Category: Congress (page 2 of 68)

36c3 Assembly Anreise

fairydust in glass hall

Bild von Yves Sorge.

English version below.

Hallo liebe Assemblies,

bitte beachtet, dass ihr — wenn ihr auf das Gelände fahren wollt — unbedingt ab dem 27.12. ein Bändchen braucht, sonst lässt euch die Pforte nicht auf das Gelände. Desweiteren brauchen wir von euch die Kennzeichen von den Fahrzeugen mit denen ihr auf das Gelände fahren wollt. Bitte schickt euer Kennzeichen in einer Mail an oder ruft uns unter 0341-39294864 an, die Pforte lässt nur angemeldete Fahrzeuge passieren.

Die Einfahrt auf das Gelände erfolgt über Tor Süd 1, ihr könnt dann direkt zu den Hallen fahren. Wo euer Assembly ist, erfahrt ihr auf c3nav. Zum Entladen nutzt bitte die Logistikflächen vor den Hallentoren Halle 2 – Gate 2.5, Halle 2 – Gate 2.6 and Halle 3 – Gate 3.6. Dort findet ihr Engel mit Hubwägen und Paletten, die euch helfen euer Zeug zu eurer Assembly zu bewegen. Bitte belegt die Hubwägen und zugehörige Palette nur so lange wie nötig. Es reisen in sehr kurzer Zeit sehr viele Assemblies an.

Bitte beachtet zudem, dass euer Fahrzeug maximal 45 Minuten auf dem Gelände verbringen darf, ansonsten verlangt die Messe Gebühren von euch.

Zum Thema Abfälle und Glasbruch gibt es übrigens die Event Wiki Trash Seite.

English Version

Dear Assemblies,

please be aware that you need to have your congress-wristband to enter the premises starting from 27.12. Furthermore we need the number plates of the cars with which you intend to deliver stuff. Please send them as a mail to or call us at 0341-39294864, the gate will only let declared cars pass.

Entry to the premises has to happen via Gate Süd 1, from there you’re able to drive directly to the halls. You can look up which hall your assembly is placed in using c3nav. Please use the logistics area in front of Hall 2 – Gate 2.5, Hall 2 – Gate 2.6 and Hall 3 – Gate 3.6 to unload. There you will find Angels with pallet trucks which can help you transporting your stuff to your assigned space. Please occupy them as little as possible, a good many assemblies will arrive in short order.

Additionally do keep in mind that your vehicle must at most spend 45 minutes on premise, afterwards the Messe will charge you fees.

One last thing: you can find informations about trash and broken glass on the Event Wiki Trash page.

C3GSM wants you to test yesterday’s future, today!

tl;dr: we will operate our own cellular network at 36C3. Bring your
mobile phone(s) and C3SIM card(s). Check the Wiki for latest status and device support.

Like previous years at 36C3 the C3GSM team will run a local cellular
network for mobile phones, alongside the
POC’s DECT system and the NOC’s IPv4 and IPv6 systems. As core network
for our cellular network we use the open source projects osmocom (for
2G/3G) and NextEPC (for 4G). There will only be a very limited number of
SIM cards available to buy. However, cards from previous CCC events can
be used, so please don’t forget to bring them.

As always, we had to ask commercial operators for permission to use some
of their parts of the spectrum, which unfortunately has been completely
sold to very few commercial operators.
We got permission to use 5 MHz of the 850 MHz band, which we will use
for 2G/3G and 10 MHz on the 2600 MHz band for 4G (LTE).

That was rather unfortunate news, as we cannot use a 2G or 3G frequency
which is common in Europe. As 850 Mhz is a frequency commonly used in
the US, some of you will not have a phone which can be used for voice
calls as we don’t support voice over LTE yet.

This also means that contrary to our plans (and for a first time since
many years), this year will not see full 2G coverage of the venue, so
that some very old phones may not work in our network at all.

If you have spare old phones, you are willing to donate to the public,
you are encouraged to throw them in our phone dumpster near the GSM
helpdesk. Remember to wipe all your personal data before and attach a
power adapter if not usb-esque.

