If there is a key takeaway from this year’s RSA Conference, it’s that there has never been a better time to be in cyber security. The industry is booming; we saw over 550 exhibitors and hundreds more attendees exploring the show and networking with prospects and partners in the local bars and restaurants. With investment in Cyber Security predicted to exceed $133 billion by 2022 , the number of new vendors springing up is growing rapidly.
What is apparent is that end users simply don’t have the time to navigate the noise, with some companies, such as CISCO, steering away from talking about technology because ‘simply, customers don’t want to’. This is forcing vendors to work harder than ever to stand out and differentiate themselves in a meaningful, non-gimmicky way, especially at large events such as RSA.
Splashes of vibrant colour were a welcome change from the sea of blue often associated with tech, with one of our favourites being Trend Micro with their ‘art of cyber security’ visuals. We also absolutely loved KnowB4’s cinema-style stand, luring in attendees with the smell of popcorn and their screening of The Inside Man. Thychotic were immediately visible due to their huge green Jeep, dominating the floor alongside branded slot machines. Attendees were invited to spin the wheel for a chance to win the CEOs Jeep, and the stand was quickly filled with guests trying their luck. Another highlight was the free corporate headshots that PKWare were giving away in exchange for contact information.
It was great to see how some of the start-ups with smaller stands maximised their space and differentiated themselves. Behaviosec’s Café was great for a quick caffeine break – their various coffees were cleverly named after their solution stack, with my personal favourite being their Frictionless Latte. Awake drew in crowds with their vibrant colours and rainforest visuals, and you couldn’t miss the robot at Garrison who was demonstrating their secure browsing through hardware isolation solution. Another favourite was Watchguard, who made a big splash at the show by handing out branded flasks that could be used to claim a free Starbucks on route to the show.
It was clear to me that the attendees at RSA were happier to be “sold to” than at other conferences, fostering an atmosphere of openness and excitement to learn. Because of this, we saw endless potential opportunities for vendors wanting to crack the American market. The focus now shifts to generating engagement with prospects and seeing how the show helps with next-stage interest.
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