Anyone who has spent time in the cybersecurity industry knows the RSA Conference (RSAC). For those who don’t, the RSAC is an international conference series focusing on IT security that takes place around the globe. The annual RSA Conference in San Francisco is its flagship event. Simply put, it is the most recognizable cybersecurity conference in the world.
The RSA Conference started in the early 1990s just south of San Francisco in Redwood City. In its early days, it hosted about 200 attendees. Fast forward to today and the RSA Conference says more than 42,000 people attended its San Francisco conference this year.
I’ve been going to RSAC since 2007. Many years I came but didn’t set foot on the show floor. Rather I staffed offsite media interviews and analyst briefings, produced videos and attended parties at venues around the conference. However, this year I made the trek to San Francisco and spent a day walking the floor.
From random booth handouts (my personal favorite was a duo of gelato and socks, because what goes better together at a security conference than gelato and socks) to perusing hundreds of product offerings, the conference provides cybersecurity companies an obvious way to showcase themselves.
However, from a media relations perspective, what isn’t obvious is whether or not attending companies are able to reach “beyond the choir” to get their messages heard beyond industry press. Most business reporters I work with opted not to attend this year’s conference; however, many cybersecurity outlets (aka SC Magazine and the InfoSecurity Group of publications) had a large presence.
Another takeaway was that a number of clients at this year’s show were very clear that this isn’t where the “fun stuff” happens (aka revealing vulnerabilities or showing off new approaches to cybersecurity). That occurs at conferences like Black Hat. In other words, RSAC is for the suits.
With the cybersecurity industry worth over $100 billion today and projected to hit over $200 billion in a few years, it’s no wonder the RSA Conference has become a meeting place for suits.
Featured image via RSA.