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Early Stage but Future-Forward: A CMO’s Perspective of RSAC Early Stage Expo

For any cybersecurity startup, there is one conference that should be top of mind – RSA Conference. The RSA Conference is where all the leading industry experts in the private and public space gather to discuss, educate and share information to help to fight cyber threats and proactively manage risk. You are not acting like a lemming to want to attend, it’s a business imperative. 

However, for many security startups, there are certain factors, like budget (or lack thereof), that can put restraints on exhibiting at the event so often times many settle for walking the floor and setting up meetings at various local watering holes. That was our RSAC experience up until last year. 

In 2017, we were offered a unique opportunity to exhibit within a dedicated space for startups called, Early Stage Expo. This was a great option to play with the big boys in the industry, but at a price we could afford. Veridium was one of 40 companies that answered the call and I’m certain that none of the companies were disappointed. 

Leading up to the Early Stage Expo (ESE), as the CMO, my mind raced with questions and uncertainty. Would enough people wonder over to the Marriott Marquis since the majority of vendors were already in two different sites? Would the quality of the conversations be good? Would we get leads to follow up on after the show? I hedged my bet to the point that I was going to be the only person to ‘man’ the booth. The rest of the team from Veridium had pre-arranged meetings off-site. “Don’t worry,” I said, “I’ll handle it.”  How much traffic could we possibly get? 

My apprehension would quickly ease on the first day of the show. Our investment paid off (and then some), as attendees flooded the exhibition hall looking for demos and conversations alike. Pro tip for others thinking of attending: I recommend purchasing the scanner, as at one point attendees were lining up three deep for a demo. After we packed up our booth, we left with an impressive 83 leads to follow up on and a hoarse throat from the many great conversations. 

RSAC organizers did a number of things right, starting from the stress-free setup where organizers provided a booth stand and monitor so all that was required on our end was to staff it. For many who have attended industry events before, sometimes setting up can be daunting. –This process made it easy and cost-effective for all exhibitors to be up and running, fast. Additionally, the ESE was co-located next to the Innovation Sandbox where the top ten finalists battled it out for the spot of “Most Innovative Security Startup.” The conference also hosted CyBeerOps, the craft beer tasting event, within the ESE, which drove ample foot traffic to the area.    

And it wasn’t just me who was impressed with the expo space, the positive feedback we received from attendees was endless. The common themes we heard were accessibility and the fact that new, cutting-edge companies were all in one spot. For many attendees, they proactively ventured to the expo to speak with us (and our fellow exhibitors), to discuss what is on the horizon and what innovative solutions were coming down the pike. 

The only drag looking into 2018 is that we don’t get to do it again this year as it was such a fantastic opportunity. 

However, we will be back at RSA Conference in the North Hall at booth #3011. Please stop by and say “hello,” we will be demoing some cutting-edge biometric authentication technology to help secure employees, customers and data using your smartphone. 

Posted on January 26, 2018

Lori Cohen

by Lori Cohen

CMO, Veridium

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