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Lessons learned from DC30: make DC31 even better

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  • #16
    Originally posted by abz0rber View Post
    Pros
    • Helpful and kind goons.
    • Great village workshops


    Cons
    • Painfully thick minded and useless goons.
    • Loud mouthed by passers at village workshops


    Ohh yeah. Forget the current form of merch lining. It was a scandal. Sort out online ordering and pick up for us that ‘dare’ to pay online, like registration and keep a line hell for those that want to be ‘anonymous’.
    What do you mean "thick minded"?

    Comment


    • abz0rber
      abz0rber commented
      Editing a comment
      It’s another term for lame.

  • #17
    30 was the first time for me and I had an amazing time. That said, there was some things I that would have been pretty great. Got to deal with the Cesar’s hotel/forum confusion. Cannot tell how many thought of 7th level of paradise loss pain for the team that made that naming decision.

    Gluten free options were unbelievably lacking from restaurants, and finding what was available didn’t really happen until the last day. My roommate was dealing with it all weekend, (and since she was my roommate, I got to feel different pain). Asked a few goons for recommendations, but everyone was surprised that there wasn’t more available.

    Jenny in the badge fun was great for those of us with that name, (I let out a string of color metaphors when I found out about it). If it does happen for 31, please have small amount of reward for those of us who have been hit on multiple times through our lives with all the lines relating to that melodic masterpiece.

    Cattlecon, those that stay in line until closing, figuring average amount of time per person, contemplating the length of time it takes for a gap to be walked through the line, were desperately worried that we would be the person just before told to comeback tomorrow as the door closed in our faces. If there’s a decision, like “everyone from this person down will get in”, please communicate that to us so that our large group of people anxiety attack is worth the pain. (And if there are people behind the chosen person, free stickers “I was saved from slaughter at Cattlecon”)

    A talk on how to care for yourself, such as foot care with blister pads, noise management (4 days of 100+ decibels constant noise is going to suck), muscle stretches for back pain from carrying the heavy things to three different areas, and hangover cures that might and might not work.

    The afterparty was so good and so happy it happened. Please make it a thing every year because I’m looking forward to it.

    Comment


    • #18
      I appreciated the space we had this year, but I missed several talks due to the distance between the Villages and the Tracks. Would it be possible to add the villages to the streams? I was able to catch the tracks I wanted to see through the streams when I was going from a village to a track, but couldn't make it work the other way around.

      Next year:
      Please let me know how I can get involved in DefCon for Kids, I was really bummed this year with R00TZ not being around. I would be happy to assist or run it next year.
      My kids loved it, It made such an impact on their lives and I'd like to see it continue.

      Comment


      • #19
        Yeah how about you quit having fucking losers hound people over that magical face cloth people seem to think protects them from literal fucking microbes.

        N95 particulate threshold = 300 nanometers
        covid respiratory droplets = 60-190 nanometers

        Before you start ranting about brownian hydrostatics remember Capillary action of fluids.

        BUT DONT WORRY!!!!! I WILL CONTINUE TO TELL YOUR GOONS TO FUCK THEMSELVES WITH ZERO MASK ON MY FACE

        Comment


        • #20
          Ceasar's Forum has plenty wide and open hallways. Consider adding small vendors kiosks along the halls to avoid long lines at the chill out and merch locations. For merch kiosks just sell stuff that does not require sizing and variety, like Bennie hats and souvenirs.

          Comment


          • #21
            My only complaint really comes from the Merch Linecon and the decision to make Merch Cash only again this year. DC29 was my first DEFCON and both Badge Registration as well as Merch were Card only, with Covid, this was self explanatory. Cash changing hands can spread germs (so can handling of merchandise, but I digress).

            I get that "traditionally" DEFCON has always been a Cash Only event; however, is there really a point to not offering those who don't mind paying with a card the option? Workshops were online registration & card only this year. Badges were card online or cash in person (again why not accept card here), there is no reason the Merch booths couldn't have gone this route too.

            The other issue with this is that requirements to wear masks but then herding people into lines like cattle to pay for merchandise in cash, defeats the purpose of wearing the mask as if the person had COVID they were absolutely going to spread it via the cash exchange and close proximity to others.

            /rant over
            BillyJBryant - Find me at https://billyjbryant.com
            The only stupid question is the one you never ask

            Comment


            • #22
              As an attendee since DC17, a couple of things.

              I was surprised to walk into the CTF room and it was well lit, and the teams were working at round tables. At first I thought it was Open CTF. Such a small room compared to years past. It did not feel like the premiere event it has always been.

              The music is always good, but it would be nice to bring in new groups to mix it up. I miss the years when Crystal Method, Infected Mushroom, and others just kicked ass. Surprise us with Tiesto, or something that would be a shot in the arm musically and have us talking about it decades later.

              Got to do something about the merch line. 2-4 hours to buy a t-shirt? Not sure the solution, but what you have now is not working. It was one of the biggest complaints/rants I heard this year.

