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Defcon X = $100.00 Admission

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  • Grifter
    replied
    If nobody ever watches and raises questions then you are left with companies like Microsoft and Enron.
    You just compared DefCon to MicroSoft and Enron. It's all a conspiracy, DefCon is run by "da man".

    DefCon is a private organization which is not required to show its books to the public. So settle down and forget about it. You obviously feel very strong about this, and I hear you complaining but am sure you will be there this August. If you're so worried about what DT does with your money, don't give it to him, and stay home.
    Last edited by Grifter; March 5, 2002, 22:38.

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  • Chris
    replied
    I'm with skroo on this. I will welcome the money, don't get me wrong, but the only reason I volunteer to be a Goon is because I like it. I have fun. If it wasn't fun for me, I would stop doing it, regardless of what they were offereing in compensation.

    A couple of things I would like to address. First, I do not know what the AP costs, we essentially have the entire place. It is Vegas...there is no way it is cheap. Second, you are right that there were about 5000 attendees last year. But they didn't pay 50 bucks each to get in. Don't forget that that 5000 includes the 2000 or so from Black Hat that get in free. I am guessing on that 2000 but am probably not too far off. That just dropped that $200,000 down to $125,000 or so.

    We are talking $100 for 3 days of access to some of the best technical information you will come across. That doesn't even take into acount the additional stuff that is just fun (i.e. the games).

    Finally, earlier I mentioned that I volunteer because I like it. Well, last I checked, there is no law that forces anyone to come to DefCon. If the $100 price tag means that you don't feel like it is worth it, my suggestion would be to stay home.

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  • Contrarian
    replied
    1) I didn't say it should be free. Never did I say "this con should be free." ("Information should be free" and "This con should be free" are not the same statement). Obviously there are expenses to be paid and no the organizers should not have them out of their own pocket.

    My concern is that we can tell there is a good deal of revenue going in, but when I plug estimated expenses in I can't see the expenses being that significant where it runs at a loss - or even a tight (<20%) profit margin.

    But you yourself said that staff wasn't paid - and I think they should be. Yea, three-days babysitting would suck and I'd like more than just free admission in that position. But rather than you getting $x00 for those three days (when there may have been enough revenue to cover it and still be in the black), it went to the owners pocket. That kinda bugs me. Call me a commie.

    2) Now when I saw that the cost had been doubled I did go off without having first read the post justifying the increase (I did not know it existed at that point). I was under the impression it was a raw cost increase. But if he is infact using that extra cash to cover other expenses to improve the con then that is cool. As I said "Just so long as the extra cost is going towards improving the con...".

    3) I don't have a problem with making a profit.

    3a) I have a problem with making a huge profit when people like yourself go unpaid for the time and effor they put in (as you said, Goons and speakers were not paid).

    3b) I have a problem with making a huge profit when you're the de facto only game in town. I think thats one of the reasons why the justice department is suing Microsoft.

    4) My numbers were thumbnail figures based on experience in creating a few organized events in the past. I or the organization I was working for also made a nice tidy little profit on those events.

    5) I did consider insurance, but I was considering it from the aspect of insurance if one of the attendees got hurt (specifically from the standpoint of dramshop which costs $$$) - not insurance to reimburse the hotel if something is damaged.

    The reason you have the show hosted at the hotel, is that they are then primarily responsible with regards to serving alcohol, and limits your liability in that regards. This is why most office holiday parties are now held in restaurants and not in the office. If someone got hurt, would defcon inc (or whatever the inc'd name is) get sued? You betcha - but it would be harder to win.

    With regards to insurance for the hotel. I'm kind of torn on this. If there is room damage, that is the responsibility of the room renter. I'm sure there is damage to the common area also, but the question is how much and who'se liable? If I were the show organizers, I would argue to the hotel that is part of the cost of doing business and should be factored in part or in whole into concessions, room rates, etc. (of course, I bet the Alexis Park would say otherwise).

    But Insurance is a good point - what if someone gets hurt during the show, which is what I'd be most concerned with covering myself for. I'd be curious if he has it and what that comes out to.