Looking forward to route your calls and mobile data in Leipzig! For
questions and support visit the GSM helpdesk Also, we would like to hear
your feedback. Even if things don’t work as expected. Maybe especially
then! ;)

Self-Organized-Sessions open to get filled by you!

Self-Organized-Sessions are your chance to present a topic that is dear to you in a way that works best for you: It may be a workshop or a lecture, it may be a discussion, but it could also be a contest or a game. You can choose any duration between as short as 30 minutes and up to 3 hours.

Choose any topic you care about – your favorite programming language, a hobby you’ve started hacking, or a discussion group to find friends with similar interests – expand the topics and the program of 36C3!

Please head on to the Wiki and enter your session to contribute your bit to a diverse and versatile Chaos Communication Congress!

„Chaos macht Schule“ – Junghackertag am 28. Dezember

english version below

Mit dem Hacken kann man nicht früh genug beginnen, deshalb richtet „Chaos macht Schule“ am 28. Dezember von 10 bis 17 Uhr wie in den Vorjahren den Junghackertag aus. In diversen Assemblies findet ein speziell auf junge Menschen ausgerichtetes Programm statt, bei dem gelötet, geschraubt, Roboter gebaut, programmiert oder an mathematischen Beweisen getüftelt wird.

Um jungen Menschen einen ersten Einblick zu ermöglichen, gibt es spezielle Tickets zum Junghackertag. Kinder und Jugendliche unter 18 Jahren können für sich und bei Bedarf eine erwachsene Begleitperson ab dem 10. Dezember 2019, 18 Uhr unter ein Ticket vorbestellen. Falls dies auch für eine erwachsene Begleitperson gelten soll, muss es zusammen mit dem Jugendlichen an der Kasse eingelöst werden. Das Ticket enthält kein Nahverkehrsticket in Leipzig. Dieses Ticket gilt nur für den Junghackertag. Die Anzahl der Tickets ist begrenzt. Wer bereits über ein Congressticket verfügt oder unter 12 Jahren alt ist und über seine Eltern auf den Congress kommt, benötigt keine gesonderte Eintrittskarte für den Junghackertag.

Das genauere Programm gibt es ab 24. Dezember 2019 auf Viele Workshops bedürfen einer Anmeldung, bei manchen Workshops reicht es aber auch, einfach zu Beginn am richtigen Ort zu sein. Infos zu den Anmeldemöglichkeiten gibt es dann ebenfalls auf der Infoseite. Der Junghackertag beginnt mit einer gemeinsamen Auftaktveranstaltung um 10 Uhr. Dort werden die an diesem Tag angebotenen Workshops kurz vorgestellt. Die Workshop-Sprache ist ganz überwiegend deutsch, obliegt aber im einzelnen den einzelnen Assemblies, die die Workshops veranstalten.

Für Berliner Schüler gibt es zudem eine Reisegruppe, welche eine gemeinsame Hin- und Rückreise nach Leipzig anbietet. Diese wird von ehrenamtlichen Lehrern und Eltern begleitet, so dass dies auch Jugendlichen den Junghackertag ermöglicht, deren Eltern sie nicht begleiten können. Die Gruppe verfügt über ein eigenes Ticketkontigent. Diese können bis zum 13. Dezember 2019 gebucht werden. Infos hierzu gibt es unter Die Tickets sind auch hier kostenfrei. Es fallen nur die Fahrtkosten an.

Bei Fragen kannst du dich an wenden.

English version

Youth Hacking Day at 36C3

You cannot possibly start hacking soon enough! That’s why “Chaos macht Schule”—the German initiative by the Chaos Computer Club to take Hacking into schools—runs Youth Hacking Day at December 28th 2019 from 10:00 to 17:00 CET at 36C3. Several assemblies provide workshops for young hackers, ranging from soldering to building robots, but also covering more traditional subjects like programming or mathematical puzzles.

