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DEF CON Hacking Conference

Sponsor FAQ

So You Want to Be a Sponsor?

Q: I'd like to sponsor DEF CON, how?

A: The short answer is you can't, at least not directly.

DEF CON is what you make it, and we want to be made by the attendee community. DEF CON depends on attendee income to pay the costs of the conference, and we don't seek sponsors. This is partially a legacy thing, and partially a way of keeping things simple.

Q: My company wants to contribute at DEF CON.

A: We've several opportunities for you to do just that.

Villages: You could help defray the costs for several community run and independent villages by supporting them directly. You can locate the list of villages on the DEF CON Forums, or check the Villages page for the current DEF CON. Email Villages[at]defcon{dot}Org if you have questions.

Contests: You could help by providing prizes to existing contests, or create your own! Please check the forums and the website for the list of contests and/or the current year's "Call for Contests" application. Email Contests[at]defcon{dot}org if you have questions.

Parties & Special Events: Everyone loves a party or a get together! Why don't you throw one? There are some rules regarding approved DEF CON parties, such as they'd need to remain open to ALL DEF CON Badge holders. The "Call for Parties" will be listed on the DEF CON website, email Parties[at]Defcon{dot}Org if you have questions. If you'd like to host a private party, let us know we have options to help you do that as well.

Vendors: Do you have something to sell? Is it for hackers? If so, check out the vendor page and vendor application, there are requirements to purchasing a vendor table and we don't approve straight up marketing booths, but if you have some cool wares maybe reach out and see if you qualify. Email Vendors {at} if you have any questions.

Scholarships & Donations: You may be able to help DEF CON hackers by donating money for badges or travel assistance. There are fundraisers online every year from different organizations, chose one that's right for you. Check the DEF CON Forums and browse social media to find those asking for support. Keep in mind, any Scholarship group will have their own unique needs and requirements, but consensus is nobody wants a sponsor to be used for self promotion with "diversity & inclusion" marketing.

More: Don't forget to check the forums for announcements from all the Villages, Contests, and Events. You might find an opportunity.

Q: I've agreed to sponsor, what are the rules?

A: Great, there are a few rules regarding sponsor presence of marketing at the conference.

Sales: You can't sell anything within the convention spaces without DEF CON approval and paperwork on file. Plans to sell anything onsite need approval, you must be made aware of and comply with Nevada state tax laws. Sales tax paperwork will be provided upon approval, need to be completed, and taxes must be paid onsite to the NV department of Taxation by check (no cash) as agreed at the end of the con. To claim exempt, you must provide proper proof of non-profit status prior to set up. If you want to sell anything, please email us at Vendors(at)Defcon(dot)org to get started.

DEF CON Logos/Art: DEF CON official art & logos are registered works, and have requirements to use on promotional materials and SWAG. We recommend your art compliment the current year's theme, list the year of the con, and if it is using any of our work or icons, etc. that it is pre-approved. Please email info(at)defcon(dot)org for support.

Truth in Advertising: Marketing, promotion, and promotional materials should not mislead to imply sponsorship of DEF CON or are an "Official" sponsor in anyway. It should be clear you are only sponsoring a particular event or item. For example; "CyberCorp Goat Herder's Meetup at DEF CON" is fine. It is not okay to say "DEF CON's CyberCorp Goat Herder's Meetup".

Marketing: Advertisements should be done within reasonable amounts. Attendees will not like a 12ft banner in the hallway or a sign with your logo on it in every direction. There is a respectful line between acknowledgement or promotion and SPAM, try to avoid the latter.

Sponsor Tables: You can't buy or have a table or a booth in a village. Real estate within our convention spaces is at a premium, when we grant SQFT to a village it's under the expectation it will be used on content. The convention spaces are planned with the attendee experience in mind.

Sales Pitches: Content should not be a sales pitch. If you're sponsoring a village and give 5 presentations that are all suspiciously like a sales pitch, then you'll be putting that village's reputation in jeopardy.

No "Pay to Play" exclusions: All content, contests, or events must be open to badged DEF CON attendees and abide by the published Code of Conduct. Private events are permitted in special circumstances within the DEF CON Venue(s), please contact parties[at]defcon{dot}org for questions or requests.

Shenanigans: If you're going to do something crazy, give us a heads up so we can assist. Letting us know about your wild plans ahead of time could prevent unforeseen logistical failures or visits by hotel security.

Misc inquires, questions unanswered, email info [at] defcon ]dot[ org