              All in all, it was another good DC. But, it was not the usual "this was the best DEF CON ever!" vibe that I always have once Closing ceremony ends. It was a bit flat for me this year.

              - BK



              Comment


              • #23
                As a first time attendee (who didn't care about linecon or the workshops), I wish it was more clear ahead of time how little content there is on Thursday. I would likely have skipped Thursday entirely and saved a travel/vacation day. I wish that the talks were more spaced out so that I had something to do Thursday while not having to decide between schedule conflicts for things I wanted to see in literally every time slot Friday and Saturday.

                The merch line debacle is well-trod and I don't need to revisit it. Same with the food. $5 for a can of soda? $7-8 for black coffee? $5 for skittles? $15 for a hotdog and chips? You've gotta be kidding me.

                Was it really not possible to find spaces closer together? I seldom went to the satellite sites for stuff even though I was interested, just because they were so far apart and it ate a lot of valuable time.

                Comment


                • #24
                  Originally posted by BillyJBryant View Post
                  My only complaint really comes from the Merch Linecon and the decision to make Merch Cash only again this year. DC29 was my first DEFCON and both Badge Registration as well as Merch were Card only, with Covid, this was self explanatory. Cash changing hands can spread germs (so can handling of merchandise, but I digress).

                  I get that "traditionally" DEFCON has always been a Cash Only event; however, is there really a point to not offering those who don't mind paying with a card the option? Workshops were online registration & card only this year. Badges were card online or cash in person (again why not accept card here), there is no reason the Merch booths couldn't have gone this route too.

                  Well, with an audience of hackers you also tend to get an audience of carders. I think the event organizers and merch sellers simply wanted to ensure they got paid and not ripped off. Being cash-only eliminates some of that problem. Cash is also anonymous.

                  Comment


                  • #25
                    I'll compose a more detailed item with plenty of constructive criticism and ideas, but I thought I would call out this one ...

                    Originally posted by abz0rber View Post
                    [*]Painfully thick minded and useless goons.
                    I found that, with rare exception, almost all of the Goons were amazingly cool.

                    Here's a shot of a couple of truly fun-loving Goons.

                    Click image for larger version  Name:	funpar.jpg Views:	0 Size:	99.6 KB ID:	243468

                    Comment


                    • #26
                      Originally posted by darkprince View Post


                      Well, with an audience of hackers you also tend to get an audience of carders. I think the event organizers and merch sellers simply wanted to ensure they got paid and not ripped off. Being cash-only eliminates some of that problem. Cash is also anonymous.
                      I think there is a balance between being paranoid about card scammers and being open to those who don't care whether or not their attendance to DEFCON is anonymous. There was only one DEFCON Vendor that was Cash Only in the Vendor's area and I completely understood his need to have that policy. There really is no reason that buying a T-Shirt, Hoodie, Pins or SAOs should be forced as a cash only transaction.

                      I think giving an option for those of us who preferred to pay card (as I really don't feel safe traveling to and walking around Vegas with wads of cash) to buy merchandise online and pick up locally or to have a specific line for Cash Only and a line for Card Only would have been super. Like I said before, I get the reason to be Cash only before, but it just doesn't make sense to accept cards for Badge Registration and Workshops and then have Merch be Cash Only.

                      I also agree with opinions above, it would have been great to see the selection of swag available for grabs before waiting 2+ hours in line. I didn't want to wait in line to find out what I wanted to buy so that I could go get cash from an ATM only to have to wait in line again, so I waited to buy until Saturday and by the time I went (about 2pm) Merch was already sold out.
                      BillyJBryant - Find me at https://billyjbryant.com
                      The only stupid question is the one you never ask

                      Comment


                      • #27
                        Quick rant about the badges. I love the design and the quality of the work. I assume that each of the different types of participants at the con had different badges (attendees, goons, presenters, artists, other?). The puzzle required interacting with all of the different types of badges, correct? The issue that I have is that there are 25k attendees, 100's of goons, 10's of presenters, artists and others. This means that attendees would have to swarm all of the other types of badge holders to solve the puzzle. This I think is overwhelming for everyone. I suggest a different distribution. Split the badge distribution into 5 equal groups. Color coding can still happen with respect to goons, etc. Doing this would increase the interaction amount participants, reduce the reliance on the much smaller groups participation, and make the puzzle more achievable.

                        Just my thoughts.

                        Comment


                        • #28
                          Okay so here is goes, I'm disabled and used a scooter to get around so most of the issues I saw at con had to do with accessiblity.

                          non-accessible suggestions:

                          A defined date when pre-registration is supposed to start and end, I talked to alot of people who weren't really sure when pre-registration opened or closed it was just there suddenly and then not. P.S. the pre reg was the only reason my job covered the cost of Registration so please never get rid of that 🙏 10/10 was smooth af and was great as someone coming on my employers dime.

