After much anticipation, we are thrilled to finally announce we are returning for our 9th year on Nov 9th and 10th 2018.
We are staying at DTCC, but trying out a new section of the building that is easily accessible, directly inside the main college entrance. The A wing contains 3 conference center rooms that seat about 60 people each and will house our main track rooms and any classes we hold in A112, A114, and A116. Additionally we have 7 regular sized classrooms upstairs A200,202,204,206,208, 210, 212. The stairs and elevator are centrally located in and near the college lobby, and these classrooms are located directly above the conference rooms. This will allow us to spread out a bit more, including chill out spaces, as we are right around the cafeteria and close to the enclosed courtyard. We will be adding a speaker room, and splitting SpawnCamp into two rooms that better focus and separation between structured and unstructured activities. Our usual villages, Forensic and LockPick, Pros Vs Joes CTF, and Wireless CTF will also maintain their dedicated spaces.
An attrition analysis of last year’s free and paid ticket sales showed that about 65% of paid ticket holders attended the conference, while closer to 50% of free ticket holders attended the conference. As this has allowed us to more efficiently plan resources and helps us to continue being able to operate the conference, the $5 per day pricing structure will continue for 2018. We are continuing to look for ways to keep Security BSides Delaware sustainable and accessible to everyone and welcome your feedback and volunteer assistance. Based on our capacity limits, we will attempt to make some tickets available for free closer to the conference dates, and will consider detailed requests from hard working students and job seekers looking to network.
There has been some spirited discussion on Twitter in the past year or more about the availability of womens shirt sizes at conferences. While we have always used a unisex style T that fits many genders and body types pretty well, we did add an option for womens and youth shirt styles last year and had a few takers. Despite the number of women and kids in attendance and on staff last year, quite a few shirts were left over that will spend a year in a storage unit that has a monthly recurring cost and limited free space for things that potentially no one wants. However many times over we pay for a shirt in storage costs does not really help to further diversity in the industry any more than if it was never made available in the first place to a person that really wanted it and felt excluded because it was not available. It’s a challenge finding the right balance. Some observations from the shirt ordering process that may explain the lack of availability at other conferences or the lack of desire for the shirts we had available last year: women’s T shirt sizing is more complicated and between brands is very unreliable in how sizes align with most men’s/unisex sizing. It can be psychologically undesirable for a women who wears one size in a men’s/unisex style to need to go up 2 or 3 sizes in a women’s cut T to find a size that fits. The women’s T shirts we ordered were more expensive as blank shirts and the smaller kids shirts were more expensive to produce such that we had to skip the smallest ones to avoid paying a $220 extra for resizing the screen print templates to ink 2 shirts. It was hard and kind of icky knowing exactly which youngsters on the registration list would have to settle for a slightly larger shirt because we couldn’t order their requested size. Although we received no feedback about that regretful decision, this year we’re making the art smaller for all the shirts and seeing how that goes, our shirt vendor disagrees and warned us it may look comically small on larger adult shirts, but think of the children! Even though we also pay more for larger shirts, we know it would not go over well with an audience to charge proportionately more for shirts based on size, gender or age, so that cost and risk of waste falls to the organizer…things you probably never cared to know unless you too someday will need to order a few hundred shirts. We’ll continue this experiment again for 2018 in a continued effort to make everyone feel as welcome as they have always been to Security BSides Delaware, but with the knowledge that it will cost us a little bit more to do so and has almost nothing to do with information security. We’re not entirely sure sure if that’s the best or only way (financially speaking or otherwise) to inclusively serve our community, so again we welcome your feedback and volunteer efforts to make this conference the best it can be for everyone that already knows and loves it or wants to get to know what Security BSides Delaware is all about.