So You Are Headed to RSA - Now What?

Meaghan McGrath & Taylor Johnson

As March is fast approaching, many RSA first-time attendees are looking to the experts for guidance on how to prepare for their time at the biggest security conference of the year. These tips will help newcomers and veterans alike prepare for their favorite time of year – RSA Conference.

14670721802_404a68cb70_z.jpgImage from Flickr user Nikki Buitendijk used under CC license.

1) Plan Ahead

With thousands of exhibitors and hundreds of presentations at RSA Conference, many attendees’ heads start to spin before they even arrive in San Francisco. Most experts plan their schedule well in advance of the conference, in order to stay organized and not be completely overwhelmed once they arrive. Using the resources provided from RSA but doing proactive research on some of the companies you find most interesting won’t hurt!

2) Expand Your Horizons

As mentioned above, research is key to having a successful RSA Conference, but keep an open mind to be able to expand your horizons while at the show! The biggest security conference of the year will have the most innovative ideas, people and companies, so don't feel like you need to stick with what you know. RSA Conference is a large conference for a reason, so milk it for all it is worth!

3) Social Media is Your Friend

Just like any well-oiled machine, things can break and change at the drop of a hat. Rely on social media for updates, insider tips and resources, to truly make the most of your time at RSA Conference. From journalists tweeting about needing sources for a roundup story, to live streams of the sessions you weren’t able to catch, social media will be the lifeline you need to stay on top of updates at RSA. Check out PAN's social media guide to RSA here

4) Know Your Audience

As we shared, there will be hundreds of people walking around the show floor: vendors, customers, media (and don’t forget PR practitioners!). Whoever it may be, know who your audience is. There is a difference between analysts and reporters, vendors and customers. Introduce yourself to understand different perspectives.

  • Chatting with an analyst? They are knowledgeable about the industry. Don’t be afraid to share technical information and ask for feedback on how to improve your company efforts. They will appreciate it!
  • Speaking with a reporter? More often than not, reporters are running from meeting to meeting. Word to the wise: drill down to the point, touch on key trends happening in the media and stay focused. PAN's Katelyn Campbell delves into a set of proven PR strategies for RSA Conference success, in this blog post, which includes media strategy as a central focus. 

5) Stay on Schedule

Better yet, double-check your schedule and map out your floor plan. As we shared, things can change. Lines will grow, meetings can run late and cell phones will ultimately lose precious power. No one wants to travel to San Francisco only to be the last one standing in a long line – get familiar and stick to your schedule, so you won’t be left with any surprises. 

6) Don’t Forget…

To have some fun! Between all of the busy schedules, there will be endless opportunities to network. From dinner outings and events to parties with your fellow security experts. Get to know some new faces and make your presence a memorable one. For a consolidated list of RSA parties, click here.

Eventually, when your bags are all packed and RSA Conference comes to an end, you will head out with a mind full of security practices, tips, and even new ideas…just remember, there’s always next year to learn more!

Download the 2016 RSA Media Guide

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