Now is a good time to open DIPs/issues

If you have ideas on how to improve next DEVCon - now is a really good time to come forward with them!
There are several ways. You can e.g. open issues on our repositories like this one: Allow downloading of a video · Issue #179 · efdevcon/devcon-website · GitHub
Or you create a DIP - or just post an idea here on the forum. Lots of ways to get involved! And now is a good time as the team is not in “crunch time” mode - so more time on hand and more open to ideas (last minute is always more difficult).
So think about what could be improved and how you can get involved in next DEVCon and make your ideas public!

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DIP: Allow cash at door for ticketing

Is it time to allow cash at door for payment and entry?

Idea from DEF CON. They focus on privacy but allowing cash at door allows many other benefits: no scarcity on tickets, more open, more flexible for people who decide late, etc. Yes, it is harder for organizers, but DEVCon should be practicing for that openness. It is reasonable to expect people will have some local currency by the time they arrive at DEVCon.

How much is admission DEF CON, and do you take credit cards?

The price for DEF CON 30 is USD$360 cash at the door. We do this for a number of reasons. Paying in cash protects your privacy and we can’t be forced to hand over records we don’t collect. Still, offering online registration for DEF CON Safe Mode taught us we had some attendees who really benefit from the option for things like group orders and expense report requirements.

Other sources:

I like the privacy aspect - and it would be possible with pretix-POS - but I think for DEVCon it is not practical.
You said:

no scarcity on tickets

ho would taking cash solve the ticket scarcity problem?
It will end up more like gambling - people will travel to DEVCon and do not know if they get a ticket at the door. So I do not think we should do it. The venue will have a certain capacity that we cannot cross (e.g. for fire-code reasons) also we need the amount of people that attend roughly for the catering, …
And currently you can already pay in a privacy preserving manner. We take crypto and you can hide the source e.g. by using a mixer and using your own fullnode to do your transactions.

This one seems easier to deal with it. The ICC in Istanbul has 8 floors and the Istanbul proposal only uses 2 floors. So the ICC capacity itself is unlikely to be reached in DEVCon 7. Just keep selling tickets to those in the line paying.

Individual rooms in ICC will have capacity, so yes, not everyone can get in the main auditorium, but some of the rooms could be used for overflow. Overflow is likely only needed for opening and closing talks, since some people in the main room will leave to go to other talks.

I’m not an event organizer (but DEF CON shows what’s possible) so can brainstorm what you bring up. Assumptions like catering may need to be revisited. We may need to discuss some topics, like catering, and analyze from “first principles”. There may be vendor stalls in the venue chosen (like in a hotel or stadium), or there might be enough restaurants, fast food, (even street food?), hotels (those that have food) near the ICC. I will ask in the Istanbul thread.

In general, solving or reducing scarcity is very hard. Tradeoffs will be inevitable. We will also need to reduce assumptions to be able to explore and identify approaches.

The venue must be booked way before the ticket sales start. Also all booked floors must be handled by production. So just that the venue (which is not decided on yet btw.) has the capacity means we can have unlimited walk-ins …
It is really not as easy as you make it look - and IMHO the downsides here outweigh the upsides.

I know it is very, maybe extremely difficult. I want to try to find someone who can help or share how it is/can be done.

Related to Istanbul, it sounds like catering may be possible to save:

(If there’s an experiment to let DEVcon food be handled by the market, instead of central planning, if Istanbul ICC was the chosen location, it looks like a good spot to try no catering.)

I don’t think by any means it is possible to have no catering for 3k+ people onsite.

We had offsite catering in osaka - and people did not really like it.
@kuzdogan are you sure it is not possible? Can you elaborate? This could be a deal breaker for Istanbul.

Not specific to Istanbul but for any venue, I don’t think it is efficient for everyone to leave the venue, find a restaurant, wait at the restaurant, go back to venue every day. It breaks the atmosphere of the conference, and adds a lot of overhead. You need at least 1 hour to do all of this while running from one talk to another. Time is really precious during Devcon. Also, will the restaurants around the venue be able to accommodate the sudden extra demand of +3k people? That’s a lot of bellies to feed. Theoretically, it can, but there will be many places with loooong queues caused by the Devconers.

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Ah - now I see and agree. Was thinking you mean we can have no catering for 3k+ people onsite - but missed the double negation.

Are there any booths / stalls in the ICC where people can buy food? (Like a stadium?)

Agree some food options on-site are important. But providing free food for everyone on-site makes logistics and scaling Devcon flexibly to more and more people over the years ever more difficult. How would Devcon “look” like in years? Will it be a lottery like Apple’s WWDC? Or will it somehow be more “like” DEF CON?

