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Dark Tangent, the founder and organizer of Defcon, just posted in the Defcon forums that the conference going to go hybrid this year.  Here is a link to his post: https://forum.defcon.org/node/236655.  DT admittedly says things are still fluid but they wanted to put out the information to help people make the decision if they are going to go virtually or in person. Now that the Goons are going to be yelling "space it out" instead of  "squeeze it in" It's going to feel like Defcon in a parallel universe.

 

There will also be some unprecedented changes this year that I wanted to outline below. Again things might change but these where the highlights from DT's post. I will add the preregistration link on this post when they release it later this month.

  • Defcon will be held both online and in person.

  • To attend in person you are required to wear a mask and be vaccinated.

  • Defcon will have socially distance seating and tables, and the convention properties will have increased air circulation and filtering.

  • For the first time Defcon will have online pre-registration for the in-person conference. The registration platform has not been selected, but they are encouraging in person attendees to preregister by insuring they will get a physical conference badge.  DT mentions that they need hard numbers of attendees to help them with planning the event.

  • They are going to order extra badges for those who show up with cash on-site, but if they guess wrong on quantity you may getting a paper badge, and if they are at capacity you could be turned away. 

  • Defcon will be throwing only the Black and White ball, entertainment. and pool parties this year. They will not be planning or organizing smaller parties.

  • Defcon has asked everyone, villages included, to pre-record all talks. Should they have to go full virtual, they won’t have a last-minute disaster of trying to capture the talks. This way DEF CON can release talks on Twitch like last year.

  • Should you be in-person and want to give your talk live they can do that, or do Q&A, or remote Q&A. Pre-recording gives Defcon options and allows everyone to see the talks. Yes, DCTV will be happening so you can also watch in your hotel room.

     

DT also listed some of the assumptions they have been working with while trying to organize Defcon this year. 

  • Almost no international attendees will attend in-person. The quarantine times and lower vaccination rates mean it is not very realistic, so we hope they will join us on-line instead.

  • That everyone in our demographic who is capable and wants a vaccination will have gotten one by the end of June.

  • Our in-person attendance will be ¼ to ½ normal, and people will be changing their minds on whether or not to attend right up to the last minute – and that includes people organizing contests, events, and villages.

  • Not all Goons will be there in-person, and many will help out by Gooning virtually.

  • While there will be fewer attendees there will also be fewer villages, contests, and events. It should all balance out so attendees don’t fee like there are a million things to do but not enough people to do them with.

  • There will be hybrid events, where you can participate in-person as well as virtually, but doing this for every event is unfortunately too demanding for many contest and village organizers.

 

I am pretty excited that Defcon will have hybrid model this year. Defcon for me over the last almost 20 years of attendance is something I look forward to every year. Like most people your last day after the con - when your hung over, hot, and reek of cigarette smoke - you have those brief thoughts that “maybe I’ll take next year off”.  That only lasts a short time before your booking your hotel for next year. 

 

Welcome back Defcon!


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