When does the RSA Conference 2021 Call for Submissions open? When are submissions due? 

Call for Submissions for Full Conference track sessions, Cooperative Learning and Learning Labs has been extended to September 27 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time. There are no extensions and submissions received after that date will not be reviewed.

When will I find out if I have been accepted? 

Speakers for all sessions will be notified mid-January. 

What speaking opportunities are open? What are the different types of sessions? 

There are three formats to consider when submitting, each has their own path within the Submission Portal:

  1. Full conference track sessions, including submissions for the Hackers & Threats tracks, can be solo or joint presenters or panel format. These sessions are 45 minutes long. All submissions will by default be considered for Full Conference track sessions. If you have an unusual idea for a format, we welcome it! Please be sure it’s fully explained in the “session detail” portion of the submission so that the Program Committee clearly understands your innovative idea and know how to best consider it.
  2. Learning Labs are facilitated, hands-on experiences designed to immerse attendees in interactive exercises and discussions. By design, Labs have a limited amount of presentation material and maximum focus on leading participants through the content and exercises, challenging them to apply what they are learning and engage with one another. Learning Labs are 2 hours long. If you would like your submission to be considered as a Lab, please be sure your “session detail” portion supports how you’ll best deliver in a Lab format. 
  3. RSAC Cooperative Learning sessions are discussion-based 45-minute sessions. The facilitator delivers a very brief (10 minutes or less) presentation to set up the discussion topic and then the group is broken into small teams for conversation and further exploration of the topic. At the end, the whole group reconvenes to share big ideas from their discussions. This format is meant to facilitate networking and connections between like-focused attendees.
How are sessions selected? 

A volunteer Program Committee, comprised of more than 80 hard-working security professionals, technology experts, researchers, government employees, attorneys, and scientists, review all submissions and make selections based on quality of submissions and balance of topics desired to be covered. 

What resources does RSA Conference offer to speakers?

We are invested in the success of our speakers and provide many resources to help them shine. 

  1. Best Practice Resources – All selected speakers are offered resources, presentations, tips and opportunities for coaching with our speaker team. 
  2. Program Committee Review – Every session is reviewed multiple times by the Program Committee, industry experts who offer perspective and depth to the presenters to enhance their session materials. 
  3. Onsite Rehearsal Opportunities – You’ll have access to practice space onsite for last minute refinement of your presentation and orientation to your room set up. 
  4. Copy of session scores and audience feedback – Post-Conference, we share directly the feedback of the audience, offering speakers the ability to know how they performed individually and comparatively to other speakers at Conference. 
How do you assure you have timely material if the sessions are submitted so far in advance? 

Final presentations are reviewed within a few weeks of RSA Conference and the Program Committee helps presenters to seek and include up-to-date examples and content. Additionally, there are some RSA Conference sessions that are open and added at the last minute to allow for “breaking events” to be addressed at Conference. 

It seems like the same people get selected year after year. How do I increase my odds of getting selected? 

Last year more than over half of our speakers and facilitators were new to RSA Conference. While RSA Conference does have repeat presenters, these presenters do not have any seniority in getting accepted. RSA Conference is a vendor-neutral event. 

RSA Conference values diversity of thought, background, gender, orientation, ethnicity, nationality and experience—let your unique perspective and expertise shine in what you submit. Well thought out, complete, unique submissions with clear and specific detail or technical depth will definitely improve your chances of being selected.

What are the main reasons sessions don’t get selected?  
  1. Incomplete submission. Believe it or not the #1 reason is incomplete submissions. The session detail portion of the submission is the most important piece of the entire submission. 
  2. Vendor pitch. It is very clear on the review end when a marketing or PR person is tasked with the submission—the title is catchy and the short abstract is solid, but the detail is sketchy and the expertise of the actual proposed presenter often isn’t clear. Don’t fall into this trap. Sales pitches are also extremely easy to spot and our Program Committee quickly eliminates them from consideration. 
  3. Multiple submissions on the same topic. We get a lot of very similar submissions, and with a limited number of sessions, the Program Committee must pick the sessions and the presenters they think best address the topic. The Program Committee seeks diverse experts who really come through in the specific detail and examples included that differentiate them from the other proposals. 
  4. Final tip. RSA Conference has a sophisticated audience well versed in cybersecurity. Basic sessions aren’t as well received nor are past presenters who’ve been poorly evaluated by attendees in the “avoid commercialization” category (beware the temptation to sell!). 
What are the most popular sessions at RSA Conference? 

Our session attendees are very seasoned, with an average of 10 years in the security industry. They are looking for information they can apply to their jobs and technical deep dives that don’t skimp on details. Don’t make it about XYZ product (smells like a sales pitch!) but rather “business changes and benefits realized through the deployment of this sort of solution”, for example. Practitioner perspectives shine, especially when you’re willing to share what hasn’t worked alongside what has. Content that is intermediate to advanced scores the best—this audience is well beyond entry-level definitions.

If I am having trouble making my submission, who do I contact?

We are so sorry for your trouble, but rest assured we are here to help. Please just drop us a note at rsac.callforsubmissions.help@info.rsaconference.com with some details on how we can support you. 

What if I am interested in submitting a podcast or blog for use on the RSA Conference website?

Great Question! It has just become a whole lot easier. Please just navigate to our RSAC 365 page to learn more about all the different ways you can share your knowledge with the RSA Conference community, year-round.