In a few short years, CyberScoop’s DC CyberWeek – October 21-25 – has become a must-attend week of cybersecurity mini-conferences, networking and learning in the Washington area, drawing attendees from across the country.
At a time when many of the security industry’s mammoth annual conferences are becoming so large that they somehow feel less accessible, DC CyberWeek stands out for its more relaxed, “SXSW-like” festival approach. During CyberWeek, security experts and practitioners are encouraged to hold their own events, discover and attend others’ talks, and use the entire week’s emphasis on community learning and social activities to build relationships. If you already live here in the region, this format delivers a ton of valuable content and conversations without the typical travel headaches, airfare and inflated hotel rates.
Between our firm’s Northern Virginia and San Francisco offices, as well as regular visits to client sites in technology hubs across the country, our team keeps a close eye on conference trends. It is impressive to see the following CyberWeek has built in a short time and how effectively the week reflects the entire D.C. area’s stature as a true cybersecurity capital. Whether you are new to this fall cyber festival or a loyal attendee, consider these tips for getting the most out of the week:
Keep an eye on the schedule
Make time to scroll through the helpful drill-down schedule of each day’s events so that you can register or RSVP to everything that interests you before spaces fill up. Whether you follow risks facing smart cities, security research and journalism or the impact of 5G wireless and the Internet of Things (IoT), there is something here for you. DC CyberTalks, held on October 24 this year, always feels like a flagship event for the week. It’s a day-long event in the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, one of the city’s best venues, and hosts diverse, distinguished speakers from industry, government, academia and elsewhere who deliver shorter, more-provocative talks (not a PowerPoint barrage).
Go out of your comfort zone
I appreciate CyberWeek for fostering events on many topics we do not see as often in D.C. For example, there are plenty of government, geopolitical and policy-themed security events in this town, but relatively fewer on interesting subjects like cyber issues in the gaming industry or ethical considerations in artificial intelligence. Maybe artificial intelligence (AI), risks to utilities’ industrial control systems (ICS) or cloud are a bit off your beaten path, but take advantage of the week to attend one or two events like these because you never know where the knowledge could pay off on the job or making introductions for others.
Don’t skimp on the social
Between busy panel debates and research presentations, make sure to check out receptions and other social events offering great opportunities to network. CyberScoop’s Opening Party on Monday is always an impressive kick-off event and there are many others throughout the week, including W2 Communications’ own CYBERTACOS meet-up on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Take advantage of these opportunities to grab a bite to eat, mingle with event organizers, speakers and fellow attendees, while making sure to organize the notes and new connections you gather each day.
What are you looking forward to at #DCCyberWeek? Let us know on LinkedIn and Twitter and make sure you join us downtown for taco Tuesday at MXDC!