The LaunchTech team recently made its triumphant return to San Francisco for RSA, which was a great opportunity to jump back into the conference waters head first while supporting our clients. While a common theme was the importance of being able to make in-person connections with clients, our team also provided their thoughts regarding the cybersecurity industry and conferences. Here are a few of our takeaways:
Human connection is an integral part of everything we do. Various tools have helped us adapt to the remote work environment, but at the end of the day, people make true security and innovation possible. Face-to-face collaboration at an event like this allows for the more natural sharing and cultivation of new ideas, and no machine or tool can replace this. Even exposure to new ideas can lead to breakthroughs in new technology, and so I’m pleased to see people together again.
The power of community was on full display. It seemed as if everyone was so eager to be back together in person that they pushed aside competition and embraced camaraderie. Impactful partnerships and collaborations amongst security vendors were announced around RSA, along with many joint events, panel discussions, presentations and more. I hope that this RSA will act as a catalyst for the security community to continue to come together for the greater good. Regardless of your organization’s product or service offerings, the mission is still the same: to reduce cyber risk.
Biggest lesson learned is that practicality trumps fashion. There is so much to see and experience at RSA, so you can expect to get your steps in. If you’re not well over 10,000 steps at the end of each day, you’re not doing RSA right! That means leaving your cute work shoes at home—trust me, I learned the hard way that even some flats won’t work—and strapping on your walking shoes (and maybe a few band aids for your heels.) We were lucky to experience amazing happy hours, client parties, breakfasts, luncheons, dinners, presentations, client press briefings and more at some of the coolest venues in San Francisco. Not to mention, we made numerous rounds of the exhibition floors. Each day was jam packed, and I walked well over five miles each day, but I am so glad that I was able to connect with clients and press on site, as well as network with others in the cyber industry.
A week with no Zoom meetings is rare these days, and that feeling did not go unnoticed during RSA 2022. Every greeting, meeting and gathering fully acknowledged and embraced this fact. But for me, the biggest takeaway from RSA’s return to the Moscone Center in San Francisco was listening to updates from cybersecurity companies (from the newest startups to the most established brands) about how their business is doing… all of which reported to be doing OK. More than two years into a global pandemic, after watching countless restaurants, retail storefronts and other businesses close their doors, the business of cybersecurity hasn’t faltered. Now more than ever, cybersecurity companies are needed to keep an increasingly digital world, powered by an increasingly remote workforce, secure. You couldn’t help but feel the cybersecurity market’s growing value to society while walking around at RSA. I certainly hope this success will contribute to continued innovation for the greater good.
RSA 2022 was also a reminder that content may still be king, but how companies create, disseminate and promote that content is QUEEN, baby! Everyone knows the cybersecurity market is full of noise and companies competing for the same budgets. Over the next 12 months, especially with the return to in-person events (not to mention, there is a very limited amount of time before the second biggest cybersecurity industry event of the year—Black Hat), I expect that brands will be digging deep to come up with new or alternative ways to leverage and amplify their content. Whether it’s white papers and research, photos and videos, or infographics and podcasts, companies are going to need to look beyond tweets and LinkedIn posts to get their content in front of, and most importantly, catch the attention of their target audiences.
We have a lot of conversations with our clients about whether there is value in investing in a booth at RSA (or, insert other big conference names…). The answer to this varies depending on the company’s CMO (or, marketing team) and CRO (or, sales team), and their appetite for, or belief in, the benefits of “dialing for dollars” on the show floor. However, there is one suggestion that we always make to clients who are just getting started: apply for a spot in the Early Stage Expo. Companies have to meet certain criteria for Early Stage Expo, including a ceiling revenue number, but the Early Stage Expo is worth the nominal fee that companies are charged for entry. In our experience, the room is consistently packed with genuinely interested parties receiving demos and learning about the products. It’s also a great place to find talent! This year was no exception.
Cybersecurity is still overwhelmingly male dominated. There were many times at RSA when I looked around and realized there wasn’t a woman in sight. There are forces working to correct this, but we all have a role to play before we don’t hang our hats on introducing a female cybersecurity expert, and rather, we can introduce a cybersecurity expert who happens to be female.
Interested in learning more about how LaunchTech can partner with you to help you achieve your PR goals, including maximizing future events? Reach out today.