This year we were all sitting around in our planning meeting thinking about what we could do to make DEF CON 21 bad ass. Aside from changing things up this year in regards to content, we thought we would change up a few community aspects of the con as well. We are going to slim down the speaking tracks to four instead of five to focus more on quality of content rather than quantity of talks. Some feedback we received in the past indicated you wanted more time in between talks and more condensed talks that got to the point quicker. So we have gone with 45 and 20 minute talks in order to facilitate that. We decided that we want to encourage more individually run workshops and talks within the hacker villages, and more room for those villages. So the village spaces have gotten a little bigger, and we are saving room on the floor plan for more hacker spaces and hands-on activities. We wanted to see more community-lead projects, activities and events but that also includes parties. Parties that you can go hang out in and talk to people. Parties that are smaller, that just about any group could throw without needing a million dollar budget. Parties that reminded the old skool DEF CON crowd of the days of yore at Alexis Park.
Twenty one parties to be exact.
It was actually brilliant when it came together, staring at the floor plan, trying to come up with some space to make room for more fun and we saw it... a perfect configuration allowing for 21 parties to be in a row. The DEF CON pub row, and how perfect that it added up to 21, for DEF CON 21. So we're going to run with it, but there are some stipulations. We're hoping to get some applications from people who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford to throw a party but might have a pretty awesome party if given the space.
You'll need to send us an application, similar to a CFP, that tells us why we should pick your party. We'd recommend you go with a theme, or something cool that stands out. DEF CON will set up a few cash bars lining the hallways in pub row, so party goers can get their refreshments, it's up to you to provide the atmosphere.
Keep in mind the rooms will not be that large, so don't expect a ballroom, and they will be close together in location. (Think pub crawl) The potential rooms vary from 294 to 936 sq. ft. Roughly, that translates to a range of 30 to 90 people, most of the spaces can hold 50 or more attendees. You'd be responsible for music, and because you're close we'd recommend not entirely drowning out your neighbors.
You don't want a mega super elaborate party plan because you won't have an indefinite time to set up your room, after the talks end for the day we will turn the room over to the party configuration and you will have about an hour or two to setup your party. So a 40 foot Godzilla that dispenses jolt cola is great in theory, but probably won't be possible. (Also, DEF CON can't store your party decor or DJ gear for you so you'll need to work that into your plans.)
In order to submit you need to cut and paste the following into email or text file and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
DROP YOUR DOX:
Who are you?
What's a good phone number to reach you at?
Where can we email you?
List three references that would be a character reference for you in court:
Answer the following in as much detail as you can.
What's your pub name going to be?
Why do you want to throw a party?
What kind of party do you want to throw?
How are you involved in the hacker community?
Why should we pick your party over others?
What music or entertainment do you want to have?
What kind of decor will you set the room up in?
(You'll need to work with the hotel rules: You can't attach anything to the walls, ceiling, or doors. Decor and other items need to be free standing and you may be required to show that items are fire or flame retardant)
Do you have any plans for giveaways, swag, or cool freebies?
What are your plans for party regulation?
Tell us anything else about yourself that you think we should know in considering your party application.
If we accept your party we will contact you for more information, provide you with a contract, inform you of the party terms of conduct, and let you know the room size and set up. At that time you'd be required to submit a $200 deposit on your pub, to be returned to you provided you show up, host the party, and the room is not destroyed beyond recognition. It would suck to accept your party only to have you not show up, then we'd not have 21 parties for DEF CON 21 and that would be lame, so don't do that.
Thanks and see you at DEF CON 21.
The Dark Tangent
So you want to throw a party at the DEF CON 21 Pub crawl do you? Well, we want you to!
Here is a list of frequently asked questions, we will add to this list as things come up.
Q: I/we have ideas, but would like to know more about funding. Specifically, can we approach potential sponsors? The sponsors might obviously like their brand associated with the event. Is that acceptable?
