How do I speak at Rubi Con?

To speak at Rubi Con, please read this entire FAQ. Read it, understand it, love it. When you are done, read it again. If you still want to speak, please contact Denis Baldwin at or Jim Tantalo at

What topics can I speak on?

Though we try to focus on security, we do accept other speeches. Please email Denis or Jim about this. If your topic is particularly interesting or geeky, we will find a spot.

Who runs this event? Who should I talk to if I have a problem?

The Rubi Con Core is a group of beings, mostly superhuman, that put together the conference. As of Rubi Con 2002, the core consists of Brian DeLine, Denis Baldwin, Jim Tantalo, and RijilV. Denis and Jim coordinate speakers, and all questions, problems, or (yeah, right) praise should be sent in their direction.

How long should my speech be?

No more than fifty nine minutes and fifty nine seconds (59:59), or otherwise less than an hour. Because our speeches are run in series, we need all speeches to follow this preset limit to avoid confusion and disruption of the schedule. Any further questions and questioners can follow you into the lobby and nag you. Idealy, we would like at least 10 minutes to set up the next speech and for people to file in or out.

What language is the conference in?

The conference language is English.

Should I do a question and answer speech?

This is up to you. Depending on the subject and format you choose, question and answer might be more informative than a lecture.

Do you offer panel discussions?

We sure do. If you would like to moderate, participate, or suggest a topic for a panel discussion, please contact Denis Baldwin at or Jim Tantalo at

Must I be a well-known speaker on my topic?

Not at all. We only ask that you have a good knowledge of the subject and be prepared to answer questions as they come. You don't have to have written a book on your subject, but you should be able to.

I'm a chick. Will I feel out of place?

Not at all. Lots of women attend Rubi Con. Most of them feel right at home around techies, as we are mostly non-hostile and very few tend to hump your legs.

Do I have to stay for the entire conference?

This is your choice. We do suggest that you stay and enjoy the con, but you don't have to.

What costs does Rubi Con cover for me?

We cover the cost of admission for you and a guest (or two...), a free t-shirt, dinner on the night of your speech, and transportation WHILE IN DETROIT. We DO NOT cover air fare, bus tickets, travel costs, speaker fees or hotel rooms.

How long before the con should I submit my speech topic?

I would say, "as soon as possible." Read this as AT LEAST 90 Days before the con. Keep in mind that most people who want to speak submit topics six months before the con. We tend not to put people on our schedule or on the speaker listing until we at least have their speech topic.

What times can I speak?

The con runs from noon to noon, Friday April 5th to Sunday April 7th. Speeches are done 24 hours a day and we run two tracks simultaneously. As of this writing, most times between 09:00 and midnight were taken.

What do I get as a speaker?

We cover the cost of admission for you and a guest (or two...), a free t-shirt, dinner on the night of your speech and transportation WHILE IN DETROIT. We also give you our endless admiration and gratitude.

What resources do I get as a speaker?

We provide you with a podium, a microphone, a whiteboard, a projector and screen, a Windows-based PC for PowerPoint or HTML presentations, and a crowd. The demo machine will be connected (Gods willing) to the Internet. Please contact us if you need additional resources.

What should I bring?

This varies from person to person, but an ability to communicate, a strong knowledge of your subject, and something to calm your nerves should be enough.

What is acceptable dress for a Rubi Con speaker?

You must be dressed. Pending prior inspection by our own Rubi Con Core, this rule may be bent to a degree.

What kinds of presentation material should I prepare?

Feel free to bring a demo computer, as relying on ours may be hazardous. You are more than welcome to make pamphlets, pictures, props, pass-around items, show and tell items and other implements of mass destruction. If you just want to draw pictures of scribble notes, we will have a large whiteboard.

Can I hock my company's merchandise at your con?

This has always been a touchy subject. For specifics, please email Jim Tantalo We only feel right committing to products and services that will be of benefit to our attendees.

Can I media-whore my products to you like an infomercial?

Please don't. If you are only here to sell something, you will not be welcome. Don't make me sic RijilV on you.

What local things can I do for fun at the con?

The con in itself is a lot of fun. Outside of that, there are seedy bars, a good view of planes landing and other gun activities in the area.

What kinds of local restaurants/amusements are available to me?

There are dozens of restaurants within peeing distance of the conference. We will prepare a map by the time the con rolls around.

Can I use a handle instead of my real name?

Certainly. Let us know this as soon as possible so we don't confuse the two.

Do I have to answer the audience's questions/taunts/accusations?

No, but you should. This will keep them from continually taunting you.

Where am I flying into?

If you choose to fly to Rubi Con, fly into Detroit Metro Airport (DTW). It is two minutes from the hotel, and shuttles run 24 hours per day between the airport and hotel.

Who will pick me up from the airport?

Most likely, Denis or one of his minions will pick you up in a limousine-like Dodge Neon of their choosing. Alternatively, you could take the Marriott shuttle. It runs every 15 minutes during the day, and is on call at night.

Who will tend to my travel needs while I am in town?

Either the core group or one of their slaves will get you where you want to go.

Who will coordinate my speaking time?

We have a small army of volunteers that will keep all of this in line. Please be sure to be ready when you are scheduled to speak.

How early should I arrive for my speech?

At least 15 minutes before you are scheduled to speak, have all of your materials ready and be standing by in the queuing area. Our armed guards will show you to the stage.

What if my speech runs over its time limit?

It won't. See the last comment on armed guards.

Can I participate in the games even if I am a speaker?

Yes. Being a speaker does not give you any more omnipotence at the games than being Jon Erickson.

If something tragic happens, can I back out?

Well, maybe. We definitely discourage this, however, if you commit to speaking and something bad happens (family emergency, work gets in the way, dismembering accident, etc.), please let us know as soon as possible.