To give youth a first glimpse of what it’s like at one of the biggest hacker conferences in the world, there will be special tickets for Youth Hacking Day—like in previous years. Children under 18 can grab one for themselves and an accompanying adult starting December 10th 2019, 18:00 CET, at Tickets for accompanying adults have to be redeemed at the cashdesk together with that of the child. Tickets for Youth Hacking Day do not include public transport tickets for Leipzig and only allow entrance to 36C3 on December 28th. The total number of available tickets is capped. Children under twelve or youth who already have a valid ticket for 36C3 do not need a special ticket for Youth Hacking Day.

The exact schedule will be published on December 24th 2019 on Many workshops require prior signup, while for some it is enough to be at the correct location on time. Information on the signup process for the workshops will be available on the overview website as well. Youth Hacking Day starts with a collective opening event at 10:00 AM CET, where all planned workshops will be introduced briefly.

The organizers of Youth Hacking Day—Chaos macht Schule—aim for technophilia and digital responsibility among youth since 2007. Having fun with technology is their biggest priority. A large number of assemblies like “Jugend hackt” and Kidsspace support Chaos macht Schule in offering this opportunity.

Please note that Youth Hacking Day is an offer aimed more towards locals from in and around Leipzig, so workshops and additional information may only be offered in German. Although individual attention is possible depending on the assemblies that offer sessions, please contact them directly to learn more about what is possible.

If there are any questions left unanswered, you may contact

Meet the 36C3 track team “Resilience and Sustainability”

We’re 36C3’s Resilience and Sustainability content team and want to show you just our bit of work that helped making this year’s Fahrplan as amazing as it has turned out.

Our team consists of hackers and scientists, tinkerers and PhDs and was formed for 34C3 when we felt that the conference was developing a blind spot between complete destruction of all the IT things and the fascinations for the resulting apocalypse. We wanted to give a stage to new and shiny useful technology for a better and more resilient world – with actual prototypes!

This year’s motto “resource exhaustion” added a perspective on sustainability to the track – even though the term is rather overloaded. There’s a plethora of conferences selling you on the most recent hypes about how machine learning, crypto currencies and the cloud will save the world, but we think that it is in the spirit of this community to question everything, think and focus on technology that will last for much longer – both physically and from a software engineering point of view. We found it fitting to see how the existing resources can be used and reused, who’s building resilient technologies that can help people in emergencies, oppressive regimes or off-grid situations, and – in a broader scope – how can we build the systems of the future not riddled by the problems of our generation.

Along the way, we hope we can make software developers think about the impact of their busy-looping JS, bad communication patterns and faulty software architecture – all of which are  significantly contributing to climate change.

The concept of resilience itself – especially combined with sustainability – is rather interdisciplinary, part hacking and making, part science and politics. This puts us in competition with other track teams trying to catch the most interesting lectures for a given subject, but also allowed us to trade slots with those teams as well, once we were running out of our allotted time budget. ;)

Next year, we hope to collect the “haveyoursay” feedback much earlier so we can incorporate your feedback and follow your suggestions for valuable speakers and topics.

While we were quite pleased with the submissions we found once CfP kicked off, our curation process started way earlier: Reflecting on feedback we received after 35C3, we came together in IRC and RL, brainstormed about interesting projects we heard about in the past year, thought about relevant topics and identified speakers worth having.

Even then, the speakers we “invited” still had to go through our rigorous curation process. After all, our team received a total of 74 lecture submissions and had to narrow them down into only 15 hours (in 18 lectures) of 36C3 programme. We vetted each submitter, trying to make sense of their submission, read their papers, ask and answer questions and spend the remaining time meeting and coordinating with all the other track teams, before finally writing this blog post! If we add up all the time spent preparing our 18 lecture foot steps in the Fahrplan, we’re looking at one or two weeks full time work for each of us.

In the end we’re quite proud of the topics we could cover this year. Of course, we’re still not short of topics to cover next year :-) It’s time for more critical reflection of wastefulness within the computer nerd scene and how we can minimise the environmental impact of our C3s and Camps in the years to come.