A: DEF CON won't be providing any funding for these parties, since we will be providing the party rooms and the shared bars. As for sponsors: yes, with exceptions. It can't be called the "Intel party" but it could be "The super samurai party -(sponsored by Intel)" If a party wants to go after sponsorship please realize that parties will not be 'official' DEF CON parties, and your sponsor can't use the DEF CON logo. If you/they want to use the DEF CON Logo on anything at all (To giveaway, advertise, or for sale) you need to have pre-approval, we have requirements you need to meet. Email us at email@example.com if that applies to you.
Q: What would the space look like?
A: Each party room will have a door to the main hallway that is for access and egress. Consider having something/someone at the door to your party to encourage party goers into your space. Each party will be issued a maximum occupancy number and it varies between rooms, you'll have to keep your eye on how crowded it's getting. Please do not exceed your occupancy number as it could interfere with your party remaining open.
Each room can be set up in several ways. Large round tables with chairs; small round high (standing) cocktail type tables; a mix of these two; Or if you have items such as bean bags that you can provide, store, and move with your team, that will be fine. Please note you are not allowed to move the couches and chairs that we have in the DEF CON area nor can you bring furniture from your hotel sleeping rooms (at the Rio or elsewhere) Everything that you bring in for your party must be removed at the end. Remember LNT (Leave No Trace).
If you want a dance floor you will want to apply early and include this on your application. There are a limited number of dance floors at Rio so consider this a first come first serve item. If you are bringing decorations to your party be prepared and bring any labels or packaging that indicates it is flame retardant. You may be asked to show such information. So when shopping, just pay attention and get things that will be acceptable in case you are asked.
Q: Do parties have to provide their own music/dj?
A: No, they can have no music at all if they want. Music is not a requirement, it could be a quiet zen party. Parties are encouraged to bring music to fit their theme. You will need to provide all the equipment to make your music audible. But please remember you have party neighbors so be aware of sound levels.
Q: What if we want our own bar?
A: If you want to offer your party guests something besides the beer that they can purchase at the Pub Bars, Then you will need to sign a contract. You will need to provide Rio with a credit card that they can run your deposit on. The deposit is based on what you are expecting to serve and the costs of bartenders and a possible cashier. This plan must be on your application, and all contracts with the Rio must be completed by July 1, 2013.
Q: We want to have food.
A: If you want to provide some type of food during your party you will need to sign a contract and provide Rio with a credit card that they can run your deposit on. The deposit is based on what you are expecting to serve. This plan must be on your application and all contracts with the Rio must be completed by July 1, 2013. You can't just call delivery for Pizza or Thai food and bring it to the party without serious repercussions, the hotel is unwavering on their outside food and drink policy. (You can ask firstname.lastname@example.org for help if you are in need of Pizza or Thai)
Q: How much time will we have to setup for the party?
A: You will have no more than 2 hours to set your party up and 1 hour to take it all down. Once you have received your parties acceptance you will be given the starting time. Room numbers will be assigned by July 1, 2013.
Q: When would the party start and stop?
A: After the Talks end, we'd need time to pull the rooms together into the pub crawl configuration. After we get our work out of the way ( pulling air walls, setting up chairs) , you'll have an hour perhaps two to set up your decor. We figure you might want to plan to have possession of your room around 8 or 9 pm. (TBA)
Parties do have to end with enough time for Rio to return this crazy party central Pub crawl back into a nice clean speaking tracks for the next day. Closing time is going to be between 3 and 4 AM. Again, final time will be announced on July 1.
Q: What if I want to have an invite only private Party?
A: It is our approach that all parties are open to all DEF CON attendees so no DEF CON badge means no entrance, but it also means no cost or fee to enter at the door. And no private invite only parties. If you want to do a party of that nature that is fine and we will have you reach out to Charel (email@example.com) to get you set up.
Q: I'm a major industry player, super elite, I want to throw a much larger party, how?
A: If you want to do a party of that nature, that is fine and we will have you reach out to Charel (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get you set up.