Welcome to the Thursday/Friday Edition of What to Expect!  If you have tickets for the Pre-Compiler, you’ll also want to check out the Tuesday/Wednesday edition.  This blog entry is a bit longish (we might be giving War and Peace a run for the money…) but we promise it will be worth your while. Especially if you are new to CodeMash, or if you’ve had that feeling of missing out on things as a past attendee.

Thursday & Friday

Thursday is when CodeMash goes into full swing. An additional 1,000 attendees will be filling the conference area- the hallways can get crowded at times! Sponsors’ booths will be set up, and booth staff will be eager to scan your badge in exchange for some swag. The waft of  bacon wrapped potatoes is emanating from the Dining Hall during breakfast. (Not a bacon fan? Not to worry.. we’ll be sharing the full menu in an upcoming announcement).

The High Level schedule is as follows. Don’t worry about writing it down, it will also be on the back of your badge!

High Level Schedule – Thursday

  • Breakfast: 7-8 am
  • Sessions: 8-12 am
  • Lunch is Served: 11:30-2:30 pm
  • Sessions: 12-6 pm
  • Dinner- 6-7:30pm
  • Party – 7:30pm – 1am

High Level Schedule – Friday

  • Breakfast: 7:30-8:30 am
  • Sessions: 8:30-12 am
  • Lunch is Served: 11:00-2 pm
  • Sessions: 12-5 pm
  • Closing Raffle: 5-6pm

Arrival & Registration

  • Many folks arrive Wednesday evening and check into a hotel. If you are staying at the Kalahari, please be aware that your room will not be available until after 4 pm. If you have a 2 day ticket for Thursday/Friday only, the earliest you can pick up your badge is 6 pm on Wednesday evening. Registration is typically open until 8 pm, sometimes longer. Also, registration will be open EARLY on Thursday morning, like, before breakfast early.
  • Head to the Orange Booth for registration. It is located towards the center of the conference area.  You will see a large bronze Lion across from the registration booth.  (Note: there is another Lion near the Coat Check- don’t try to register there). If you are a CodeMash newbie, familiarize yourself with the Kalahari Conference Center Layout.
  • If you are arriving Wednesday night, head over to the Main Dining area after you check in and enjoy the Lightning Talks (which begin at 7pm).
  • If you are checking in Thursday morning, expect a line, though we try our best to process it as efficiently as possible.
  • Please bring your EventBrite ticket, or have your ticket available on your mobile app. We simply need the bar code on your ticket (either paper or on your mobile device).
  • We will hand you your badge and some other stuff when you register. The wonderful intern volunteers will also do their best to explain how things work (like how to redeem soda/snack tickets).
  • Hoodie pickup will be across from Zebrawood (outside of suite 4). You can get your hoodie at any time- we will remove the “punch” on your badge once you pick it up.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE only request the hoodie in the size that you put on your ticket. Otherwise, someone who registers later may not get the right sized hoodie, and that’s just not cool. No extra hoodies are available, so please don’t request one for your cat (or significant other, child, pet sloth, etc.).

Things to know about Your Badge

  • Special thanks to Missy & Matt at ZAGG Studios for the badge design. It’s aesthetically pleasing, and also very functional and practical.
  • Some of the cool things you will find on your badge: Soda and Snack “tickets”, Drink ticket, a spot to write your name (and twitter handle, or something snarky).  There is also a spot for a bar code so you can easily share info with sponsors. More on that later.
  • Wear your badge at all times during the conference. It is required to gain admittance to sessions and meals.
  • Have a Kid attending KidzMash? Awesome. They will also get a badge when registering in the KidzMash area (near the Grand Staircase, outside Acacia), but it will be different. Please note: Kidz are not permitted to attend sessions nor eat attendee meals. Please don’t try to sneak them in. (We have a few every year that have to be chased out… Please don’t be that guy or gal.)

All About Sessions

Attendee Sessions

  • Sessions begin right after breakfast, starting at 8am on Thursday and run about an hour, with a 15 minute hall break after each session.
  • On Friday, sessions begin at 8:30am. We start later because almost everyone stays up too late the night before.
  • Detailed schedule and information is available in the official CodeMash app (scroll to the next section).
  • Many sponsors will be presenting sessions from 2:15-3:00pm on Thursday, and 1:30-2:15pm on Friday. These sessions are tagged “Sponsor Session” in the schedule as well.

KidzMash Sessionz

  • KidzMash is a conference within a conference, and is open to kidz of all ages. If you have Kidz that are planning to attend, please register them. Read here for all the details and registration links.
  • Some activities (like Laser Tag and Artemis Simulator) require additional registration. A few tickets are open now, and more will be available when the conference starts.
  • Please note that KidzMash does not provide child care- a parent or guardian must be present.
  • In addition to CodeMash families, all attendees are welcome to harness their inner child and participate.

