So, let’s talk RSA.
March 4-8, 2019, RSA was held in the great “Tech Giant” city of San Francisco, California. If you are unfamiliar with RSA, it is one of the largest security conferences in the world. Not only is it held in multiple cities and internationally; it is thought of as one of the highest-level security hubs for up and coming technologies and vendors to network and sell the latest and greatest services in the field. If you are a SMB (Small to Medium Sized Business), look at our recommendations on how to make the most of the conference value of your dollar and time.
TechGuard Security was founded in 2010 and is a wholly woman owned SMB with 120 employees. While the company originated as a Government Contracting firm, it has since expanded successfully into the commercial sector. We attend RSAC in San Francisco, California each year in hope to promote our brand and services.
First, we will discuss budget. A standard size (10 ft x 10 ft) booth will run you about fifteen thousand dollars and typically increase one thousand dollars per year. The cost of a “badge scanner” is roughly seven hundred dollars and if you have more than four people working your booth; you’ll need two. Next you must consider all the “extras”. Those extras would be carpeting, electricity, tables, etc., which can increase your cost by several hundred dollars. Hotels, flight, and rental vehicle or Uber/Lyft for staff that will be attending should also be incorporated. In all, RSA can cost around thirty thousand dollars for six staff and all the “fixings”.
Is RSA going to provide ROI on the investment?
From my experience, the answer is yes but takes discipline and effort.
For SMBs, funds are typically tight and investments in marketing and advertisements are highly scrutinized to ensure the return on investment will, at a minimum, cover the expense. The road to ROI at RSA starts with capturing quality leads. RSA events can amass close to 50,000 attendees - ranging from CISOs and other C-Suite staff, IT Security Staff, Red Team/Blue Team members, Vendors looking for partnership, and those merely there for the collection of giveaways. Discerning between those with valid interest in your product or service is a true talent. For TechGuard, conversation is essential. Engage everyone that walks by in conversation. The key to finding interest is in candid communication. If they seem disinterested or may not have the authority to approve such a purchase, thank them for their time and let them be on their way – badge scanning not necessary. As both an exhibitor and attendee, the onslaught of spam in my inbox after RSA is excessive and unwanted.
To summarize, the main difference for TechGuard Security, LLC is knowing that not EVERY conference attendee is going to pan out to be a prospective client. Not every participant needs your services today, but that can always change. Be memorable for the right reasons and it may eventually pay off!
Written by Kerri Setzer
Kerri Setzer is a Cybersecurity Consultant at TechGuard Security where she conducts penetration tests, vulnerability assessments, social engineering exercises and IT Controls Audits. Previously, Kerri spent five years in a Fortune 500 healthcare organization in an operational capacity; developing and maintaining advanced information technology solutions while ensuring IT solutions implemented within the organization met HIPAA compliance. She has participated in countless audits to validate various controls under SOX, HIPAA, PCI-DSS and NIST 800-53. In her spare time Kerri enjoys running, fishing and playing outdoor sports with her husband and four daughters.