Peer2Peer Sessions: Maximizing Value, Submission Tips and More

Posted on by RSAC Editorial Team

Each year, one of the most exciting parts of RSA Conference we hear about from attendees are the Peer2Peer sessions. It’s a chance for peers to interact with one another and have a discussion. There is no presentation, no formal set up, no panel or Q&A format. It’s a chance to collaborate and listen to one another to help solve real issues in the cybersecurity industry.

In this blog, we will look at the value these sessions hold and unearth some tips for the submission process while also hearing from a past RSAC Peer2Peer facilitator on her experience. We sat down with Britta Glade, Director of Content & Curation at RSA Conference to share her thoughts:

There are numerous ways to gain value out of the Peer2Peer sessions.Networking capabilities, active and equal participation amongst your peer group and creating an interactive setting.

It is a safe environment with a free flow of information. No media or outsiders are allowed into these sessions, they are reserved on a limited seating basis for full conference attendees only. It’s an open and honest conversation and discussion around exploration for what industry practitioners are dealing with day in and day out.

These sessions are most valuable for the quality of discussion as many are people are working with similar issues in their companies or organizations. It provides the opportunity to address short or longer-term career needs. It’s also not a one size fits all environment. Everyone learns in different ways and this provides an alternative solution to some of the larger sessions.

Submission Tips
Most important thing: it’s a facilitated discussion not a presentation. Don’t repurpose existing submissions, it’s important to take time, show that you care and are invested in the submissions. It should be geared towards a small group aimed at peers on relevant and timely issues.

Big, broad topics don’t resonate as well with Peer2Peer sessions. It’s like trying to boil the ocean in 45 minutes. So, narrow it down to ensure that you will be able to get answers to pressing and relevant topics by getting as granular as possible.

For more submissions tips, be sure to visit the RSA Conference website and check out the FAQ.

What Peer2Peer sessions ARE NOT:

  • Speaking submissions.
  • Not a presentation, meaning no deck or PowerPoint presentations are allowed.
  • Not designed for a large group. These sessions are intended for around roughly 30 people.
  • Regurgitated speaking submissions. Should be authentic and original. 

As a facilitator for Peer2Peer session, what should you expect?
Jenny Menna, Senior Vice President at US Bank, and previous RSAC Peer2Peer facilitator weighed in with us on her experience:

“I enjoyed it because you get the opportunity to learn from other participants as much as they are learning from you. It allows much more of an interactive opportunity for the facilitator to be a part of a back and forth dialogue. There is a ton of new information being shared and you really get more than you give in this process, you’re not transmitting but receiving.

These sessions allow participants to steer the conversation to what they really need to know. It’s an opportunity to make the discussion fit the needs of everyone in the room.

Things change so quickly in the security world as we all know so it’s great to be timely. It’s easy to swing a conversation on something that was overheard at a keynote presentation earlier in the day or breaking news that happened the night before. It’s a discussion on the fly with no prepared remarks or deck ahead of time.

Some examples I’ve seen facilitating these discussions include: two years ago, it was around building up your cyber security workforce. It was great to hear what other companies and industries were doing. There was also a recruiter in the room who brought a totally different perspective to the conversation.

This past year, we had a discussion around DevSecOps with banks and how to mitigate risk. A lot of other banking companies participated but other technology companies also joined that were able to share where they were going and how far ahead they were.”

For more information on RSA Conference Peer2Peer sessions, click here.

RSAC Editorial Team

Editorial, RSA Conference

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