Open Spaces 

  • As opposed to regular sessions, Open Spaces are all about self-organizing content.
  • Physical Signage will be displayed in the Open Spaces area. If you want to start a topic, pick a slot and add it to the list!
  • All open spaces are located in the Grand Hall area of the conference center. They start near the Banyan room and go all the way to the Marrakesh bar.
  • If you want to attend an Open Space, just show up a few minutes before it starts in the designated area. Time slots and the Open Space number will be listed on the physical signage. Signs will be posted at each Open Space so you know which one to go to.
  • Open Spaces are informal and interactive sessions. You may be new to the topic, or an expert. Just be passionate and engage in the conversation!

CodeMash Conference App

  • View all sessions, customize your schedule, and submit session feedback with the official CodeMash app for Android (Google Play) or in the App Store for iOS. The app is called “CrowdCompass AttendeeHub”. After downloading it, open it up and search for “CodeMash”. Then select “download” and you are all set!
  • Prefer using a laptop, or other mobile device? No problem… just go to the Web App.
  • A map is available in the app. You can easily see the conference room layout, sponsor locations, etc.
  • We will utilize the app to announce important information, like Snowmageddon, pending Sharknados, or if a session is cancelled last minute.

3d Printing and Modeling

  • Want to learn how to 3d print or design using CAD? Come check out 3d Printing and Modeling sessions. You will have the opportunity to design a Fantasy Castle, Goblet, Spaceship Model, Challenge Coin, and others. The 3d printers and sessions are located in Guava and Tamarind.
  • Available for Attendees and Kidz. No registration necessary, just show up.
  • New for 2020: A panel will be held Wednesday and Thursday at 5pm – “How would you print that?”
  • A full schedule of activities is posted here.

All Day Activities

Game Room (Sponsored by Improving)

  • Brought to you by Improving. We have a giant board game room for you to hang out in.
  • There is a library of games for you to borrow from; or bring your own.
  • Don’t be shy, most tables will be looking for players, so jump on in.
  • The Game Room is open during the entire conference, and goes well into Thursday night.
  • Also, make sure to check the schedule for any special board gaming events.

Laser Tag and Artemis (Sponsored by ScienceSoft)

  • Artemis is a really cool space ship simulator. It’s totally-not-exactly-like-Star-Trek.
  • Gaming Nomads also hosts Laser Tag! Through the years (iterations) their equipment has gotten quite remarkable.
  • Available for Attendees, Kidz, and bitz. Tickets are required and will be available to EventBrite when ready.

CodeMash Maker Space (Electronics Table Sponsored by Nexmo) 

  • The CodeMash Maker Space is open for business Thursday morning – Friday afternoon and will be held in the Empress board room. Stop by and meet with other makers, or get a ticket for a project.
  • Build a Pinewood Derby Car. A practice track will be available. Detailed logistics (sign ups, racing schedule, rules, etc.) can be found in the Maker Space.
  • Get all the details about the Maker Space, including recommended software. Just like pre-requisites, you should download prior to CodeMash.
  • Sign up for a Maker Space project (tickets available on EventBrite) or just stop by and hang with other Makers. Tickets sold out? Don’t worry, additional tickets will be released on Wednesday.


  • The Kalahari has one of the largest indoor waterparks in the USA! It’d be a tragedy if you never stopped by to at least dip your toe in the wave pool.
  • Bonus: the water park in the Kalahari is usually pretty empty during CodeMash. Float down the lazy river, go “surfing”, check out the rides, or relax in the hot tub.
  • CodeMash attendees will receive waterpark wristbands when checking into the Kalahari. Don’t forget to request them.
  • If you are staying offsite and would like to use the waterpark, let us know when you are checking in at Orange Registration and we will provide you with wristbands.
  • Special note: you won’t need your CodeMash badge to enter the waterpark, only a wristband. Well, that and a swimsuit. Sun tan lotion is optional.

Hotel to Hotel transportation

  • Multiple shuttles will be running during CodeMash. Hotels on the route include: Comfort Inn, Best Western, Hampton Inn, and Great Wolf Lodge. The shuttle will stop at the main entrance of these hotels. At Kalahari, the shuttle will stop at the conference center’s entrance B.
  • New for 2020: the schedule has been fine tuned and the transportation vendor will be driving a ginormous bus proudly displaying “CodeMash Shuttle” on the side. Smaller vehicles will also be used. Each hotel should have CodeMash shuttle information in their lobby as well.
  • Shuttles will run between 6:30am-2:00am Thursday, and 7:00am-6:30pm Friday.
  • We even have a Shuttle Tracker that tracks where the shuttle is so you can see it in real time. The tracker app has all the info, including the intervals the shuttles run. Check it out here.  Press the “Information” button in the upper right corner for a detailed schedule.
  • Please note: the shuttle will pick up at the main Kalahari entrance (by the waterpark) from 10pm – 2AM on Thursday evening.  That way, you can enjoy the exclusive waterpark party and not have to hike back to the conference area.
  • One last thing: please keep in mind that the shuttles are not clown cars (we tried to special order them, but the clowns were unavailable). The shuttles make their last run at 2AM, so if the vans are full and you are not on it, you are stranded at the Kalahari. Please plan accordingly!

