Know Before You Go

Insider Tips for Getting the Most Out of RSA Conference 2015

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For first-timers, RSA Conference can seem pretty overwhelming. Over 490 sessions. Hundreds of vendors. Dozens of opportunities to learn, engage and have fun.

Where do you start? We put together this guide to give you tips, tricks and resources to help you maximize your RSA Conference experience.

Insider Tips

1. Plan before you go

RSA Conference is full of opportunities: instructor-led classes, hands-on seminars, peer-to-peer sessions, in-depth Learning Labs and more. The best approach is to spend some time before the show building a customized schedule using My Schedule on the Conference site. Visit “Sessions & Events.” Filter by day and content/activity type. Use the Advanced Filter to sort by keywords and/or companies. Our mobile app can help you with on-the-go scheduling as well as alert you to new additions, recommendations, and other valuable information.

2. Choose your sessions

It’s best to come to RSA Conference with specific questions in mind. If you block out your time purposefully, you should leave with the answers you need. We recommend these approaches when choosing sessions:

A. Dig deep. Pick Sessions of Interest. Vote with your feet and go to sessions that enhance your learning, across tracks (usually the case) or on a single track (works for some).

B. Get input from co-workers. If you’re the only attendee from your company, talk to your boss and co-workers before you come so you can gather intelligence for them.

C. Divide and conquer. If you attend with co-workers, decide as a group who covers what prior to the Conference, then create a final trip report together.

3. Map your show floor time

Familiarize yourself with the floorplan. Highlight vendors you want to see. Pay attention to your snail and email. Many vendors will offer incentives to visit their booths or invitations to special events.

4. Keep the party going

Some of the most valuable RSA Conference experiences happen after the closing whistle. Pub crawls, dinners…you can even participate in a game show!

5. Be social

The Sandbox is the social hub of RSA Conference. Meet fellow attendees, interact with speakers and authors, sip coffee while you post to your favorite social sites, and much more.

6. Expand your knowledge

RSA Conference offers many opportunities for intense, hands-on training from (ISC)² and the SANS Institute. Learning Labs are another popular choice. So popular, in fact, that you MUST enroll for these sessions before you go.

7. Beat the crowds

You didn’t fly all the way to San Francisco just to stand in line. Registration is available in Moscone North and West. Monday and Tuesday morning are by far the busiest times. We suggest registering on Sunday if possible.

Registration hours:

 Sunday 7AM–6PM Moscone North and West


Moscone West
Moscone North
Tuesday 6:30AM–7PM  Moscone North and West 
Wednesday  6:30AM–6:30PM

Moscone West
Moscone North


Moscone West
Moscone North

Moscone West
Moscone North

The Tuesday Opening and Friday Closing Keynotes tend to be the most attended events, so get there early.

8. Stay hydrated and fed

With so much to do at RSA Conference, it can be easy to forget to eat or drink. Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities for both. Moscone North, South and West feature all small food cafes and coffee bars. There are also plenty of events that include food and/or drinks:

Welcome Reception North Expo and South Expo  5PM–7PM
Cybrew Café in the Sandbox  1PM–5:30PM 
Full Conference Continental Breakfast Moscone South Upper Lobby  7AM–8AM 
Beer Camp in the Sandbox (additional purchase required)  4:30PM–7PM 
Cybrew Café in the Sandbox  1PM–3:30PM 
Dinner for Six—Various Restaurants  6:30PM–7:30PM 
Full Conference Continental Breakfast Moscone
West Level 2 + Level 3 Level Lobbies
Cybrew Café in the Sandbox  7:30AM–5PM 
Expo Pub Crawl—South Expo Only  5PM–6PM 
Dinner for 6—Various Restaurants  6:30PM–7:30PM 
Full Conference Continental Breakfast Moscone 
West Level 2 + Level 3 Level Lobbies
Cybrew Café in the Sandbox  9AM–5:40PM 
Codebreakers Bash—The Masonic  6:30PM–11PM 
Full Conference Continental Breakfast Moscone 
West Level 2 + Level 3 Level Lobbies


1. Pack for Comfort, Convenience: Wear comfortable shoes. Pack a battery phone charger. Don’t leave your hotel without business cards.

2. Plan Ahead: Schedule meetings with top executives earlier in the week. Schedule sessions you are interested in right away. The Codebreaker’s Bash (Thursday, April 23) can be a good place to network.

3. Always Have a Backup Plan: Sessions can fill up quickly. Always select a plan B in case things change.

4. Take Care of Yourself: Keep distance in mind when scheduling meetings. Otherwise, you will find yourself sprinting all week. Skip some after-hours events earlier in the week. Build in time to get food. Avoid lunch between 11:30 and 1:30.

5. Be Smart About the Expo Floor: Use the Expo floor layout (available in the program guide or online) to target key companies. Visit the companies which are “musts” for your organization earlier in the week.


The RSA Conference Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn pages are great resources for important Conference activities and fun. Catch up on the Twitter conversation using #RSAC to hear from other attendees and learn more information about conference activities. You can also take a load off at the #RSAC Social Lounge (Moscone South Lobby) between Keynotes and Track sessions. Recharge your devices, meet other security evangelists and participate in activities and contests.


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