NOTE: For the last several years, I’ve been a master at scoring hard-to-get conference tickets, specifically for Derbycon. I originally wrote this two years ago, but my Eversec teammates begged me not to post it. I thought their fears of being outcompeted for Derbycon tickets were unfounded, but I honored their request. Since Derbycon is over now, I’m going to reveal the secret to all of you! These tips are easily applicable to any conference with limited and hard-to-get tickets, like Shmoo.
- Follow the con’s Twitter account and turn on notifications for it: besides their website, Twitter is the main way most con organizers put out news. Following them, and especially turning on notifications for when they tweet, is one of the easiest ways to keep abreast of what’s going on, official sales times, etc. Organizers will announce sales times and sometimes even extra sales or ticketing system tests, so you could always get lucky that way.
- Submit something to the Call for Trainers, Call for Workshops, and/or Call for Speakers: I know this isn’t going to be the best option for everyone, but if you have some cool skill you think you could teach or some neat topic you can present on, submit it! If you get accepted, you automatically get a ticket and many cons will even give you an extra ticket for a partner/spouse/friend or even an honorarium. I’ve even gotten a ticket for Derbycon before just for being on their talk waitlist, in case someone didn’t show and they had to fill a slot.