Side events have a longstanding tradition at Hacker Summer Camp. Some, like Codenomicon and Queercon have become destinations on their own, and Security BSides spawned a series of events around the world. By and large, these events are run by passionate volunteers, many have formed formal non-profit corporations, and all serve the community from which they came. Follow their twitter accounts or visit their sites for detail, such as location, opening times, agendas, and more.


August 7-10, 2019 - Flamingo Hotel and Casino Narwhal (@narwhalbe) is an event that runs parallel to DEF CON, focused primarily on aspects of information security not covered at the three major events, such as law, policy, and academia. Now in its fourth year, the event holds talks, casual discussions, and serves as a hangout lounge for the policy and law community at Black Hat and DEF CON.

“Narwhal is a place at Hacker Summer Camp (Black Hat USA, Security BSides Las Vegas, and DEF CON) designed to provide a useful space for the “security plus” (security+policy, security+law, security+arms control, security+sociology, security+wonkery, etc.) crowd to meet, hang out, and discuss stuff where it’s not so ridiculously loud as the con floors of any of the three cons. Everyone is welcome at Narwhal!”


August 8-11, 2019 - Alexis Park Hotel Queercon (@queercon), a non-profit with thousands of members, is the largest LGBT+ Security group in the world. Now in its 16th year, the three-day event features talks and parties.

“Queercon started 10 years ago as a hacker party inside of the annual Defcon hacker conference. Over the decade Queercon has grown into the largest social network of LGBT hackers from around the world. We continue to grow and now focus on outreach to the LGBT community within the IT Security and Hacker Spaces.

Our basic belief is that there’s more queers in geekdom than most people might think, so if we can meet a few of them, maybe make a few new friends, that sounds sweet to us. Of course, anyone queer-friendly is equally welcome, and cheers to you.”

Lawyer Meetup AKA the DEF CON Bar Association

It may surprise you, but some lawyers are also hackers (and vice-versa) and have been attending DEF CON for a long time. Attending lawyers practice in varying capacities: private practice, public non-profits, government, and solo-practitioners. Each year the lawyers organize to catch up, talk shop, and network. All lawyers or legal professionals are welcome to join!

Diana Initiative

August 8-11, 2019 - Westin Hotel The Diana Initiative (@dianainitiative) founded in 2015, focuses on increasing representation of women and non-binary people in the information security community. It provides scholarships for those groups to attend DEF CON, and hosts an event nearby, with two speaking tracks, villages, workshops, and a capture the flag.

“Our mission is to:

  • Encourage diversity and support women who want to pursue careers in information security,
  • Promote diverse and supportive workplaces, and
  • Help change workplace cultures.”


August 7, 2019 Many DEF CON attendees with military and law enforcement backgrounds may enjoy DEF CON Shoot, the long-running pop-up shooting range.

Friends of Bill W.

Meetings will be held at 12:00 and 17:00 Thursday-Saturday, and 12:00 Sunday, located in Santa Monica 4 at Planet Hollywood. Time and location for other meetings may be announced via the DEF CON twitter account (@defcon).


DEAF CON (@deafcon) is a non-profit organization that encourages deaf and hard of hearing individuals within the information security and hacker communities to attend conferences. They have been facilitating communication and providing a platform for networking with others, since 2011. DEAF CON has a space this year in the Planet Hollywood Conference Center.