    6) I could be wrong. DC may very well operate very near minimal profit and staff and speakers really couldn't be paid. If I worked 2K1 and was told there wasn't enough money for any kind of reimbusement, but saw $200,000 revenue come in - then I'd be curious where that money went. Arn't you?

    As the consumer, I am kind of curious why it costs as much as $50 for the same reason I'm curious why Windows costs as much as $100. Where does that money go?

    Yeah, I'll admit it. I am really curious what the books for this event look like.

    7) Why do I care? ... The same reason most of us like to see how other corporate networks are designed and peek around, I also like to see how other companies run their business and peek at their books.

    If nobody ever watches and raises questions then you are left with companies like Microsoft and Enron.
    Last edited by Contrarian; March 5, 2002, 20:23.

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  • skroo
    replied
    Here we fucking go again...

    I thought we'd already had this out on the deathrace message boards last year, but if you really wanna rehash it, well, fine. Here we go again:

    Not a bad little racket for a convention that encourages the kids to run around saying how information should be free.
    You've never really explained *why* it should be free. You pay to otherwise be entertained, and don't seem to have a problem with that: why should Defcon be any different? This is the same crap we heard you spewing seven months ago and never got a solid answer out of you on. Either articulate the reasons behind your argument (note: "because" does not constitute a valid argument) or shut up.

    There are a lot of us who are unhappy with the increase in admission, myself included. However, if it means that I actually get paid this year for being a three-day babysitter to a bunch of drunk 15-year-olds who have never been away from home before and can't handle themselves under those circumstances, then quite frankly I'm in favour of it. If it keeps those same idiots away in the first place, even better.

    This wouldn't bother me that much, i'm a capitalist just as much as the next red-blooded american. However after clearing $50,000 you think that 7 months after the event he'd be able to update the fucking DC9 page and put some info in there, and get the DC10 page up.
    I'd really like to know where you're getting your numbers from, and how you can claim any accuracy in them. So far I've seen very little out of you apart from a bunch of whining, no real contribution towards a solution, and a lot of numbers thrown around without any backing as to their validity.

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  • Grifter
    replied
    Good Call Octal...With the history of DefCon I'm sure insurance for this event is insane.

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  • octalpus
    replied
    Up until now, staff and speakers have been unpaid. All they got for their efforts was free admission and a coolio badge. They shelled out the bucks for their airfare, their room, their food, etc. If a price increase helps to pay them, which should ensure higher quality speakers, I'm all for it.

    Also, when considering expenses, you're not thinking of one MAJOR expense - insurance. Do you REALLY think any hotel management in their right mind would host this event without the possibility of being reimbursed for the damage that seem to go hand in hand with Defcon?

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  • zero
    replied
    Stop troublemakers?

    Think again. It won't stop all the brats with money to burn from mommy and daddy. It won't stop those claiming to be from "Proffessional Security" companies from coming. It won't stop the H2k crowd from disrupting things, as they're underwritten by EG.

    Who will it stop? Those just getting into computer security. Those that have been laid off. Those that are actually interested in the con vs the drinking. I doubt the raise in cost will stop one person who acted like a jerk last year from atending this year.

    Would you cut off your nose to spite your face?

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  • Grifter
    replied
    I think if you read the recent information on the reason cost is going up, you will agree, it is going to the right place.

    You can find that information here.

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  • Contrarian
    replied
    If the $100 keeps out some of the riff-raff (although scene whores are still welcome in my book) and improves the overall con, then thats cool. I didn't make last years, but 2000 had too many posers IMHO.

    The extra $50 is still a minor cost compared to airfair, hotel, cabs, booze, gambling, strippers.

    Just so long as the extra cost is going towards improving the con and not padding DT's wallet for a convention that was originally started on a whim to get a few folks together for a weekend.

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  • Grifter
    replied
    Well, someones a little hot under the collar aren't they? Let's sit back and take a look at this for a second.

    Personally I think you may be right, the extra $50 bucks may not stop all of the kiddies from coming. But it may stop half, and if it stops half, well, then that's $50 well spent in my book.

