Celebrity Travel: Talking Up

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Celebrity Travel:

Every 300 and sixty five days I attempt and give at the least one presentation. (Closing 300 and sixty five days, I gave eight!) Nonetheless, for the outdated few years, these had been closed-door events — mostly for specialised groups, such a law enforcement and fraud investigators. This 300 and sixty five days, I deem I desire to talk about at a conference that is commence to a significant wider audience.

I’ve been having a deem at diverse conferences for a while. To this level, I’ve passed on every name for talks. Possibly I’m too picky… but I truly grasp a brief listing of issues that I’m searching to search out when presenting at a conference. (Present: These only say when I’m speaking at a conference and no longer when I’m factual attending.)

1. Jog

I abominate roam, but to find it irresistible when I come. Sadly, the total airline roam task looks worse every 300 and sixty five days, and TSA’s mixture of incompetence, ineptitude, pettiness, and randomness fills me with fear. It be worse when going worldwide: carrying any roughly tech (cell phone, computer computer, and so forth.) past TSA is with out a doubt taking half in roulette — will they confiscate my tools and might I glean it motivate intact? It is no longer with out a doubt significant that I’m a US citizen; I’ve heard too many alarm tales about TSA for worldwide travelers.

For now, I’d admire something home (soundless a TSA bother, but no longer as unhealthy). And within Colorado is a definite plus.

2. Payment

I even grasp bother working out journals that mark authors for publishing papers. If I’m offering the written bid material and moreover they kind cash by selling my bid material, then why must soundless I even must pay to be published? By the same formula, I kind no longer deem audio system at conferences must soundless pay to most contemporary. If the conference can’t kind a make the most of attendees, advertisers, and vendors, then they’re doing something tainted.

By formula of conferences, the total thing expenses cash. Airfare is pricey. Hotels are pricey. Autos and transportation are pricey. Meals is pricey. And conference admission is mostly pricey. Generally, presenting at a conference is much from free.

For me, if the conference doesn’t explicitly yell that it waves admission for audio system, then I’d no longer bother submitting a chat. And if the conference doesn’t quilt at the least portion of the expenses for audio system, then I most likely can’t win the cash for to talk about there.

Ten years within the past, some conferences supplied a speaker’s price or honorarium. I see that as repayment for diverse expenses. (I’m no longer a celeb who can converse $100K for a chat.) Completely different conferences would quilt air and a few nights resort for audio system.

But as I acknowledged, that used to be ten years within the past. As of late?


  • Shaded Hat Briefings soundless offers advantages to audio system. These consist of free admission (to serve the $2500 conference), $1000 honorarium for a 50-minute talk about, roam repayment (one economy-class spherical-time out airfare, capped at $1000 home or $1300 worldwide), and three nights resort. As speaker advantages hotfoot, this is the gold-plated Cadillac of conferences.

  • RSA dilapidated to give the same perks to Shaded Hat. But as far as I’m in a position to converse, nowadays they merely give free admission. As a speaker, you is most likely soundless on the hook for roam and resort.

  • Shmoocon offers audio system free admission and a $200 honorarium per talk about. (If you happen to’ve got 3 audio system to your panel, then you will wish to fight over the $200.) In my see, $200 is a extremely tremendous provide. But it with out a doubt expenses bigger than $200 to fly from Colorado to DC. A single night resort within the DC space is spherical $200. And this doesn’t consist of food or transportation. Generally, this is an infinite provide for folks who’re native to the DC space, but it with out a doubt is no longer with out a doubt ideally gracious for any person outdoors the DC space.

  • Bsides are a series of conferences that shadow diverse significant conferences. (For these of you passe enough to keep in mind vinyl records, if the most significant conference is the A-aspect, then this is the B-aspect.) As far as I’m in a position to converse, all Bsides (BsidesCharm, BsidesAustin, and so forth.) only present free admission. They discontinue no longer provide honorariums or roam assistance.

  • DEF CON offers one free admission and spherical $600 to audio system (both as cash or as three free admissions to your chums). That can quilt my air roam and portion of the resort expenses.

Set in thoughts, I’m no longer searching to flip a profit by giving a presentation, and I with out a doubt don’t query to glean rich this kind. I factual don’t desire to be out-of-pocket by $2000 because I needed to talk about for an hour at a conference. As expenses hotfoot, if I’m in a position to’t win an angel sponsor, then I’m in a position to’t win the cash for to most contemporary at most conferences.

Nonetheless, there might be one other explanation for presenting that diverse folks might desire to keep in thoughts. As an instance, tickets for Shmoocon promote out with out a doubt like a flash. This 300 and sixty five days, they sold out the principle spherical of 500 tickets in 6.Forty six seconds. If you happen to perchance can’t hotfoot as an attendee, then you is most likely ready to cross as a speaker. With this 300 and sixty five days’s Shmoocon and Epilogue conferences, I deem the percentages had been greater for attending as a speaker (and getting free admission) than for shopping a mark to serve earlier than they sold out.

