The RSA Conference is the premier tradeshow for cybersecurity experts. It’s where you can discover the latest trends, gather new insights from industry innovators, and, of course, be bombarded by the lights, sounds, displays, demos, and high-tech tchotchkes on the exhibit floor as companies compete for your attention. It can be overwhelming, whether you’re a first-timer at RSA or an annual visitor. To help you prepare, here are four tips for getting the most out of the big show.
#1. Come prepared
You are likely to leave RSA with an abundance of t-shirts, pamphlets, gadgets, and toys. But, there are also some things you should remember to bring to the event. You might want to bring an extra suitcase, for example, to carry all those branded goodies back home. Next, you should download the RSA 2017 mobile app before you arrive. Its friendly interface lets you view the agenda, manage your schedule, and access online content. Finally, don't forget to bring a big stack of business cards. You’ll meet a lot of people, attend a lot of meetings and sessions, and you might even want to enter a raffle or two.
#2. Plan your week
There are more than 700 speakers at RSA and 182 presentations, with multiple sessions, trainings, events, and tracks. Planning is essential. The RSA website can help you arrange your schedule and reserve space in the sessions you want to attend. I will be at the CSA Summit on Monday, where Zscaler Chief Technology Evangelist Larry Biagini will present, “Achieving a Cloud-Enabling Network Security Architecture,” at 9:40 a.m. A full list of speakers and their time slots can be found in the RSA mobile app that you should have downloaded by now (see tip #1).
#3. Keep your bearings
Massive exhibit hall + hundreds of booths x two = lots of ways to get turned around. Use these maps to help navigate your way around the show floors. Better yet, use them to create an exhibit route for yourself, so you can be sure to get to the companies that interest you. And if find your blood sugar running dangerously low, rumor has it that booth #1207 in South Hall will be giving out smoothies, fresh-baked cookies, AND ice cream. (Hint: it’s in the first row of booths, just to the left of the entrance to the South Hall.) Be sure to stay hydrated, too. Water stations, thoughtfully sponsored by Zscaler, are available throughout both halls.
#4. Have fun!
You’re bound to experience information overload at RSA, so be sure to take some time to decompress. Moscone Center is in a bustling area of San Francisco—the cultural heart of the city—so you’ll have no trouble finding things to do outside the conference. Here are a few of my favorite places within walking distance of Moscone:
- Super Duper Burgers, located in the Metreon, 783 Mission Street. If all the talk of cybersecurity has made you hungry, step into Super Duper Burgers, and see why it’s a San Francisco favorite. (*Drool)
- The View, located in the San Francisco Marriott Marquis, 780 Mission Street. After walking the 700,000 square feet of exhibits, there’s nothing better than to relax with a refreshing drink and a spectacular view of the City by the Bay.
- If weather permits, take a moment to enjoy the beauty of Yerba Buena Gardens, conveniently located just above the North Hall at Moscone. By which I mean it’s on the roof.
I am looking forward to seeing everyone for an exciting and intense week of fun at RSA. See you there!