36C3 Phone registration is open

english version below

Wir freuen uns, euch mitzuteilen, dass trotz Resource Exhaustion die Registrierung der Telefon-Nebenstellen für den 36. Chaos Communication Congress geöffnet ist. Entgegen sonderlicher Meldungen in diesen sozialen Medien auch ohne Voucher :-). Ihr könnt eure DECT, SIP oder GSM Nebenstelle im Generic User Registration Utility (GURU) registrieren. Die Anmeldung eurer Geräte vor Ort könnt ihr wie im letzten Jahr selbst vornehmen. Vergesst eure Geräte und Ladegeräte nicht, denn auch in diesem Jahr möchten wir die 6488 Nebenstellen vom Vorjahr knacken. Damit ihr motiviert werdet, eure Telefonie-Endgeräte mitzubringen, werden wir euch mit kleinen Videos auf unserem Twitter-Kanal bis zum Kongress begleiten. Das erste ist schon online.

Eventphone 36c3 LogoWe are pleased to inform you that even with Resource Exhaustion the registration of telephone extensions for the 36th Chaos Communication Congress is open. Don’t get confused by the social media, it works without any voucher :-). You can claim your DECT, SIP or GSM extension in the Generic User Registration Utility (GURU). Like last year, you can register your devices on site yourself. Don’t forget your devices and chargers, chasing records, this year we want to break last year’s 6488 extensions.

Stay connected!

Call for Angels für den 36C3 Aufbau und Abbau

English version below.


Der Aufbau und Abbau des 36C3 braucht Engel!

Wenn ihr beim Aufbau helfen wollt, kommt ab dem 18.12. zum Messegelände und meldet euch beim Heaven im CCL oder in Halle 4 für Infos.

Bringt euch warme Arbeitskleidung und feste Schuhe mit. Bonuspunkte gibt’s für Sicherheitsschuhe!
Seid vorsichtig – der Aufbau ist eine Baustelle! Achtet auf euch und andere, haltet Abstand von Maschinen und Fahrzeugen und lasst eure Haustiere zuhause! Kommt mit euren Kindern bitte nach Möglichkeit erst zur Veranstaltung.

Wenn ihr ein paar Tage länger bleiben könnt und euch ewige Karmabonuspunkte verdienen wollt, helft beim Abbau! Der Abbau startet nach der Closing Ceremony und dauert bis zum 05.01.2020, sprich weniger als die Hälfte der Aufbauzeit. Also brauchen wir im Abbau alle Engel, die wir kriegen können. Mehr Infos zum Abbau folgen auch noch in einem gesonderten Blogpost.

Für mehr Infos checkt die kommenden Posts im Eventblog.
Konkrete Fragen:

long version

Wie jedes Jahr brauchen wir auch für den Aufbau des 36C3 so viele helfende Hände wie möglich, damit sich die tristen Messehallen in einen bunten Chaos Communication Congress verwandeln.
Der Congressaufbau startet dieses Jahr am 16. Dezember. Die ersten 2 Tage werden die einzelnen Teams vor allem mit Ankommen und Bootstrapping beschäftigt sein, bevor wir richtig loslegen. Sinnvoll parallelisierbar wird die Baustelle erst danach. Auch die Fülle an Aufgaben ergibt sich erst im Laufe der Zeit, sodass wir vor allem den Nicht-locals empfehlen, lieber noch ein paar Tage zu entspannen und ab dem 18. Dezember zur Messe zu kommen. Keine Sorge, Arbeit gibt es ab dem Zeitpunkt jeden Tag mehr.

Was muss im Aufbau alles gemacht werden?
Es gibt eine riesige Vielfalt an Dingen, die erledigt werden müssen, sodass alle etwas finden sollten, das ihnen liegt. Teilweise sind die Tasks geplant und stehen vorher fest, aber die meisten Aufgaben ergeben sich spontan, da wir den größeren Teil schlecht vorher planen können. Vor Allem die zeitlichen Abläufe sind im Aufbau eher variabel und können sich schnell mal ändern. Deshalb gibt es auch keine Schichten im Engelsystem. Schaut einfach vor Ort, was euch liegt und ihr gerne machen wollt. Fragt am besten im Heaven im CCL nach, was gerade erledigt werden muss, und lasst euch dort mit Infos versorgen. Falls der Heaven noch nicht aufgebaut sein sollte, kommt zum Preheaven in Halle 4.

