Hey you, how’ve you been? It’s been a long time. A lot changes in six months, huh? Us? We’re good. We’ve been quietly moonlighting as event managers while coping with our day jobs of dealing with the ever-increasing tide of cyber tomfoolery – but fear not, we’ve got an announcement to make… brace yourself…

20th  21st June 2019 @ UWE Bristol

Tell your loved ones how much they mean to you, tie up your loose ends, pack your bags and book that leave in quicker than your colleagues… maybe buy the boss a beer or two. BSides Bristol 2019 is happening on Thursday 20th and Friday 21st June 2019 at the University of the West of England (UWE) Exhibition and Conference Centre (ECC).

How’d it happen?

We’ve been juggling a handful of very generous offers and very special people offering their very special skills (and contacts). We originally planned on running the event in Q1 2019 but six months later we’ve decided to push it to the summer to give us enough time to get everything else sorted.

The Venue

The choice of date was partially influenced by the availability of the venue. We’d like to give a big shout-out to Ian Johnson at UWE (and his bosses) for providing the venue completely free of charge. This means we can spend money on more exciting (but less important) things. We took note of peoples feedback on Twitter regarding location and decided on UWE ECC for its capacity and accessibility. There is ample parking and the opportunity to host upwards of 250 participants in a purpose built facility for conferences. The social is still planned to be in the city centre and we’re going to look into requisitioning a BSides Bus to make it easier for participants to get involved in the social and have a wider choice of amenities.

BSides Bristol BeerSides Bus

The Date

The date fits well with UWE as it is just outside of student and staff term-time, meaning the ECC and its facilities are less congested, staff are still on-hand and interested students can attend before they go home for summer. We turned to Twitter for feedback on the date too, and decided that a Thursday and Friday would likely suit the majority of participants, following suite with the majority of other BSides events. We hope this doesn’t prevent too many corporate teams from coming along – tickets will be transferable for individuals to split the days if needed.

What else have you been up to?

Josh has started wearing glasses and Alex has finally finished all seasons of Project Runway… we’ve also officially incorporated as a Community Interest Company (CIC), which means we’re a legal entity for the purposes of insurance and money handling. This means that BSides Bristol has been approved by the Community Interest Company Regulator as a limited company that is to operate for the benefit of the community rather than private shareholders. We’re officially legit!

Am I the only one that’s way excited for this?

You’re not alone! We’ve now had 236 people register their interest in attending.

“Cyber Interests” from interested participants

What happens next?

We’re glad you asked. Now we have a date and a venue we can finalise our sponsorship packages and offer them out to sponsors who have already offered their support. We’ll also be planning our tracks (we’re looking at Red, Blue and Rookie tracks) with a view to opening the call for papers in February. If everything goes to plan, we’ll look to begin releasing tickets in March.

Stay tuned.