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Microsoft: Black Hat Party

The perfect party for Microsoft’s Black Hat hackers: a space-themed showdown to prove their mettle and celebrate their work.


The Microsoft Security Response Center wanted to host a bold, creative, immersive event that would celebrate and engage the hacker audience and stand out among the competition at the annual Black Hat Conference in 2022.


At the Illuminarium in Las Vegas, we built on the hackers’ interests in competition, cerebral challenge, and gaming to design a party that positioned them as Astronaut Candidates (“ASCANs”). In collaboration with the Illuminarium and Two Bit Circus, we crafted an experience that integrated projection-mapped visuals of space with space-themed games and challenges for attendees to prove they had “The Right Stuff.”

The sign is seen at the launch event.
(WELCOME MS RC Microsot,street, city, travel, light, architecture, business, festival, building, urban, sky, music, landscape, people, signal, vacation, no person, moon, downtown, commercial, airport)

“I can’t speak highly enough of FoST as partners — they brought creativity, professionalism, and dedication to every detail of the event, elevating it beyond what we could have imagined. We set the bar high for all MSRC events going forward – it was the best event we have ever done and a night that our community will never forget. We can’t wait to work with FoST again!”

Stephanie Calabrese
Microsoft Principal PM Manager

Crafting a Story

At the beginning of the party, each attendee was invited to compete in a series of activations designed to evaluate their aptitude for space travel. Only after proving that they had “The Right Stuff” would the ASCANs enter the main party space and travel through the Illuminarium’s beautiful projection-mapped visuals.

A young boy stands in front of a giant neon sign that reads.
(RC MS,music, performance, people, concert, stage, fashion, light, party, Christmas, portrait, art, woman, model, man, celebration, public show, winter, girl, band, moon)

Turn-key Support for Every Aspect of Production.

Our scope of responsibilities covered everything from curating the entertainment, to setting up a custom registration and badge-printing system, to adding original overlays to the projection-mapped walls.

The team at the opening.
(ROCKET SYNC,portrait, people, man, soccer, football, adult, competition, girl, group together, model, uniform, school, championship, woman, wear, game, performance, trophy, city, stadium)
Person as comic book character.
(portrait, people, music, girl, woman, adult, one, wear, festival, model, fashion, light, facial expression, travel, concert, recreation, party, sky, singer, outdoors)
A dancer in a pink and yellow costume is performing a trick on a spinning wheel.
(girl, woman, people, exercise, sport, adult, fun, fashion, gymnastics, young, competition, one, fitness, motion, man, portrait, beach, balance, dancer, skill)
Person, a student, wears a helmet.
(MSRO ZH,music, people, performance, rap, man, concert, eyewear, musician, singer, light, recreation, one, festival, competition, portrait, adult, sunglasses, wear, band, business)

Gamifying the Experience

A space-themed game show; a custom emergency response simulation game; a virtual reality flight simulator—at each station, our team logged the guest’s score by scanning the QR code on their badge. Event staff wore highly coveted jumpsuits featuring the custom MSRC mission patch; while performers roamed the area in space suits.

(music, performance, concert, band, people, stage, technology, nightclub, light, festival, public show, recreation, exhibition, man, musician, nightlife, singer, casino, laser, club)

Guest Engagement

For the competitive attendees, we rendered a running leaderboard among the nebulas, which celebrated the highest scorers. For the gamers, we installed arcade games like Space Invaders. And for the networkers, we filled the immersive rooms with ample seating and open bars, creating a natural setting to get to know each other.

The dj

Six Hundred Happy Guests

The event stood out as a go-to party for Black Hat attendees, while one researcher stood out among the rest, scoring over 36,000 points and blowing away the competition.

The event was held at the hotel.
(LEXIT,light, music, performance, festival, people, concert, moon, ball-shaped, art, public show, stage, band, Halloween, model, city, street, subway system, strange, portrait, market)