3. Time and Voice

It be phenomenal the varied of conferences that don’t present current files. Dates and venues are easy to search out. But how long are the speaker slots? And discontinue they wish a white paper or copy of my slides? A lot of the runt and mid-sized conferences appear to forget to consist of this files.

In my belief, I’m entirely overjoyed with a 45-60 minute presentation. But 20 minutes or less is maybe no longer price the time out. I’ve viewed some conferences that desire ninety-A hundred and twenty minute talks. That’s a huge amount of cloth and prep work. (A 60 minute presentation in most cases takes me 1-2 months to originate.) But when conferences don’t listing the slot periods, it leaves the speaker guessing. As an instance, Shmoocon Epilogue did no longer listing the periods. You may only learn the periods by having a deem at their outdated schedules: talks appear to be 20, 30, Fifty five, or 60 minutes.

Many conferences also hotfoot over what desires to be supplied until after you conform to most contemporary. As an instance, discontinue they wish a white paper? That takes time to write. Enact they want a replica of my slides? My slides are built-in into my machine, so exporting them is non-trivial. I will also toddle into copyright factors with regards to among the fabric. (Beautiful Exhaust formula I’m in a position to employ quite lots of the characterize examples for instructional capabilities, but distribution in conference handouts is a sure voice — seriously if the conference sells the handouts.) And what a couple of stay demo? Stay demos in most cases discontinue no longer convert to slides thoroughly.

The top most likely thing that conferences appear factual at describing are the subject issues they wish. Most conferences listing sample subject issues of curiosity. I employ this to search out out if they’ll deem my have subject is attention-grabbing. Nonetheless, I also employ their subject listing to rule out conferences. I did no longer say to Epilogue since the listing of most likely subject issues had been heavy on hardware and low layer protocols. Various the stuff I’m doing within the mean time are session and application layer. (This conference also made no demonstrate about admission, honorariums, monetary assistance, or how long audio system must soundless talk about. So I made up my thoughts it wasn’t a factual match for me.)

Completely in Class?

Of all of these conferences, I’m within the mean time leaning toward DEF CON or Shaded Hat. Moreover serving to to quilt roam-associated expenses, I’m definite to glean lots out of both conference. I’ve introduced at the Shaded Hat Briefings on 5 diverse occasions, but I’ve never spoken at DEF CON. While I might attempt and discontinue both Shaded Hat and DEF CON (the conferences grasp quite lots of overlap), being out of the gap of work for 10 days is factual formula too long. I’m in a position to discontinue one conference or the varied, but no longer both.

I’m within the mean time leaning toward DEF CON because I’ve never spoken there. (Their CFP hasn’t opened but). Nonetheless, this option has some downsides. As an instance:


  • Dimension: DEF CON has with out a doubt grown too colossal. It be within the mean time in three separate resorts in Las Vegas. (Even adjoining resorts are on the total too far to lunge.) With my luck, I will be staying in a single resort and use all of my time in a sure resort.

  • Adversarial: I’m self employed. Meaning I’m in a position to’t use days offline. DEF CON does grasp a free community, but it with out a doubt’s known as “the most opposed community within the sphere” for factual cause; every hacker in metropolis is on it, and the Wall of Sheep posts every login credential that they peek. With DEF CON in metropolis, you can’t even believe diverse wireless networks. Even the usage of something just like the records thought on my phone is no longer with out a doubt expedient; too many folks carry their have femtocells and hijack cell phone connections. I will want a burner phone, burner computer computer, and some roughly well-behaved community. (“Safe” as in fewer conference attendees screwing with it.)

  • Las Vegas: My least well-liked metropolis. I’ve had cabbies who do no longer know where they are going and $50 meals that left me hungry. All the pieces is formula too pricey and formula too loud. (You know that ringing to your ears after attending a concert? You may maybe glean that factual by walking by procedure of a on line casino.) In my belief, I’m no longer into playing, spicy, medication, and prostitutes, so there might be no longer with out a doubt significant left to discontinue. Both I use all of my time at the conference, or I sit down spherical bored. But on the plus aspect, I do know quite lots of folks and on the total chat up strangers. (Safe tip: food strains are long all by procedure of DEF CON. If you happen to is most likely by myself, stand in line at a cafe and seek files from a table for four. Then sit down up for a couple diverse conference attendees ask for a table for 3. Poof: instantaneous company for lunch.)

For DEF CON, I even grasp undoubtedly one of many uncommon

shadowy badges

. Those are given to contest winners a



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