The 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.
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
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:
- Analytics, Intelligence, & Response
- Application Security
- C-Suite View
- Cloud Security & Virtualization
- Hackers & Threats
- Human Element
- Machine Learning
- Mobile and IOT
- Policy & Government
- Professional Development
- Protecting Data & Applied Crypto
- Security Strategy
- Tech Infrastructure and Ops
What to Bring to RSAC 2018
- 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.
- A Good Pen — You’ll want to make notes in sessions, and the cheap pens at conferences are notoriously bad.
- Chargers — When you’re in sessions followed by parties, there’s little time to plug in and charge your phone. Power banks are key.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
We hope this guide has been helpful, and hope you stop by the Axonius booth at the Early Stage Expo. Above all, have fun.