Axonius Blog

An Unofficial Guide to RSA Conference 2018

Posted by Nathan Burke on Apr 11, 2018 2:47:00 PM

rsa-lineThe annual RSA Conference is just days away, and with 60,000 security professionals about to descend on San Francisco, we thought we’d provide an unofficial guide the RSA Conference 2018. Here we’ll focus on 3 things: the sessions, the expo, and of course, the parties. Parties first…..

1. Parties During RSA Conference 2018

Every night during the conference, there are dozens of parties thrown by security vendors. Some are invite-only, but many are open to anyone who RSVPs. A few weeks ago, we couldn’t find a comprehensive list of parties, so we made our own RSA Conference 2018 Party List. We keep it updated any time we hear about a new party. A few highlights:

Monday, April 16

No Wine-ing DevSecOps Cocktail Party 2018
Time: 4:30 PM
Location: Jillians @ The Metreon, 175 4th St.

This is the 5th annual wine event, and it starts at 4:30, and at 7:00 at the same location is:

Flashpoint Ignite Featuring Dual Core
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Jillians @ The Metreon, 175 4th St.

Internationally renowned for nerdcore and rapping about tech, modern life, and hacker culture, Dual Core will perform at 8:30 p.m. in Jillian’s main room.

Tuesday, April 17

Time: 4:30–6:00 PM
Location: Marriott Marquis, 780 Mission Street

Get together with your RSAC friends at our fourth annual craft beer tasting event! Join us for a hands-on interactive experience to research and uncover new flavors and tastes in California craft brewers. This year’s beer tasting will feature: Napa Smith Pilsner, Speakeasy Prohibition Ale, Heretic Shallow Grave Porter and Ballast Point-Fathom IPA. Participants receive a commemorative RSAC tasting glass.

Security Leaders Party @ RSA 2018
Time: 5:00–8:00 PM
Location: City View @ Metreon

Live music from Coachella & Bonnaroo artist Sir Sly. This will be the most talked about party of RSAC 2018. We have food, drinks, the hottest security vendors in the space, live music and you won’t want to miss the view from City View @ The Metreon.

Again, these are just a few of the parties going on. Check out the full RSAC 2018 Party List here.

2. RSAC Expo Halls and Early Stage Expo

There are 587 vendors exhibiting at the RSA Conference in 2018. If the average conversation at a booth is 3 minutes long, it would take about 30 hours to hit every booth (without factoring in time to walk to each booth, and time waiting for someone to be free to talk). Given the fact that the expo halls are only open a total of 23 hours during the show, it’s pretty much impossible.

You’ll need to prioritize.

Early Stage Expo

Located at the Marriott Marquis, the RSAC Early Stage Expo features 40 emerging information security startups, of which we are one. Please make sure to stop by the early stage expo to see a live demo, and to check out some of the other innovative companies you may not yet know. Hours:

Tuesday, April 17: 4:30–6:00 PM
Wednesday, April 18: 8:00 AM — 5:00 PM
Thursday, April 19: 8:00 AM — 3:30 PM

Click image for a PDF map of the Early Stage Expo

Main Exhibit Halls

Out of the 587 vendors mentioned, there are over 540 split between the North Expo and South Expo. That’s a LOT. And again, given the need to prioritize, here are a few strategies:

Sort by what you need — Many attendees want to check out the expo halls because they have a project or need in mind. If you spend some time using the security keywords and core topic filters to sort the exhibitor list, you’ll be able to get a shortlist of vendors worth visiting.

Sort by swag — No one admits this, but we all love freebies. I’ve seen conference attendees break into a full sprint to ask someone “which vendor is giving away those plastic swords?” I myself stood in line for more than I’d like to admit to get an autograph from Ronnie Lott, and have seen hours-long lines for a Soup Nazi photo. No joke.


Follow on social — Most vendors will announce their giveaways on twitter and will talk about what they’re showing at their booths. Just follow the #RSAC2018 hashtag on twitter, or just search here. You’ll see attendees giving their opinions about which booths are worth visiting (and where they got the swag worth sharing).

3. Sessions and Keynotes

There are hundreds of sessions during the show, all sorted by core topics:

The full list of keynotes is available here.

What to Bring to RSAC 2018

  1. Business Cards — You’ll inevitably meet people that you’d like to follow-up with. Even in 2018, it’s convenient to hand someone all your contact info.
  2. A Good Pen — You’ll want to make notes in sessions, and the cheap pens at conferences are notoriously bad.
  3. Chargers — When you’re in sessions followed by parties, there’s little time to plug in and charge your phone. Power banks are key.
  4. Headphones — You’ll probably need to make a few phone calls, and the crowd is loud. If you have decent headphones with a microphone, you can drown out a lot of background noise.
  5. Snacks — Whether it’s due to the time difference, the constant walking, or a combination, it’s likely you’ll be hungry at a time where food is not available. A Quest Bar or some nuts come in very handy!
  6. Sneakers — I once went to RSA with a new pair of dress shoes. After the second day, I really regretted that decision. Expect to walk a lot, and make sure your feet are taken care of.
  7. Fitbit/Step Counter — If you count your daily steps, make sure you do that during the show. In 2016, I had my first 30,000 step day, and that’s worth bragging about!

RSAC 2018 Mobile App

Though there is a Mobile App listed on the RSAC Conference website, there are still no instructions on where to get it. Instead it says “Please check back for download instructions.”

Check back on this page during the event. It may be live when the event kicks off.

Click here for a PDF version of what you’ve seen here.

Thank You

We hope this guide has been helpful, and hope you stop by the Axonius booth at the Early Stage Expo. Above all, have fun.


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