Attendee FAQ

Why Aspen?

It’s an understandable question: when some people think of Aspen, they see a glitzy skiing and shopping playground for the rich. But this town has another side that’s in many ways stronger and more fundamental: a tradition of fostering intellectual and artistic collaboration. Every year the Aspen Institute, Music Festival, and Center for Physics draw the most talented people in the world to work together. They come, not just because their colleagues are there, but because Aspen has an elusive quality that inspires great moments.

Why the long breaks?

Think back to the conferences you’ve been to. If your experience is like ours, the parts that really stick with you happen between scheduled conference sessions, meeting new people and working with old friends. We wanted to build in time for these serendipitous moments that only happen on the side at other conferences. Also, we thought it was important that attendees have an opportunity to enjoy the natural surroundings and scenery during the best part of the day, rather than being stuck inside a darkend room with an LCD projector.

What should I do after I register?

Why should I use

After you register, you’ll get an invite from Accept this and use it to do two things.

What should I pack?

Springtime in the high Rockies has unpredictable weather. Check your favorite weather forecast and then don’t believe it. Pack to dress in layers, preparing for sunny and warm and for wet and cold. The air is thin and the altitude is high. This means the sun is stronger than you think. Bring a hat, sun glasses, and sun screen. (The altitude affects your hydration levels. Be sure to drink water regularly to avoid dehydration.)

Comfortable shoes are highly recommended as downtown Aspen is over a mile away and the shortest distance from the resort to the Physics Center is through the meadow (which may be muddy).

A flashlight will be handy when returning from late sessions.

Don’t forget to bring your business cards and laptops. There is wifi available at both the Aspen Institute and the Aspen Center for Physics, but an ethernet cable and/or thumb drive may come in handy.

What should I do when I arrive?

Stay hydrated.

Check in on the #cppnow channel to let other attendees know you’ve arrived and see what others are doing. If you’ve arrived early, you may have a chance to join a group going to eat or just hanging out at the Meadows.

What happens at registration?

Registration is scheduled for two hours and it takes all of that time.

You’ll get your badge and (usually) some swag and/or information.

Tours are organized to take first-timers around the conference campus so you’ll know where everything is.

Why does this take two hours? Because the real purpose of registration is to get acquainted or re-acquainted with other attendees. You’ll be meeting old friends and friends that you don’t know yet. Other attendees are the real reason to attend C++Now, so get started early. (Don’t wait until registration starts to show up for registration.)

Where do people socialize?

During the day, people usually go to lunch and dinner in groups. Don’t be shy. If you see a group heading out, invite yourself along.

After the evening session, the Meadows bar always attracts a crowd.

What are Lightning Talks?

Lightning Talks are five minutes talks that are open to any attendee. They tend to be more light-hearted than serious, but not all are light-hearted and you can give one on any subject you want to talk about. You can wait until you arrive at the conference to ask to give one. (Some talks are in response to a keynote or other talk at the conference.) When you know that you’d like to speak and what you’d like to speak about, send an email with your talk title to the Lightning Talk Chair.

What if I can’t decide what sessions to attend?

Then we’ve done our job. If there is only one talk you want to see in any timeslot, then we’d be disappointed in ourselves (and surprised). That is why we record all our sessions and put them on our YouTube channel. You can also find presentation slides online.

How do I give speaker feedback?

The best way to give speaker feedback at a conference as intimate as C++Now is talk with speakers about their presentation. This is a favorite subject of speakers and is likely to make more of an impression than anything else you can do.

You can also vote for your favorite sessions. There are Best Session and Best Lightning Talk ballots that will be handed out and collected toward the end of the conference.

You can also give feedback using the feedback system on This may be an easier way to give negative feedback. Negative feedback is valuable, as long as it is constructive.

What is the planning meeting?

On the last evening of the conference, we’ll have a meeting that is the kick-off meeting for the next year’s conference.

If you’d like to share some thoughts on what the conference organizers did right or did wrong, or if you’d like to help make the conference happen, please join us.

This meeting is open to anyone and represents an opportunity to make a contribution to the C++ community.

What is the Program Committee?

The Program Committee is the group of individuals that evaluate every submission to present at C++Now.

You can find information about the role of the committee in the C++Now Program Committee Reviewers’ Guide.

If you’d like to join the PC, please contact the PC Chair.

Code of Conduct

We use the PyCon Code of Conduct. For any questions or concerns, contact our Security Team or contact Jon Kalb, our Conference Chair, directly.

What can I do to support the conference?

C++Now is a community conference and it survives because of the support of the community. You support the conference when you: