Tips for Submission

It doesn’t matter if you are an independent consultant, a security professional at a small company, a blogger, an expert security tester at a large software company with a story to tell, or a senior developer at a company that is not exhibiting at RSA Conference 2020 –all submissions are reviewed equally! RSA Conference is vendor-independent. Program Committee judges are selected based on their industry knowledge and experience. They are technical like you and love reading submissions that come directly from you.

We expect more than 2,000 submissions this year, so differentiation and depth is key.

Below are some tips that have helped previous speakers be selected to speak at RSA Conference. Review our webinar pdf for tips on how to get your speaking proposal accepted. Also, be sure to check out the submissions page to review some real submissions to previous RSA Conferences that were selected and subsequently ending up being some of our top presenters in past years. This page not only shows you the initial submission, but also links to the final presentation that was delivered onsite.

1. Select Your Topic Carefully. This can be the most challenging aspect of the entire process. You need to consider:

Experience. The scope of your personal expertise and those of any co-speakers, moderators or panelists is very important. Having personally experienced an implementation or war story in your enterprise automatically positions you as an expert.

Timeliness of the topic. If it is a topic that is in the headlines now – or was of major importance in past Conferences – you may need a fresh angle (or a different topic) to drive interest for the 2020 event. Your submission will have quite a bit of company.

Technical level of the topic. The average Full Conference Attendee has 11 or more years’ experience in the security industry. Attendees are looking for highly technical, specific and strategic information and demonstrations.

Applicability of your session. Conference attendees want to learn from your experience and apply to their jobs. What can you impart to them that they can put into action the week after the Conference?

Diversity. RSA Conference is committed to diversity and inclusion, in terms of the gender, orientation, nationality and ethnicity of the presenter(s), as well as the diversity of experience the presenter(s) or panelist(s) bring to bear by virtue of their position, responsibilities, and industry they represent. RSA Conference is all about this intersection of ideas and experiences, and the strength of the intersection comes from the power of diversity.

2. Develop a Unique Approach to the Topic. Recognize that your professional peers may be submitting their proposals on a similar topic. Evaluate how to make your proposed topic stand-out from the crowd.

For a panel, think outside the box. Should you set up a debate? Do the proposed panelists have different opinions? Is there controversy? Are they diverse? Many of our Conference attendees find panels do not provide enough of a deep dive into the subject matter – if you are submitting a panel, think about ways to deliver this type of information…and if a panel really is the best choice for this content.

We recommend that you download the offline submission form to determine the information you need to provide in advance. Fill in the form offline, and then copy and paste your responses into the online submission form. This option is the best approach to avoid losing your valuable work and information.

3. Consider Every Aspect of Your Submission. Each item on the online form is important to your potential selection and your proposed presentation. Many of these items are character-restricted and the character count includes spaces. Save time by ensuring that each item is within the correct character count before going online. The session detail portion is particularly important—please make sure to give this section the time and attention it deserves! Also make sure the depth of your presentation is in line with the tremendous experience of our attendees.

4. Respect Your Audience. As you think about your session and the audience you’ll address, think carefully about your classification and matching your content to your audience. RSA Conference offers content for practitioners at all stages of their career. All track sessions must fit into one of the following session classification options, and you will be asked to provide knowledge “pre-requisites” as well as Learning Objectives to help attendees assess those sessions that are best fits for them:

300 Level/Advanced - Focused on advanced principles and concepts, geared toward attendees with deep subject knowledge and 10 or more years of experience. Little/no time is spent on defining terms and background. These sessions are high in demand and should contain demonstrations, line code, advanced architecture discussions, tools that can be shared, or similar level of content.

200 Level/Intermediate - Focused on principles and concepts that would appeal to attendees with more than 5 years of experience. Little, if any, time is spent on definitional terms and concepts.  Contains instructive demos, management tools, deep process discussions, or similar level of content. 

100 Level/General Interest - This classification is used for compelling strategic sessions and introductions to new technology.

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