                          Accessibility ♿️ suggestions:

                          I'm not gonna lie I thought I would have to leave the con my first day... I couldn't get through the crowds, no one could hear me, few people were paying attention to me and I couldn't see anything in the villages because of the number of people standing in front of things. I went back to my hotel room heartbroken and cried. Luckily my mentor convinced me to wait until the afternoon and go back and said Friday is the worst in terms of traffic and he was right, that might be something good for HDA to mention in their documents as well. I knew I could contact a Goon for help but found that most of them were far too busy on traffic control to be monitoring the villages themselves where I faced many of my issues.

                          When people talk about the traffic and lines I agree 1million times that we need lanes of some kind and blocking off merch and registration so that the line didn't take over 50% of the hall would massively improve accessibility. I'm not sure it would be possible but having a small side lane for those of us on scooters or in wheelchairs might have been nice too just to reduce the crazy anxiety I had that I was going to run over someone's toes (and I did on the first day 2x because people couldn't hear me)

                          Related to the merch I was re-directed to the front of the merch line so unfortunately i wasnt able to see anything on display I agree with others that a hallway display or, even better, a website that shows photos of all the items (and maybe item numbers) would have been amazing. One, I really think it would have sped up the line by giving people an option to decide what they want before they even got in the room and with item numbers they could even write down what they want on a piece of paper and hand it to the team so they could quickly fill in the form, and it would have been great for me because as the con went on I realized there were other things available that I couldn't really see and there's no way the people running it could have shown me every single item so I don't fault them at all.

                          Elevators! I know it's not the con's fault that we had bad weather, but if we could find out from the hotels if they could improve their operations that would be grear. I really think the hotels should have operators posted to use manual elevator controls if they're going to shut down an elevator due to one floor (i.e. the linq garages) that would be great. I decimated my battery on my scooter on day 2 because I had to go all the way out and around just to get into the linq and that was a common theme all weekend of elevators being closed. Additionally we really need to get the hotels to post clear signage when they are closed cause I sat in front of one like an idiot for a few minutes before realizing it was probably closed and I was screwed.

                          Room sizing? So I think there was a mismatch on room sizes to number of people for example the rooms for Crypto, ham radio and RF villages were MASSIVE but i honestly didnt see many people in any of them for most of the con, however the girls hack, red team and aerospace villages were in tiny spaces with HUGE crowds. As someone who uses a scooter this made those villages really unavailable to me, I never got into the red team village because it was never empty enough for me to have space, and the others I could only be in for a few minutes to walk through and see but not enjoy or ask questions because I couldn't see anything through the crowds or was holding up huge groups of people. If a space doesn't have enough room for atleast 2 people to pass in most places then it is unfortunately not accessible enough 😕 additionally reminding the villages to not cram as many tables and chairs into the space as humanly possible would be good too.

                          Related the rooms, having a small area near power outlets, possibly near the doors designated as a "keep clear" area for people to park scooters while we traversed the villages on foot (since I think that's what I'd need to do to be able to properly enjoy the smaller villages) would be nice as well. I don't think it would need to be anything fancy, it could really just a taped area on the floor with a sign but I think it would be really helpful mainly for the smaller villages where it may be impossible to put enough space for people to get through.

                          It might also be helpful to remind people that they should also be a little more aware of their surroundings and to look down because there may be a scooter or wheelchair near them!

                          I really really appreciate how much effort was put in to try and make this event as accessible as possible and i understand that most if the issues i saw were growing pains or hotel issues, so thank you from the bottom of my heart as someone who rarely gets to go to and enjoy events like this, it was amazing to be able to have a blast and make new friends.

                          Comment


                          • #29
                            So, in the past, I've had a few negative Goon interactions. I've chalked those up to grumpiness/hunger/whatever. This year? Every Goon interaction I had was amazing. The info table Goons? Holy shit, give them an award. Just super helpful.

                            On the bad side: HOLY CRAP THE LINES WERE STUPID. On Friday, when the merch line was crazy, it clogged the hallway to get into other sessions that I felt physically unsafe. We were crowded in terribly. And several times there were clumps of people just stopped in the middle of the hall.

                            The merch area is just a disaster. You stand in this SUPER LONG line, and then you have to get super close to see what is available and it looks like. The Male/Female thing was SUPER unclear until you're in the line right next to it.

                            The villages weren't allocated enough space, in general. And when they're seperated by long distances, it made it tough to hit them all. Hell, I can think of three I didn't visit that I would normally do so.

                            The food option on site was a rip-off. 5 bucks for a can of Coke? Sure dude. Sure. But here's the real problem: We were far enough away from REAL food choices that a 5 dollar Coke started making sense.

                            I know that was a lot of complaining, but I swear it's coming from a good place in my heart. I loved DEFCON. I will be at DEFCON 31. But can we find a larger single space like the Venetian? Or can we go to an old space?

                            Comment


                            • #30
                              For me the best content was in the villages this year. Which were often painfully under-sized for demand and brought back memories of Line-con and having to getting to a room to spend at least 1+ talks pass while waiting outside the room.

                              Would it be possible to carve out more space from the main tracks for villages next year? Fewer trips between the Forum and the Flamingo would be nice...

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