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©2004 FTS Conventures

Notacon FAQ

Q: What should I bring to Notacon?

A: Here is the short list of essentials:

  • If you pre-registered, BRING YOUR CONFIRMATION NUMBER and ID!
  • If you did NOT pre-register, bring cash to pay for your event ID. Checks, money orders, travellers' checks and credit cards will not be accepted the day of the event.
  • Clean clothes and toiletries. Clean people make for a happy con.
  • Computers: Laptops, desktops, toughbooks. Whatever floats your boat and gets you on-line.
  • Network gear. We will have drops and 802.11 (hopefully), but just in case bring some of your own gear, especially wireless cards
  • Any piece of technology that is either old, unusual, intriguing, rare or downright cool. Or bring something that is all of the above. Prizes may be awarded for the cruftiest gear.
  • FRS and/or Ham radios. A number of folks involved are amateur operators and many look forward to talking with other amateurs on 2m, 70cm and perhaps a few others. The hotel is high enough, too, that given a good day you can probably pick up some interesting stuff on HF over the lake.
  • GPS. You never know when it might be handy (ex. Froggy's GPS was the only reason he made it to Rubi-Con 4 at all). Besides, you might need it for a contest.
  • Mixtapes, giveaways, promo material, stickers, etc. Anything you can give to your fellow con-goers for free.

Q: What does my Notacon entrance fee cover?

A: Your Notacon entrance fee pays the following costs of ours:

  • Rental of the event space (which is considerable)
  • Liability insurance to cover our butts (hotel requirement)
  • Neat semi-professional looking programs
  • Cool looking badges
  • Audio/Visual rentals
  • Advertising
  • Security detail; to keep our stuff safe as well as yours
  • Organizer radio rentals
  • Conference network (wire, equipment, parts, etc.)
  • Numerous other incidental and consequential expenses which in the end add up to more than anyone ever anticipated.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. A lot of different components go into a successful event. Your entrance fee helps us to cover these costs (most of which we front ourselves out of our own savings, checking and credit cards). Obviously, we will do our best to economize so that we can keep the cost of the event and future events as low as possible. Also, the more people that attend, the lower we can make our costs for everyone. So tell your friends and associates and get them to come along as well!

Q: Will Notacon shirts be available for purchase? Will they be black?

A: Yes, Notacon paraphernalia will be available. Our intent is to have at least two different t-shirt designs, both of them professionally done. Yes, some shirts will be available in black (we care about your wardrobe!). If you have an idea for a t-shirt design yourself, please feel free to contact the organizers with your idea

Q: Is Notacon going to be like Defcon, Rubi-Con, HOPE, etc.? Is it the same thing?

A: No and yes. Notacon is not a "hacker" con. That's been done before (and done well). The organizers of Notacon want to move past that and, instead, explore some new territory. A lot of ideas and concepts from those conference may find their way into our event, but by and large we will tray to take the best ideas from the "old" and incorporate some new stuff to truly make this a unique event.

What in the end all of it will mean is still unknown, but that's half the fun, isn't it? Mix together a bunch of talks, stir in some unique personalities, add a dash of fun and see what the finished product is.

Q: I would like to volunteer time, equipment or otherwise help out for this event.

A: Please see our volunteerism webpage at http://www.notacon.org/volunteers.html

Q: Why is the event being run by a company? I don't want to support a bunch of people making money off of my friends and my community.

A: It is true that the event is being hosted by FTS Conventures, a Limited Liability Corporation created in the state of Ohio. However, the point of having a company manage the event is not to make a profit. The company exists to establish a solid framework by which we truly build a ground-breaking event and, at the same time, offer a degree of protection to the people who are literally putting their life savings on the line to make the event happen. Of course, we do not intend or want to lose money throwing the event and will make every attempt to break even. Hopefully the company will allow us to continue putting this event on in the future if it turns out it was a success. If not, the organizers will have learned their lessons and moved on, perhaps a little wiser.

In short, we are not a large multinational corporation. We're simply a group of people who want to throw a good community based event, and at the same time be RESPONSIBLE about throwing such an event. We're just like you! Nothing would make us happier at the end than breaking even and putting our heads together to figure out what to do for next year.

Q: I heard these events can be pretty wild sometimes. How are you going handle this?

A: Bringing together intelligent people from diverse backgrounds in a confined area for a weekend, giving them access to awesome technology, alcohol and each other, sometimes leads to a bit of chaos. We are aware of this and aware of the fact that sometimes things get a little crazy.

However, we state now that we will have little to no tolerance for any activities that break any of the rules of the event, the hotel or break any local, state or Federal laws. Anyone found breaking the rules or breaking the law will either be warned or escorted off the premises by hotel or event security. If you want to come to Notacon to cause trouble don't waste anyone's time or your money. Simply do not attend. If any attendee notices something amiss, they should immediately report it to a Notacon Security Agent (NSA, get it?)

Q: Are there any age limits to Notacon?

A: Currently, there are no age restrictions for Notacon attendance, although the hotel may have other restrictions in regards to whom can book a room. We acknowledge that some materials, language and themes present at Notacon may not be suitable for minors, especially in the evenings. We will not be doing age checks, but will question individuals if they look or seem too young.

Q: Can I attend the conference if I do not book a room?

A: Absolutely. If you are local to the Cleveland area or simply have a room booked elsewhere (although I don't know why you would considering the rate offered), feel free to buy entrance into the event and hang-out as much as you want. Note, however, that you will still be responsible for paying for parking at the full rate of (I believe) $14 a day, or consider taking public transportation. Also note that we cannot and will not offer reduced price admissions for people who only want to see one or two talks, stay one day, or simply want to ignore the talks and just hang-out. Everyone is required to pay. People without conference badges will be questioned. Loiterers will be kicked out. Be sure to have your badge on at all times, around your neck.

Q: Can I take pictures and video at the conference?

A: Individuals taking pictures at the conference are welcome to do so provided that they follow the same rules and guidelines given under the Notacon press policy. This, generally, means that if you're going to take someone's picture, make sure they agree to it first, as some members of the conference may not wish to be photographed. We will likely make a big listing of links to individual photo galleries after the event so that you can share your photos with the other attendees.

We do not have any specific policies at this time in regards to individuals videotaping talks, other than, again, those outlined in the Notacon press policy. However, before videotaping a talk, please make sure to ask the presenter if he or she agrees to have the presentation videotaped. The Notacon organizers have no plans at this time to videotape any presentation, although accommodations are being made to record the audio portions of some or most of the presentations. These audio recordings will likely be made freely available on-line after the event, and, likewise, CDs of these records may be offered for sale at a nominal fee (mostly to cover our media, duplication and shipping costs).

Q: Who are some of the people behind the event?

A: Check it out here.