online purchase of badges or pre-reg, where can I do that?
    The online option was available for a brief time but was removed some time near mid July 2022. This was on and it was for pre-reg for DEF CON 30 to get a token or code which you could redeem in-person at DEF CON for a badge. It is not available anymore for credit card purchase. If you have no code to redeem and want a badge, your last remaining option is cash to buy a badge in person.

    Will DEF CON run out of badges and be sold-out?
    Though there is a limited supply of "Fancy Badges" or "Limited Edition" badges before sales move to paper or other badges, DEF CON has never sold out of all the paper badges, partly because more paper badges can be made.

    Can I pickup my DEF CON 30 badge at BlackHat if I prepaid for one through BlackHat?
    That is between you and BlackHat if you paid BlackHat for your DEF CON 30 badge. Check with BlackHat about this for your answer.

    (I'll add more to this as more commonly asked questions show up.)
    Last edited by number6; August 3, 2022, 02:48.

  • #2
    How late will the badge line be open on the 11th?


    • number6
      number6 commented
      Editing a comment
      Official answers provided from says:
      "Registration opens Thursday August 11th, 7am at Caesars Forum. "
      I see no official answer on when they stop selling badges, but the history of DEF CON includes badge sales being open during the day each day of DEF CON sometimes including Sunday, sometimes as late as noon on Sunday.

      The closest I see to an answer for when badge sales might close on Thursday was here:
      marcrogers July 19, 2022 @ 02:36:06 PDT

      Hours haven’t been fully finalized yet but I anticipate Reg will stay open until 7 or 8pm. The only day it shuts early is Sunday because thats the last day and theres nothing happening after closing ceremonies.

      So you can either join line-con Thursday so long as you get in before 7 or 8, or join early Friday.

      You should expect the lines to start early on both days. Ive even seen people in line overnight from Wednesday. Its kind of become an event in its own right.

      Notice that is phrased with "anticipate" not a firm answer of what will happen.

      Good luck!

  • #3
    Wish I could have made it but very well written.


    • #4
      So, I preregistered with a credit card, but I cannot for the life of me find any email or receipt sent to my email. Its gmail, so it should be there, and searchable, But I got nada.
      Any ideas or help for a poor old soldier?


      • number6
        number6 commented
        Editing a comment
        Search your email inbox and spam folder for an email message from "" or "*" and see if you can find it that way.

      • Itscrub
        Itscrub commented
        Editing a comment
        So I was able to get it, thank you very much. Went to the pre paid line, explained what happened, they directed me to a guy that was able to look me up, verify my name and email, and issued the badge. Again, thank you very much!

      • number6
        number6 commented
        Editing a comment
        Gad it all worked out for you! Enjoy your DEF CON!

    • #5
      Good morning. Yeah, when I search for Defcon, all I see is Last years stuff.

      Crap, its gone and I am going to forced to pay again, arent I?


      • number6
        number6 commented
        Editing a comment
        You can try emailing but waiting this long to try to address this will likely mean delays in getting replies from the email address. I do not have access to any sales information on : that is limited to

        Good luck. Hopefully you find the right email account and folder you stored your code or you get a quick response from : I cannot help with either of these.

    • #6
      Nasty LineCon this year! Joined he line for the line for the line at maybe 0720. Got the badge at 0900 straight up. Needed a drink, badly. Got one, $16 and change at the Linq bar!