There is an old adage in the DEF CON Community, "DEF CON is what you make it", that holds very true to this day. If you yearn to stand out in the DEF CON crowd, or just want to help contribute to this crazy gathering we have every year, there are a number of ways you can get more involved with the con.
Start a Contest
Contests are a huge part of the DEF CON experience, and you may be surprised to know that most, if not all of them, started with a crazy idea someone proposed on the forums and brought to life. You can check out the currently running contests on the DEF CON Forums, and post your idea in the New Ideas thread. If you get good feedback, and you think you can follow through, submit a contest application through the DEF CON Contests and Events site!
Submit a Talk
Do you have an exciting piece of research the hacking community needs to know about? Consider submitting to the DEF CON Call for Papers (opening soon). If you need some pointers on the best way to submit, direct from the person who accepts them, have a gander at Nikita's post on the Speaker's Corner page, "How do I make my CFP stand out?". Check out the rest of the speaker's corner page too, it has some great advice from folks who have been through it!
Answer the Call for Music
Are you musically gifted? We have a Call for Music every year, and if accepted, you might get to play one of our many events and parties. Keep an eye on the DEF CON Forums Arts & Entertainment thread for more details!
Throw a Party!
At DEF CON 21, the DEF CON Pub Crawl was born. Basically, we hand out a bunch of rooms in a central location of the conference area to groups who want throw a party. 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. We'll post a call for parties on the DEF CON 22 site, so keep an eye out!
Offer a Hand
There is plenty of work to be done behind the scenes at DEF CON, and many Goons were borne of a desire to pitch in. Ask around to find the right people and offer your help.