Feb 15 2008
If your a blogger or a podcaster in the security arena, do yourself a favor and apply for a press pass for RSA 2008. I don’t know what the criteria is for approval, but the bar isn’t incredibly high nor is the process very onerous. Ten minutes worth of paperwork might get you a free press pass to the event, which will make selling RSA to your boss or significant other much less painful.
This will be the third year in a row I’ve attended RSA with a press pass, as well as attending BlackHat, Defcon and Shmoocon with press credentials last year as well as several other events. There hasn’t been a single case of a my being turned down yet, as long as I made the effort to apply. Most of the security events have realized the influence bloggers and podcasters have, making them eager to have us attend. After all, anything that gets events more publicity is a positive in the eyes of the PR folks, who are usually the gate keepers for press badges.
A press badge gets you in just about anywhere at RSA, at least that’s been my experience. We get a special area to sit at the keynote speeches, though I rarely attend those. They have a press room where you can take a few quiet minutes to relax or catch up on email and blog, and there’s often food. Vendors make all of their material available in one place, plus the usually put a few tchotchkies there you won’t find anywhere else. The only downside to getting a press pass is the influx of press releases and requests for interviews you’ll get. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but you’ll need to learn to be a bit more judicious in your use of email filters.
A full conference pass costs $1725, $2125 after March 8th. A press pass is free. Starting up a blog today just so you can get a press pass probably won’t do you much good, but if you’re already a blogger it can’t hurt to ask nicely. And it helps a lot in stretching your training budget for the year.