RSA Conference 2013 Survival Guide

The annual IT security extravaganza known as the RSA Conference is just a few days away, and IT and security professionals from all over the globe are getting ready to pack their bags and head to the Moscone Center in San Francisco for a week (Feb 24 – Mar 1) of concentrated IT security sessions, keynotes, product announcements, and networking with colleagues. I attended RSA in 2011 and 2012, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the big trends and stories are for 2013.

Having attended a few RSA Conferences already, I thought I’d offer up some tips and advice on what should help make your RSA experience a more enjoyable one. I’d also love to hear your own tips, tricks, and suggestions for surviving RSA, so please add a comment to this blog post or drop me an email with your thoughts.

We’ll be posting live from the RSA Conference show floor throughout the week, so be sure to follow me on Twitter (@jeffjames3) and via the Petri IT Knowledgebase Twitter account (@petri_co_il) to get the latest security news, views, and observations from the show.

Get the RSA Conference Mobile Apps

The RSA Conference has traditionally been fairly good about providing mobile apps for conference planning, and this year is no exception. At the time of this writing, RSA Conference 2013 mobile apps are available for iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android (tablet and smartphone) mobile devices. Sorry, Windows Phone and Blackberry owners: No dedicated RSA mobile application for you, but there is a mobile-optimized RSA conference website that you can access.

The RSA Conference 2013 iPhone app

The RSA Conference 2013 iPhone App

Learn the RSA Conference RSA Social Media Lingo

One of the most entertaining things to watch at tech conferences over the last few years is the endless stream of comments that attendees post to their social media accounts, including Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and Pinterest. The RSA Conference official Twitter account is @RSAConference, and the conference hashtag is #RSAC. On Facebook, you can visit the official RSA Conference Facebook page.

The RSA Conference organizers are also sponsoring a contest of sorts that involves checking in with FourSquare at various locations around the conference, such as the Codebreakers Bash, orientation, the welcome reception, the Expo Pub Crawl, and in the Innovation Sandbox. Attendees who use FourSquare the most might win some Sony Smartscreen watches, which you can read about on the RSA Conference social media page.

RSAC Security Experts, Journalists, and Attendees to Follow

There are thousands of people who attend RSA every year, but only a few hundred or so are active with social media, or covering the event as journalists or on their own private or public blogs. I’ve personally followed some of the people listed below, and I find all of them to be simultaneously educational and entertaining. Please note that not all of these people may physically attend RSA this year, but all of them are actively writing, posting, or using social media to make their opinions known about IT security.

Don’t Forget the Parties!

One of the most popular pastimes at RSA every year are the dozens of parties, receptions, and other gatherings that security vendors, industry groups, and other interested parties hold every year. The definitive resource for all of these events at RSA is the @RSAParties Twitter account, which links to a public Google calendar that lists all of the RSA parties that are public (or not-so-public) knowledge.

Looking for an #RSAC party? @RSAParties has you covered.

Looking for an #RSAC party? @RSAParties has you covered.

Are you attending the RSA Conference 2013 in San Francisco next week? If so, I’d love to hear from you: Drop me an email with your thoughts or catch up with me on Twitter, Google+, or Facebook (see below).