Was muss sonst noch beachtet werden?
Die Hallen sind im gesamten Aufbau unbeheizt, bringt euch also warme Kleidung mit, die dreckig werden kann, und festes, robustes Schuhwerk. Bonuspunkte gibt es für Sicherheitsschuhe mit Schutzkappe S1 oder höher. Wir haben einen kleinen Vorrat an Schutzausrüstung mit den grundlegenden Dingen, wer aber gerne seine eigenen Handschuhe, Werkzeuge, $(Sicherheits-)Gadgets hat, ist mehr als herzlich eingeladen, diese mitzubringen.
Auch, wenn beim Aufbau oft eine entspannte Atmosphäre herrscht, ruft euch bitte trotzdem immer wieder ins Gedächtnis, dass ihr euch auf einer Baustelle befindet. Achtet auf euch und die Menschen in eurer Umgebung. Haltet großzügigen Sicherheitsabstand zu den Baumaschinen, Autos und Flurförderzeugen.
Kommt mit eurem Kind bitte nach Möglichkeit erst zur Veranstaltung. Kinder sind, insbesondere unbeaufsichtigt, in den Bauabschnitten ein enormes Sicherheitsrisiko – vor allem für sich selbst. Lasst auch eure Haustiere Zuhause. Eine Veranstaltung mit fünfstelliger Zahl verkaufter Tickets ist ohnehin nicht der richtige Ort für Tiere.

Und der Abbau?
Der Abbau beginnt an Tag 4 direkt nach der closing ceremony und dauert bis zum 05.01.2020.
Gerade im Abbau brauchen wir jede Hilfe, die wir bekommen können. Alles, was in zwei Wochen in der Messe errichtet wurde, muss innerhalb von 6 Tagen wieder auf LKW verladen und abtransportiert werden – also in weniger als der Häfte der Zeit. Wir sind dankbar und freuen uns über alle Engel, die nach der Veranstaltung noch die Möglichkeit haben, ein, zwei oder mehr Tage länger zu bleiben und beim Abbau zu helfen.
Genauere Infos zum Abbau folgen im Laufe der nächsten Wochen als eigener Blogpost.

Für mehr Infos checkt die kommenden Posts im Eventblog.
Solltet ihr konkrete Fragen haben, wendet euch an

Wir sehen uns in Leipzig!
Euer LOC

English Version

Call for Angels for the 36C3 buildup and teardown


The buildup and teardown of 36C3 needs angels!

If you want to help with the buildup, you can come to Messe Leipzig from the 18th of December and show up in Heaven (CCL) or in hall 4 for info.
Bring warm clothes and solid shoes. Safety shoes, if you have some.
Be careful – buildup means the halls are construction sites! Take care of yourself and others. Stay in safe distance from vehicles and heavy machines and leave your pets at home. Please don’t bring children before the official start of the event if possible.
If you can stay a couple of days longer and want to earn eternal angel karma please help with the teardown! Teardown starts after the closing ceremony and goes on until the 5th of January, which means we have less than half the buildup time. So we need every possibly available angel. We will post more info regarding teardown on this blog soon.

For further info check the Event Blog for publications.
For concrete questions:

Long Version

Like every year we need as many angels as possible for the 36C3 buildup so that the boring halls evolve to one shiny colourful Chaos Communication Congress.
This year’s buildup starts on the 16th of December. During the first two days there will be mostly just team arrival and bootstrapping before it all really takes off. After this more parallelized tasks will show up every day. The majority of tasks take some time to surface. Because of that we ask especially the non-Leipzig-locals to rest some days instead of arriving early and come to the buildup from the 18th of December. Don’t worry, there will be more than enough to do and more with every day.

What needs to be done?
There is a huge amount of variety in the tasks that need to be done so that everyone should find themselves a topic that fits them. Some tasks have been planned before but the majority of things happens quite spontaneously because we cannot anticipate everything very well beforehand. Especially the time tables are very fluid and can change quickly at times. Because of that there is no angel system or online shift planning used during buildup. Just come over and pick a task that suits you onsite. Please ask in Heaven, which is located in the CCL, what needs to be done at the moment or get yourself some info. If Heaven is not running yet come to the Preheaven in hall 4.

