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Paying it Back - The Results

At the start of May we announced our “Paying it Back” competition, a chance for a deserving individual to win a ticket for this year’s 44Con.

We didn’t get as many entries as we had expected but from those entries we had to pick a winner and there were three that stood out. Luckily, we were able to rule one of them out as a good friend jumped in and agreed to arrange a ticket for them, we won’t spoil the surprise for that person but I’m sure someone will be in touch soon.

As there was little in it between the remaining two, we went back to Steve and the crew and asked them their opinion and rather than try to decide, they simply handed us a second ticket. So, the two winners of a 44Con ticket for this year’s event are Spence ( @SecEventsPen ) and Chrissy ( @5w0rdFish ).

Chrissy’s nomination talked about her dedication and passion and the effort she is putting in to build her skills and reputation in the industry. Spence’s nomination was a more personal one that again talked about dedication but in a different way. We will be in touch with both of you to hand over the tickets and hope you both enjoy the event.

Finally, one more thanks to Steve, Adrian and the rest of the 44Con team for the tickets and helping us to give back to those who deserve it.

Paying it Back

The generous team at 44Con have donated us a ticket (worth £340) to their event in September and we need to give it away. Rather than do a competition or random draw we’ve decided to give it to someone who deserves it and we need your help.

Please get in touch and nominate someone you think should get the ticket and give us a reason. It could be for helping others, for a major contribution to a project, for deserving to go but not being able to afford to, you tell us why the deserve it. The ticket won’t cover all expenses but under a scheme to be published shortly, there will be the option for help to cover at least some of them.

Send your nominations to, entries close at noon on June 1st.

Party Details

In the past few years we have asked people to get a party ticket just so we have a rough idea of numbers but this year we are going to make it a bit more formal.

Last year, some people, to put it nicely, took advantage of the bar tab and so we got through it quicker than we were expecting. To try to stop this from happening again this year we are introducing a system so everyone can get a fair share.

We’ve considered lots of different ways to do this and this is what we decided:

  1. If you are coming to the party party, please take a party ticket from Eventbrite.
  2. We will divvy up the tab amongst everyone who has asked for a ticket when the sales close at the end of the day on Wednesday 5th.
  3. When you register on Saturday morning, you will show your conference ticket to get in and also your party ticket. You will then be issued your party pack. Remember, you must have a main event ticket to be allowed in the party.

If you don’t have a party ticket and your plans change come find one of the Gaffers and we will sort you out. Or you could find yourself someone on expenses with a nice company credit card.

Bliss Thank You

It took a while, mostly due to me being slow at getting things sorted out, but Bliss got their share of the £1600 that we raised this year. A huge thanks to everyone who bought from the bring and buy, entered the raffle or just threw cash into the collection bucket.

Robin and the crew.

Bliss Thank You

Media Archive

We’ve finally got all the media from the event online, here are the links to it all:


After a stellar performance by Cooper, ably assisted by Cal, this year’s videos are the best ever.

2016 Playlist

What made it even better was the live streaming on the day for those who couldn’t physically attend.


Thanks to Chris Ratcliff for doing the photography on the day and to Jamie Duxbury for giving us the shots he took.

Due to “age restriction problems” on Flickr we’ve moved to hosting the photos with Google this year. We will probably move the old archives over at some point as well.

2016 Photo Roll

Bring and Buy

Last year we ran a “bring and buy” table for IT and security related books, raising £100 for the premature baby charity Bliss.

We are running the table again this year and extending it to include hardware. Do you have old kit lying around at home, collecting dust that you think might be valuable to someone else? If so, bring it along. If there is something special about what you are bringing, such as the power supply is dead or there is a loose connection somewhere, then please bring a note to put on it so people know what they are buying.

If you’ve nothing to bring, make sure you’ve got some cash on you and space in your bag or car so you can take something home, as all proceeds will go to charity.

Now with added workshops

For the last two years your ticket has granted you access to a day full of amazing talks, a lunch including ice cream from one of the best producers in the country, a true northern dinner and enough free drinks at the party to make everyone merry, but this year we are going a step further, we are adding workshops!

We are going to make Friday afternoon Workshop Time. At the moment, the plan is to run between four and five sessions between 1PM and 5PM but depending on numbers this might open up to the morning as well.

So as well, as looking for CFP submissions for talks, we also want workshop submissions. We want either two or four hour sessions and are looking for anything hacker related. We are expecting the usual “this is how to hack product X” but, in line with our range of talks, would also like some on soft skills and other none technical topics. These all have to be carried out in university provided rooms so please consider this when coming up with ideas, if you are not sure if something is appropriate then please get in touch and we will make a decision.

Once we have the schedule sorted out we will open ticketing to let you book your seats and, as said before, this is all in the one ticket, this is not an extra cost, just reserving seats for bums.

2015 Videos

After a lot of hard work by Luke, Cal and Tom we’ve finally got the videos sorted and uploaded. Not all the talks were recorded and not all the recordings have made it through to being published, this is because, despite all the work put in on the day and in post production, the quality is no where near what we would have liked due to a number of problems including:

  • Cameras failing
  • Memory cards filling up
  • Microphones not picking up what they were supposed to
  • Picture in picture accidentally being turned on during recording losing a chunk of screen space
  • Poor lighting in track 2
  • Various other little niggles

We’ve learnt a lot from this and plans are already in place for next year where we hope to be able to do live streaming, this should mean problems are picked up straight away and the recordings are ready for release within days not months.

Apologies to the speakers whose hard work didn’t make it through, if you want to see what we have we can send you what we have of your talk, just get in touch.