    Also, I'd like you to go out and find a Hotel that's less than a hundred bucks anywhere in the Greater Las Vegas area on a weekend. I can tell you from past experience that you won't, and if you do, well you'll be sleeping with roaches the size a a small(maybe even large) Volkswagen, not a suite with a jacuzzi bath and a fireplace.

    After reviewing all of the submissions on the open letter to the community, this was apparently the best way to make DefCon better. Did you send DT an e-mail? What were your suggestions? Why do you think they were not chosen?

    I have heard nothing but complaining since the price hike, but if this makes it a little easier to get into the popular topics(ie. wireless, feds, hacker jeopardy) and a little cooler in the tents then that's great. I tell you what, some of these "hackers" could make an Altair 8800 wash their car, but for some reason can't find themselves some soap and a shower. And Vegas in August is not the place I want to be when a bunch of stank people smash into a tent together. So less, is more.

    I shall continue my rant by stating that I'm sure DefCon does not net nearly as much as any of the BlackHat Conventions therefore making the hassle and sometimes legal troubles not worth DT's time. If there were no DefCon tomorrow I don't think it would hurt DT's pocket, but it would hurt the community, and I'm sure that is why he still does it.

    DefCon is also the one time during the year that I get to go and see people I may never see otherwise. People that I only talk to online. And it's nice to sit down face to face and BS. Maybe even buy them a drink for that time they helped you out of a bind with some sage-like advice.

    I will however agree with you on one point, the DC page is not updated nearly as often as I'd like to see it updated. But maybe no one has offered to do it for him. So DT if you are reading this, and if you want defcon.org updated a little more often, I will do it. I am publicly volunteering my services free of charge. Let's see if that does anything.

    The fact is people will still bitch about the $100 admission, shit they bitched about $50, but would you rather pay $100 dollars to get into DefCon to learn about Security, or $1100 to get into BlackHat to learn about Security. Not everyone has a few grand to throw into BlackHat, but most can get together $100 to go to DefCon. So until every security minded individual has corporate sponsorship to send them to BlackHat, DefCon is there. And I for one hope it never goes away.
    Last edited by Grifter; March 3, 2002, 22:08.

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  • Contrarian
    replied
    Holy Fucking Christ Almighty!!

    $100?!?!?!

    Last year he had 5,000 people at $50 a pop. Badges, and variable costs per person were probably $10. Thats roughly $200,000 revenue.

    I highly doubt he pays Alexis Park that much, because they make a killing on room rentals and conscessions.

    I doubt he pays the Goons that much. Maybe paying for their room and a few hundred bucks. Figure 25 goons, $500 each renumeration - thats $12,500.

    Renumeration for most speakers is that they get into the con for free and $200. Three tracks, 10 a day, 3 days. Thats $18,000.

    Suppose he pays a few quality speakers (Richard Thieme for instance). That probably adds another $50,000 to his expenses.

    So rough guess, three days. This guy made probably $100,000. Realistically I'm missing a few things. Lets say it's just $50,000.

    Now add in Black-Hat the week before, and the BlackHat Amsterdam, BlackHat Asia, etc. etc.

    Not a bad little racket for a convention that encourages the kids to run around saying how information should be free.

    Welcom to Defcon Corp (NASAQ: DCON).

    This wouldn't bother me that much, i'm a capitalist just as much as the next red-blooded american. However after clearing $50,000 you think that 7 months after the event he'd be able to update the fucking DC9 page and put some info in there, and get the DC10 page up.

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  • astcell
    replied
    party on dudes?

    I don't believe that $50 will make th difference between people attending the 'con or not. It'll just mean they can afford to buy $50 less beer and other recreational items.

    The hotel is going to hold folks acocuntable, and that's good, but I wonder if this may not be our last year at AP.

    Does anyone know if the Defcon Goons have a list of persona non gratas who are forever more baned from any of the 'cons? It'd be interesting to see just what it takes to get ousted for good.

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  • octalpus
    replied
    Hopefully that'll discourage some of the kiddies who only come to party...

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  • Freaky
    started a topic Defcon X = $100.00 Admission

    Defcon X = $100.00 Admission

    Just saw the information on the Def Con 10 Call for Papers page.
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