What else must be observed?
The halls are not heated during buildup. Bring some warm clothes that don’t mind some dirt and bring solid shoes, bonus points for safety shoes S1 or higher. We have some personal protective equipment (PPE) to offer but if you can bring your own working gloves, tools, $(safety-)gadgets you are more than welcome to do so.
Despite the often chilled atmosphere during buildup please remember and be aware that the buildup is a construction site! Take care of yourself and the people around you and keep safe distance from heavy machines, cars, forklifts, trucks etc.
Please don’t bring children before the official start of the event if possible. Children are an immense safety risk in the construcion areas – mostly for themselves. Please also leave your pets at home. An event with 16.000 attendees isn’t the right place for animals anyway.

And the teardown?
Teardown starts on Day 4 directly after the closing ceremony and goes on until the 5th of January.
Especially during this phase we need every help we can possibly get. Everything brought into the halls during the two weeks of buildup needs to be brought out again within six days – which is less than half the amount of time. We are thankful and happy for every angel who is able to spend some more days onsite and help with tearing down this huge event.
More info especially regarding teardown will be posted on this blog soon.

For further info check the Event Blog for publications.
If you have concrete questions please contact

See you in Leipzig!
Your LOC

Behind the scenes: Chaos Communication Congress presale

A scanner, watching you. Beep!

A scanner, watching you. Beep!

Have you ever tried to solve a problem that is completely, utterly, ridiculously impossible?

Welcome to our world! We’re the team running the Chaos Communication Congress ticket sales, and we want to follow the good example set by the content teams, and explain a bit of our work.

Now, from the outside, our problems may not seem all that impossible. In fact, you may think we have very little problems indeed: We run the presale of a conference that is notoriously sold out, and that’s generally what you want when you organise an event, right? Well, yes and no. Our primary goal is neither to sell every last ticket nor to increase our prices knowing that we’ll be sold out anyways – our goal is to invite participants in a way that is consistent with the values represented by our event and our community.

The Chaos Communication Congress is first and foremost a community event. Its unique beauty as well as its unique challenges originate in the fact that we are a huge distributed anarchical group of unpaid volunteers who manage to build an event for over 16000 people, every year. To make matters even harder, our completely self-organised decentralised structures work without a single point of authority. If you think that this cannot possibly work, you’re not alone: It’s hard to explain to people on the outside, and when we try, we’re usually met with a blank stare or disbelief.

None of our Congresses would work without two overlapping, vaguely-defined groups of people: The teams who spend inordinate amounts of time before and during the event organising and working, and the local groups and hackerspaces who do a lot of great work throughout the year that has nothing to do with Congress at all. Without the people tinkering in hackerspaces, running smaller events, creating awesome new hacks, educating people, visiting schools to talk to kids, running workshops, discussing positions and organising protests … we wouldn’t have the vibrant community that turns Congress into an event without its like.

Consequently one of our goals is to make sure that both organising teams and active people from other groups have a chance of attending Congress – but at the same time, we don’t want to limit ourselves completely to people who have already done their part. We’d be completely caught in our own filter bubble, and therefore we also want Congress to be accessible to new people.

This is a tough one. Fundamentally, there cannot be a perfect solution: We sell less tickets than people want to buy and our community grows larger every year. Period. Which means that some people will not be able to buy a ticket, no matter how much they want to, or how good a fit they’d be for the event.

Possible solutions to this are manifold: We could turn the event into a private event only for people who are already part of the community. We could just increase our ticket prices until the demand balances with the available tickets. We could go by “seniority” within the community, or by capability by introducing artificial technical barriers (a quiz? a hidden ticket sales server via ssh?). We could insist on a personal recommendation from a trusted person, or expand this into a dystopian voting system where only people with a sufficient number of votes get in. We could set certain quotas by demographics and then distribute tickets according to age, gender, social status, income, text editor, or hair color. We could make ticket sales entirely random (more on that later), or just sell as many tickets as we can, ignoring the problems that start when you let a community grow faster than it can support itself. But we don’t think any of these are a good idea.

