DEF CON 30 Preparation

Step 1: Choose the days you’ll be staying

There are other conferences going on before and after the conference.

Step 2: Choose your hotel

Take a look at the hotels that DEF CON has cut a deal with

  • The LINQ
  • Harrah’s
  • Flamingo
  • Bally
  • Paris
  • Planet Hollywood
  • Caesars Palace

The Website says DEF CON will take place at “Caesars Forum, Flamingo, Linq, and Harrah’s”

You could stay at another location, as long as you have access to the metro, it stops right outside of the Caesars Forum.

If you are trying to save money, you can stay off the strip or split the room cost.

I personally like staying at Tuscany which is where BSidesLV has been held for the last few years.

Step 3: Book your flight and or car rental

The sooner you book your flight the cheaper it will be.

If you are driving, you will also have to pay for parking anytime you stay at a casino on the strip.

Step 4: Build your agenda

Take a look at the Talks you are interested in and have 1 or 2 things you want to attend each day.

  • Presentations
  • Demos
  • Hands on Workshops
  • Villages
  • Contests
  • Parties


There is more to DEF CON then what you can experience in 1 year!

Take a look at the forms to follow how things are progressing.

If parties are your jam, you’ll want to follow the twitter account @defconparties for up to date info and a awesome calendar with all the known parties.

Step 5: Plan the time off

You will need to take time off, get your backups in place and with your employer, Significant other, Parents or whoever to make sure you can go.

If part of your job is with security or you have the possibility that your employer will send/reimburse your trip, you should write a justification letter to pitch the idea. You’ll want to include

  • DEF CON can count toward your earning continuing education credits (CPEs, CEUs, ECEs, PDUs).
  • You can Expand your knowledge
  • Learn new skills
  • Meet & Network with Security Professionals
  • Cost breakdown

Step 6: Plan your budget

This conference is largely run with cash, while over the years it’s started accepting platic(Debit and Credit Cards) you’ll still want to bring some cash with you.

Step 7: Plan your meals

You will pay premium price for food when in the casinos.
If you are going on a budget, bring your own protein bars, snacks and such.
One of the places I make a point to go eat at, is an amazing burger joint inside of Paris called Burger Brasserie.

Step 8: Plan your drinking

You will be in the desert, you will need to drink plenty of water.
Bring your own reusable water bottle, and you can refill it almost anywhere.
If you are going to go out drinking, I’d highly suggest a drinking buddy to have your back.
If you are doing it on a budget, bring your own ice chest and go buy your beer at a big box store.

Step 9: Get involved

Go have fun, ask questions, talk with people!
Some of my best memories are meeting people in #LINECON (when you are waiting in line to buy the ticker or get into a presentation)
Stay humble in this crowd, if you don’t know about something, ask questions instead of faking it.
There are a lot of people willing to teach you something new.
Don’t spoil that opportunity by acting like a know-it-all (1337 h4x0r attitude).

Step 10: Know & Practice the 3-2-1 Rule

3 hours of sleep
2 meals a day
1 shower

There is more to cover but for now, I’ll leave you with DEF CON’s official FAQ

Posted by Gater_Byte

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