A provable lottery could be OK in the future. The less provable the lottery, the more that personal “connections” will be important for people to get tickets ahead/behind of the “lottery”.

you make it seem that DEFCON does not limit attendance - and maybe they usually do not run to their capacity - but their website states:

What will capacity look like for the in-person event?

Capacity is currently capped at a maximum of 80% of a given space’s fire code standard capacity. Limits will be reviewed and revised at the direction of Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) and there will be dedicated support onsite to ensure our policies are being followed.

Will DEF CON limit attendance?

YES. If we are near capacity we will limit pre-registration. In the best interest of attendee comfort and safety we would limit attendance to ensure that proper distancing is maintained and locally mandated capacity limits are adhered to. It is recommended that you secure a badge with us when we open the badge pre-registration process.


we also actually experimented with a auction-raffle - see:

But I actually personally think a replicating voucher system like it is used for chaos communication congress/camp will be a better way in the future.

I don’t know personally but from the photos I see there are no food stands Google Maps

Hard to see from Google Maps and could be nice to hear from someone who has been inside ICC.

Catering probably easier but it looks possible to have a space or part of a floor where food vendors could set up. Example: Google Maps

DC 29 was a special one with COVID and attendance was ~8,700 instead of ~25,000. It probably was very hard to forecast how much attendance would be.

For Devcon 7, around how many people is forecasted?
If in Istanbul, if I simplify to #floors, is it 2, 3, 3.5 floors of the ICC? Whatever is forecasted, maybe worth considering a buffer of 33% to 50%? So an extra 1 or 0.5 floors?
Forecasts can be hard and I know that the team responsible for it don’t want to make a “mistake”, but people understand that Devcon attendance probably has not stabilized to something more predictable.

Sounds good. I will try to look for where to learn more about this.

Forecasts are really hard - scaling is really hard.
Especially after DEVCon6 being such a success - I guess a lot of more people want to attend DEVCon7. But you also cannot just scale up such an event to infinity - in the end it will not be fun to anyone. There will still be choke points - like certain workshops/talks that then will have huge lines and maybe critical people not being able to attend. I think there is still a bit of room to grow - but I do not think it can be scaled up so that we can allow unlimited walk-ins.
One thing I already suggested is day-passes to time-multiplex. This can also be nice for locals as these tickets can be cheaper and in the end will allow us to get more people in.
But I think we should sell all tickets in pre-sale to have good numbers of attendees. This improves planning and resource usage.

One of the core aims of DevCon is to build the ecosystem in the host country, right?

I have heard that DevCon has done well at this in the past countries (though I don’t live in any of those countries and can’t see how things changed day to day), but one of the ways to maximally help growth is to do more over time. So rather than just one massive conference, why not try to do a DevCon-lite the year before (or the year afterwards to follow up with a lot of the connections that were made there)?

Including a pre- or post-year lite version could also help the horizontal expansion of the event rather than a vertical expansion where at each conference 1k additional people attend.

This idea is not bad - but I am not sure it will be possible work-load wise for the team as a separate event is a huge workload.

I imagine that this would not be as much work as another totally separate event, because a lot of the knowledge, research and connections would already have been done/created.

For example if a lite version is done the previous year, then for the main DevCon event the team would already know the local venues, the potential travel issues visitors may encounter, and would also have working relationships with local event organisers/devs. So the work involved in organising the main event would drop, the number of travel/other issues would be reduced, and the quality of DevCon itself might also improve too.

And then it would help develop the local ecosystem even more, which I believe is the core aim of DevCon

Like the ideas you’ve posted.

Checking are you aware of Devconnect ? It does sound like for the near term the Devcon organizers have full plates with Devcon and Devconnect.
Devconnect 2023 if there is one, has not been announced.

Like the ideas you’ve posted but another issue that many probably see is that there are still many places for Devcon (and Devconnect) to reach. It is a good idea that Devcon-lite could be a practice for Devcon, but choosing the same place twice has an opportunity cost / tradeoff.

I think it is quite interesting to consider Devcon 2023 in Amsterdam, and Devconnect 2023 in Istanbul, and Devcon 2024 Istanbul. First reactions of people are probably not a good tradeoff (why choose Amsterdam and Istanbul twice): IMHO choosing twice does not seem as bad as it first looks.
But a potential logistic challenge I see is that Devconnect is around Q2, and Devconnect is Q3/Q4: what is well in Q2, might not be as well in Q3/Q4…

A forum topic on the core aims also seems worthwhile to discuss and make explicit. Another angle to it is Your Devcon aspirations

EDIT: Devconnect was not intended to be Devcon-lite, but a variety of community events etc... But I think it's possible for Devconnect to be Devcon-lite without losing some of what Devconnect wanted, like the surrounding events organized by the community.
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