Food & Beverage

Attendee Meals

  • Meals are only for Attendees with badges (this includes Attendees, Speakers, and Sponsors with full badges).
  • All attendee meals will be served in the Kilimanjaro Ballroom.
  • Thursday meals: Breakfast (7am-8am), Lunch (11:30 am-2:30 pm), Dinner (6pm-7:30pm) on Thursday. Breakfast (7:30am-8:30am) and Lunch (11 am-2:00 pm) on Friday.
  • OMG?! There is a hot sauce table???!  YES! And you can bring your own hot sauce, or try someone else’s if you are feeling adventurous. There will be a table near the buffet lines labeled “BYO Hot Sauce Swap”.  
  • Food is generally labeled, so you know what it is. If you have questions about an ingredient, the Kalahari wait staff should be able to get an answer for you. We will also have an announcement about meals, so you’ll know what is on the menu.
  • Special Meals: If you indicated that you need a special meal when registering your ticket, pick it up in the main dining hall. The location is to the far left, by the buffet lines, if you are facing the stage. Please check in each day in the window. If the buffet food meets your needs, you are welcome to get food from there as well.

Coffee, Sodas, and Snacks

  • Coffee is available all day, but not in the hall during meals. During meals, Coffee is moved to the dining room.
  • Snack stations will be open throughout the day, and will have a variety of healthy and less healthy snacks and beverages. You will be able to redeem your “snack and soda” tickets on your badge at these stations. Pro-Tip: Use it or lose it- snack tickets can only be redeemed for the day listed.
  • Snack stations are in the Zambezi booth and near Marrakesh. Coffee will be in the regular hallway spots (outside suite 6), and outside the Atrium.

The CodeMash Attendee Party!

From 7 pm-midnight Thursday is the legendary Attendee Party! The party starts out in the Grand Hall, located near the Marrakesh bar. The Cocktail Party is sponsored by Bold Penguin. As the night goes on, people migrate to other parties and activities. There are so many things going on. Check ’em out! Attendees and their families are welcome to attend all attendee party activities.

Jam Sessions. 7 pm-1 am. Whether you want to be ‘plugged in’ or not, we have a jam session space for you!  Bring your instruments and make some beautiful music.

  • Electric Jam Session – Main Ballroom
  • Acoustic Jam Session – Mangrove

CodeMash Casino, Carnival Games, Cameras, and Karaoke. 8-11pm Play some games, stuff and sing your face off (but not at the same time), or take goofy pictures.  

  • Casino & Carnival Games – Indigo Bay
  • Dessert Bar (7pm-9pm) & Karaoke – Grand Hall just outside of Marrakesh
  • Photo Booth – Grand Hall

Waterpark Party. (10 pm-1 am)

  • If you still have energy, come on down to the Waterpark Party! Swimming is optional. Having fun is mandatory.
  • Sherwin-Williams is hosting a Waterpark Cabana, located near the wave pool! Late night snacks and drinks will be available while they last. Come by and grab a slice or two and meet some new people!
  • Please drink responsibly.

Other Happs.

  • The Game Room (located in Salon B/G) really gets going in the evening. Come by, play a game or two and get some refreshments.
  • Don’t forget about Artemis / Laser Tag. Registration required- get tickets on EventBrite.
  • The CodeMash Capture the Flag will be underway throughout the week (do at your own pace).
  • There is a Book Swap table located near Marrakesh. Have a book you want to donate? Leave it. See a book you are interested in? Grab it. Just like the have a penny/leave a penny cups at stores, please give and take freely, but don’t be a hog.

Just want to Chillax, or need to get away?

  • During the conference, you may need to charge up your phone, tablet or laptop. Stop by the Recharge Pavilion, sponsored by CoverMyMeds. It is located near Zambezi.
  • You may also find some couches and chairs on the far end hallway of the Kilimanjaro Ball Room.
  • Need to spend some time in prayer/reflection?  We have reserved a quiet room just for that purpose. Stop by Orange Registration and trade your government issued photo ID for a key to the shared hospitality suite.
  • If you are a mother, we also have a mother’s room available. Stop by Orange Registration for more information.