Our current solution works like this: We don’t sell all tickets to the general public. Instead, we start by handing vouchers to all dedicated volunteers from last year’s Congress, so they can buy a ticket for this year if they want to. Simultaneously, we also give vouchers to local groups, like hackerspaces, and some activist groups. Their vouchers spawn new ones once they have been used, so that these groups can distribute the vouchers among themselves. Roughly half of our tickets are sold to somebody with a voucher. (The truth is slightly more complex, and if you like reading rule books, you can read up on them in our documentation).

Once the tickets reserved for the active community are used up, we turn to the remaining tickets, and sell those in three open presale days. They are notoriously gone within minutes, if not seconds. The technical challenges of serving several thousand requests per second in an attempt to sell tickets is interesting in its own right, but we’ll leave that as an exercise for the reader for another post.

Obviously, this is not an ideal system and it fails in a variety of interesting ways. For example, local groups may have questionable priorities when distributing their vouchers. People may have broken mailservers and will never receive their voucher. People who use a reproducing voucher may take a long time to pay, blocking people who wait for their replicated voucher. If you have very slow internet or slow reflexes or are not aware of the urgency, buying a ticket in the open presale is nearly impossible. It’s frankly heartbreaking to talk to people who will not be able to attend Congress.

And that’s a significant part of what we do: As the presale team, we answer all emails sent to our address, usually within a day. Last year, we received a total of 2690 emails and sent 1764 in 1623 threads, so roughly 10% of attendees contacted us. This excludes spam, but includes bounces – because we look at those, and try to figure out if there was a typo in the mail address, or if we know somebody who knows this person and can get in touch with them. If you write us, you don’t receive a canned response either – every response is more-or-less lovingly created by one of the four of us.

Other than that, what do we do? We usually deal with requests for vouchers from various groups, which has served to expand our knowledge of geography. Occasionally we help settle local conflicts when one group won’t talk to the other – it’s the Chaos *Communication* Congress, after all. To keep our workload at an unreasonable-but-possible level, we try to send vouchers to only one place per city, region, or thematic community. We also help people who found one of several tempting ways to make errors in their ordering process (typos in email addresses or payment references are the favourite). We help with payment difficulties and supply people with documentation for their visa application. We prepare the on-site ticket checkin – scanning this many tickets is a challenge of its own, of which we have written more here. We also administrate the servers, which is especially challenging when preparing for the open presale days, which can see request spikes of more than 16.000 requests per second, and requires a bit of careful planning. Before the presale starts, we negotiate conditions with the local public transport company, and help determine the ticket prices and what average ticket price we need to reach – you can always see the chart of average ticket prices here.

We’re also constantly looking for ways to improve the presale. Every year we make some minor changes and adjustments that go mostly unnoticed (which is good!). We have experimented with simulating parts of the presale, to get a feeling for the results that we would introduce with different replication rates, spawn times, and distribution mechanisms. This also involves talking to lots of people to help us balance the needs of different groups: Within Germany and from abroad, from within the community and newcomers, marginalised groups and people who have been around for most of CCC’s history, people who cannot participate in a regular presale for health reasons, and so on.

We’re nearly always happy to discuss your ideas, and we only have two requests if you want to let us know what you think: First off, please assume that we’re trying our best – because we are, and people who send us very angry mails about our malice or our incompetence just make us sad, but won’t improve the presale process.

Secondly: Please do not suggest that we try a lottery. We know, it’s tempting – it’s the first solution that springs to mind to solve this problem, but it’s also just not going to happen. The short explanation is: Any lottery that can’t be cheated easily will require us to check people’s IDs at the entrance, and that’s not something we are willing to do – both due to the logistical challenge of slowing down the entire check-in process extremely, and because we follow the principles of minimal data retention. We don’t care about your official names, we don’t want to check your ID, and we run screaming when thinking about the implications of this level of data aggregation.

A last note: While we have seen a lot of bitter, or angry, and occasionally hateful messages, we have also seen plenty of support, humour, and good-natured snark, which makes the whole effort more than worth it. Thank you!

Older posts Newer posts

© 2021 CCC Event Blog

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