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DEF CON Hacking Conference

Village FAQ

So you want to be a village?


You have a great idea for showing hackers new tricks? Teaching a new skill? You want people to think differently after some hands on with something new you or your crew are working on?

At DEF CON we love to promote unique spaces for hackers to get hands on experience in many diverse subjects. Having a place to meet and connect with subject matter experts, tools, equipment, makes hacking accessible to all attendees.

If you are considering applying to become a village at DEF CON this FAQ will help you get started.

What does DEF CON want villages to be?

Villages to be open to all attendees, provide hands on content, experiences, and exploration you can't find in a book or a video online. They should always answer the question "what does this have to do with hacking?" They should always have an activity that someone who knows nothing about your subject can walk in and do something that teaches them something about your passion.

What are the requirements?

  • Answer the question "what does this have to do with hacking?"
  • Have hands-on learning activities.
  • Villages hours of operation should match con hours: Friday to Sat 10:00 - 18:00, Sunday 10:00 to 15:00.
  • Do not sell items, have vendors, sponsor exhibits, or peddle wares within. If you want to sell coordinate with vendors@defcon.org
  • Is not a job fair or stealth marketing exercise.
  • Must abide by the DEF CON official rules and policies. (Code of conduct, Privacy, Press rules, Sponsorships, etc.)
  • Be open to any DEF CON attendee with a badge.
  • Staffed appropriately with hackers that are vetted by the village organizers.
  • Meet any safety and logistical requirements as requested by the venue.

What support does a village get?

  • Villages get premium event space that is paid for by DEF CON.
  • Villages get badges for volunteers and speakers (the number varies).
  • Some village talks may be recorded at DEF CON expense.
  • Some equipment is provided based on need and availability.
  • Villages join a social community of other village organizers where planning and questions can be coordinated and answered.

If you will need support from us on something specific, please ask in your application we may be able to assist by sharing or contributing resources.

What about talk recordings?

Some village talks are recorded by DEF CON at no cost to you. Unfortunately because the recording spaces we have are limited to the labor we can hire within a day not all talks from all villages can be recorded. How many of your talks that will be recorded depend on location, budget, and timing. Generally speaking we aim for eight hours of recording per village.

Village talk areas are granted:
2 speakers on stands, 2 wired mics, 1 mixer, 1 Screen, 1 podium.
Village talk areas will have no more than 3 microphones.
(Lavalier microphone available on request, Village is responsible for it's care)

If you want to have all your talks recorded and included on the DEF CON site you can pay the DEF CON contracted recording company separately. If you wish to hire an independent provider you will need to arrange with us to verify that they meet Vegas hotel & labor requirements for the venue.

What does it cost?

Vegas is not cheap and there are costs associated to running a village. They can vary depending on your size and goals, anywhere from $500 to $200,000. To get started on a village the first year most just want 4 walls and bring a lot of "If you build it they will come" hacker spirit.

However, in some cases you need more than a good attitude so we have created a cost guide for logistical planning purposes. Please keep in mind that these are cost estimations, prices and fees could vary depending on which hotel space you are assigned.

Audio Visual?

All rented audio visual equipment MUST be rented through the hotel's in house company, ENCORE, and arranged through DEF CON via your Village Lead. Bringing in outside rented equipment is not allowed in our contract.

The good news is DEF CON will cover some or all of your AV costs that support hands on interactive hacking. This may include renting or providing projectors, screens, microphones, sound reinforcement, etc. To help us best allocate resources your village AV requests must be outlined on your Village floor plan. DEF CON will let you know in advance what we can provide and what you will be responsible for.

ENCORE Cost Examples:
LCD projector $650 per day
Podium $300 per day
52" Monitor $910 per day
6'x6' screen $80 per day
Pipe and drape $225 per day, per 16 foot panel
Set up and Strike Labor: $99 per hour

What about other stuff?

Some villages bring in cars, fly drones, have soldering stations, or have complex networking requirements. Just let us know what you envision and we can start working together to see what is possible, both logistically and economically.

What is an "Official" DEF CON village?

You may see some villages advertised as "Official" meaning that DEF CON is responsible for all the costs and logistics.

What about village parties?

We love them, parties are awesome. That said, not every village is logistically able to throw a public party in their village space. Parties can be logistically tricky if a room needs to be flipped from a daytime space to a nighttime space and can cost thousands of dollars in labor.

To avoid these issues might need to have your party in a different DEF CON location from your village. Warning: There are many rules involved in regard to hotel compliance, food and beverage rules, etc.

If you want to throw a party in your space or elsewhere please let us know in your initial application so that we can try to help. You will be required to fill out a DEF CON Parties application (parties@defcon.org) in conjunction with your Village application for party approval.

What about village sponsors?

As a village you are welcome to find sponsors to help pay for your needs that exceed what DEF CON is able to contribute, but there are some restrictions.

Please see the "Sponsorship Guidelines & Suggestions" page.

How do I apply?

Excited? Interested? If you are starting a brand new village or you have previously been accepted before, please fill out a fresh application for the current year's Call for Villages.