Through a small poll at the beginning, it was immediately clear that the crowd was diverse. From verteran cryptoparty organisers to laymen (to which I adhere).
In the unstructured setting, a lively discussion flourished on the essentials of cryptoparties. Although the opinions differed, the core message became gradually clear: Cryptoparty like a rockstar. Whatever you do, a cryptoparty should not be presented as a 1337 cryptoparty. By now, every wilful hacker/technologist is aware of the possibilities of encryption, tor and so forth. Thus, it is time to educate the laymen, targeting for example journalist and direct family and friends. But for these groups, low-level technical discussions and geeky atmospheres may spawn averse reactions. Providing a fluffy environment, naming it something other than a cryptoparty and having a team with different backgrounds will provide for a diverse audience, a greater reach and a higher turn up.
Organising successful cryptoparty, ehh pizzaPrivates and cryptoCupcakes, is thus a tricky task. The marketing, finding a decent space with the right atmosphere and amenities, and getting people to show up is an involving task. You might need to wander on shady grounds (facebook, twitter) to reach your audience, but rewards will be high when at a sequential event you’ll the friends/colleagues of those whom you taught before.
Much more was discussed, and much more will be discussed in in a to-be scheduled follow-up meeting tomorrow.