Friday I hosted BSIDESMO at the Capitol. We had about 80 people show up for a day full of good talks. To be honest it was more work, more fun and ran way smoother than I thought it would for the first time I have done something like this.
An ounce of planning is worth more than a pound of running around looking for a DVI to VGA cable.
The security community is a real community. I heard “Is there anything I can help you with” at least 50 times Friday.
People told me:
They loved the venue of the capitol.
They loved that the talks were practitioner focused. It worked great for area and the group of people who showed up.
They loved that it was free.
What went wrong?:
They didn’t like that the pizza was 30 minutes late.
(Hungry security people can get surly!)
I didn’t put enough thought into the registration process.
(Apparently we do need stinkin’ badges.)
I didn’t have enough diet soda or mountain dew.
(Is there ever enough?)
What to work on:
Talk scheduling was the one complaint I heard. It was along the line of “I would have liked to have seen both of these talks”.
Hold a pre-conference social time for those coming in the night before and leaving after the last talk.
Find a way to build value for the sponsors and the attendees without commercializing the event.