I made a short video on how to make the most of your time if you ever find yourself in Denver, CO for the Rocky Mountain Information Security Conference.
Of course, any conference experience is a lot more fun if you have some friends.
Which reminds me about a simple tip my friend Scot Thomas gave me when at Defcon about 3 years ago.
I was walking down the corridor and saw Scott sat on a bench, so I stopped to say hello and sat down next to him. I asked how things were going and he let out a slight sigh and motioned to people walking past. He said how a lot of people seemed to be in a competition to quickly say hello to as many people as possible. Literally a quick handshake and exchange of pleasantries before going off to repeat the 30 second ritual with someone else.
Those Jerry Maguire words stuck with me and I’ve found that simply stopping to have a 10-15 minute conversation with one person. Or grabbing coffee with 2 or 3 people can lead to a far better interaction. You get to understand what others work on, their experience, knowledge etc.
Ultimately, it boils down to what your objective is when attending a conference. For some people, attending talks or workshops is all they require. Myself, I value the networking opportunities and getting to meet and know other people. Others just want to attend the parties and collect swag… I guess there’s something for everyone.