The LaunchTech team is thrilled to make its return to RSA in San Francisco, CA from June 6-9. Since it has been a while since the last RSA Conference, two of our RSA veterans have provided some predictions on what they feel will be in store this year.
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The 2022 RSA will be one for dusting off the cobwebs, but with a touch of creativity and originality. Look for vendors doing unique things that help them stand out, support a cause, or just plain encourage some FUN. For instance, Votiro will be donating $10 to the National Wildlife Foundation for each person who joins them for a 5-minute demo. KSOC will be kicking off the week with a fun run, or walk, on Monday, June 6 to benefit Samaritans Inc, a suicide prevention services organization. CyberGRX is hosting a roaring twenties party – fitting as we make our way out of the clutches of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Less companies and smaller teams will be in attendance. Via the rumor mill, RSA has reportedly stated that 21,000 people are registered for the conference. To date there are a total of 472 exhibitors committed. Anyone who knows anything about planning an event knows to expect some washout. The 2020 RSA boasted 36,000 attendees and 658 exhibitors. With just two weeks to go, it’s certain that this show will be smaller than in years past.
… which makes sense! Teams have had to learn how to sell remotely, virtually, in smaller settings. It will be fascinating to see how the ‘large conference’ slots itself (or doesn’t) back into the sales cycle as a ‘must do’..
Senior Account Director
I expect to see more WOMEN at the 2022 RSA Conference. Whether it is company representation at exhibitor booths, decision makers walking the floor, or speakers, I think we will see firsthand how many more women have taken on or grown into cybersecurity roles since the 2020 RSA Conference. Just one look at the RSA Conference Keynote Speakers page and we see 27 out of the 67 total keynote speakers listed are women. I don’t have a record of the RSA keynote speakers list from my first RSA Conference back in 2016, but I would bet the ratio of women keynote speakers six years ago was not that strong. We still have a long way to go, but it is encouraging to see more women in high level cybersecurity roles year over year; and of course, to see a prominent industry event like RSA make an effort to bring more women to the table.
At Black Hat 2021, LaunchTech clients reported lower foot traffic at booths than prior years, however, that the quality of visitors and conversations at booths was higher quality. I suspect at RSA 2022 we will see a similar trend. Given that concerns about COVID-19 are still leading to restrictions across organizations – and based on personal choice – attendance may be lower than the usual feel of RSA. That said, we hope exhibitors will experience the “Black Hat effect” where the people who do make an effort to attend and to walk the floor are the right contacts for future sales opportunities.
Even before the global pandemic, we had seen many clients opt not to sponsor or exhibit at conferences like RSA. Instead, many have opted for a boots on the ground approach with a designated meeting suite. RSA 2022 is going to be an interesting turning point for many companies as they decide the future of their presence at in person events. There will always be new cybersecurity companies popping up and looking to make their debut at an event like RSA, so more than likely RSA will not see a significant drop in sponsorships. But many prominent and well funded companies may begin to find other compelling ways to participate in events like RSA Conference without the cost of a booth.