ZaCon has, to this point, managed to remain unsponsored and unaffiliated. This is by design. Occasionally, individuals or companies approach us to get involved in some way, with offers that include cash, services or goods. The offers are always appreciated, however in some cases they are turned down. The policy used to determine if an offer is accepted or not is given below.
Sponsoring the conference
ZaCon does not officially endorse or accept sponsors for the conference proceedings and presentations, or for activities put on by the organising committte. There are no sponsor slots, and speakers are selected based on their submissions.
Statements such as "ZaCon, sponsored by Foo" or "Foo are sponsors of ZaCon" are false unless Foo gets on the organising committee :).
Service providers may display branding with the organiser's permission (e.g. coffee company).
The organising committee does not, as a general rule, accept cash from either individuals or companies looking to help out at the con. Cash creates an accounting requirement we'd prefer to avoid, and banning it prevents any impropriety. Goods or services in kind are preferred.
Donations are subject to the same advertising rule below as community events.
Activities arranged at ZaCon by community members
From year to year, fantastic members of the ZaCon community take the initiative and run events at the conference. These include the Challenge, the local network, file sharing and so on.
Community members are welcome to find sponsors for events they choose to run, with the proviso that a) they check with the organisers and b) the organisers have a veto right in deciding on a sponsor's involvement. We don't foresee the veto right being exercised often.
The acceptance of community member events as part of the con program is subject to a rule on advertising, which is simple: "No advertising". The conference is put on and paid for by volunteers, who may be individuals or companies, and we encourage involvement from those with an interest in the local infosec scene that goes beyond commerce (similarly to how the conference is run on a Saturday). The advertising rule includes, but isn't limited to, banners, flyers, posters, branded goods and printed material. Please check with the organisers if you have any plans for advertising at ZaCon.
At the end of the conference in our wrapup, we call out those who have helped make the conference a success. This includes volunteers, community members and, where help in kind was provided, the supplier of that help (i.e. community event sponsors).