Sponsors & Bar Code Scanning

  • Sponsors help make CodeMash awesome, and we couldn’t have the conference without their generous support.
  • Wondering who is sponsoring CodeMash? Check out the official sponsor listing here.
  • All attendees will receive a bar code on their badge, which can be claimed using a web site (details will be provided during registration). You may choose to share your information with a sponsor if you are interested in what they have to offer. Many sponsors will be handing out swag, or having prize raffles at their booth. Bar codes are used to select winners for raffle prizes.
  • Exhibiting sponsors begin setting up on Wednesday afternoon. By Thursday morning, booths will be set up. Many sponsors will have large crowds congregating during meals, as well as during hall breaks (which are immediately following sessions). If you want to spend more time talking with a sponsor, you may want to set up a time with them.
  • On both Thursday and Friday around lunch time, sponsors present sessions on a topic usually related to their company. These sessions will be listed on the scheduling app, and Sponsors may also advertise them at their booth. Be sure to check them out!

Stay Healthy, my Friend

  • Your brain might not be the only thing getting overwhelmed at CodeMash! With all the activity, late nights, the sheer amount of people, and the flu season upon us your immune system may also take a beating. Stay properly hydrated and get enough rest!
  • Please practice good hygiene during CodeMash. Wash your hands after using the restroom, use hand sanitizer before meals, etc.
  • You may find it beneficial to load up on Zinc, Vitamin C, etc. before and during the conference. Check with a health care professional for more information.

Coat Check & Luggage

  • Don’t want to wear your coat around all day? No problem, we offer a coat check, located between the conference center door and Aloeswood.
  • You may also check your luggage there on Friday, so you don’t have to carry it with you everywhere. It is managed by a grizzled Las Vegas entertainment act tiger, so it’s at your own risk.

Closing Ceremony

  • The closing ceremony is a great time to reflect on what you learned at CodeMash, and serves as a great capstone for the week. It begins at 5 pm (Friday) in the Kilimanjaro Ball Room.
  • One of the best reasons to stick around: we will be giving away a bunch of raffle prizes (thanks to our awesome sponsors)! If you allowed your bar code to be scanned by a sponsor, you may be so fortunate to win a prize! For most prizes, you must be present to win.
  • You will also learn about what goes into CodeMash, and will be introduced to the Board and Committee members. Sometimes we even let the interns on stage.

Need assistance?

  • Staff Members are ready and always willing to help. Most of them will be wearing red hoodies. Stop by any of the Registration booths if you have a question.
  • Try your best to ignore the disapproving gorilla. In the past, people who were unable to sleep under his incessant eye daggers had success covering him with an extra blanket.
  • Lost and Found is located at the Orange Registration booth. We always have a few good finds during the conference! While we’re on the topic, please add your name to your phone’s lock screen- it will help us get it back to you if you misplace or lose it. Any items left in the Lost and Found for too long will be auctioned off to help raise money for Brian’s hair color next year (perhaps we could upgrade from the usual orange).

Schedule / Time Changes

  • Please double check the official schedule before heading out, as final tweaks could result in last minute changes. The official schedule (available on the CodeMash web site and mobile app) will be kept up to date and will reflect the correct date/time for all sessions and activities.

Special Accommodations 

  • If you would like to have a quiet time/prayer room, come to Orange Registration and request a key. The room is located in Hospitality Suite 2.
  • Kalahari provides a mother’s room, which is located near suite 2. Please request a key at Orange Registration.

All Gender Restroom Options

  • Because we want everyone to have a safe and comfortable CodeMash, we wanted to let you know that this year we will have two all-gender restroom options.
  • Between Indigo Bay and the registration booth, located centrally on the conference floor, we’ll have a pair of all-gender, multi-occupancy restrooms.  All-gender restrooms are just that—they’re available for anyone who just needs to go, regardless of their gender.
  • We’ll also have a discreet single-occupancy all-gender/family restroom located near the Speaker Lounge.
  • All other restrooms within the venue will be the usual men’s/women’s restrooms as marked.
  • Of course, we encourage you to always use the restroom that makes you feel the most comfortable.
  • Thank you in advance for abiding by the Code of Conduct and respecting your fellow attendees. After all, we’re all drinking the coffee. It has to go somewhere.

Whew, is that all?

  • We’ve got most of it covered, but there are other things going on we might have forgotten to mention.
  • Be sure to stay tuned to our major comms channels (Twitter, Slack)!
  • Have a feeling you’ve missed an announcement? No problemo. Catch up on past announcements by reading our blahg. Happy scrolling!
  • If you read this far, well golly, thanks! You are statistically more likely to have an awesome CodeMash, because you know all the info.