Sunday, October 15, 2017

2017 ISSA International Conference Report

This past week, ISSA held their 2017 International Conference in San Diego.  I've attended the last 4 conferences (not sure when they started doing them), and this was one pretty good.  Full disclosure: I am a member of the conference steering committee, so had some involvement in the planning of it.

On the 9th was the all day Chapter Leaders Summit, which brings chapter leaders around the country (and world) to a day of training and sharing of information.  A change this year was the Summit was live streamed to those who couldn't attend.  I thought this was a good summit, with some good sessions.  I think attendance was pretty decent as well.  My chapter, the South Florida Chapter, had 4 officers in attendance.

The 10th and 11th was the conference itself.  And then it was followed by ISSA's CISO Forum.

The conference had several things different this year.  For the vendors, they had setup a very large (but very nice) tent to house them in.  To make sure people got over there and visited the vendors, they made sure that all the food/coffee breaks were there, as well as having a kick off reception on the 9th, and one of the lunches.  I think it worked well.  In addition, this time the Capture the Flag game was run on the 9th, ran then be part of the party event on the 10th.  Better idea.  Something new was a first timer event. I'll have to see how that went.

As noted, the main conference was the 10th & 11th.  We had breakfast keynote kickoffs each day, with Tarah Wheeler (whom I first saw at the 2017 BSides Orlando conference) doing the keynote on Wednesday.  For the last couple of conferences, we had a "party in the sky" on the evening of the first day.  This time, we had a "party on the flight deck" at the USS Midway, which was pretty cool.  I do wish we had been able to tour thru the ship, but we had access to all the planes up on the flight deck, and they had some of the veterans who act as docents on hand.  And below was flight simulators.  Also wish the gift shop was open as well.

Lot of talks the two days.  I think we had a good set, tho there are always the one or two that aren't that good.  I think we need to work on getting more technical talks.  As noted, I spoke on cyber resilience, and will have a separate posting on that soon.

New this year was we had a conference company do the checkin.  Bit more automated, with print on demand name badges. I had first seen this kind of thing at an ISACA Conference, and this went as smoothly.  Hopefully the cost was worth it.  We also had a conference t-shirt for the first time.

I noted good and bad things about this years conference that I will be bringing up with the steering committee so we can improve for next year's conference.  At this point I know it will be in Atlanta, but uncertain of the date.


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