[Committees-chairs] Booth at Blackhat - Lessons Learned
sarah.baso at owasp.org
Tue Apr 6 03:21:32 EDT 2004
Thanks for sending this "post-op" interview. I really enjoyed the
opportunity to represent the organization and it was great to interact with
potential new chapter leaders and others interested in engaging with our
organization. I think having a booth at industry events like this is one of
the best ways for OWASP to increase its visibility in the marketplace and
amongst people that traditionally wouldn't be within our scope of chapter
meeting or conference attendees. I think if we do a little work to draw
people in (sorry, but the tree and bottle openers weren't quite doing the
trick) and show off some of the great volunteers we have (chapter
leaders/project contibutors), an OWASP booth will really do a lot for our
Our biggest costs were the bottle openers ($1670) and shipping (over $600)
-- and i think we could do more to either mitigate those costs or reallocate
them for more effectiveness.
See answers below in red. Let me know if you need any clarification or need
On Fri, Aug 12, 2011 at 2:55 PM, Kate Hartmann <kate.hartmann at owasp.org>wrote:
> Sarah, first of all, thank you for stepping up and being the OWASP
> representative at our donated booth at Blackhat in Vegas. I understand that
> at least 3 new chapters are a direct result of the exposure and I have seen
> several wiki account requests that reference “that really nice lady in the
> OWASP booth” in their bios. ****
> ** **
> I know there has been quite a bit of discussion of “booth in a box” or the
> “traveling roadshow” and I believe that the Blackhat experience could serve
> as a great foundation to make this happen. If you could please take a few
> minutes and help fill in the blanks so we can keep track of what worked,
> what didn’t work, and how we can keep it going for future events. Feel free
> to add comments or questions since I’m sure I’m not covering all areas.***
> ** **
> I am including all the committee chairs (and list lurkers) because this
> initiative is really a community effort: Education committee provides
> content, conferences committee secures venue with agreements, etc., chapter
> committee finds the “booth staff” from local chapters, communications
> committee promotes the booth, and projects and industry suggest current
> OWASP initiatives for feature depending on location and current events.***
> ** **
> 1. I know the booth was “donated” by Blackhat, but I also know the
> conference Committee funded extras. I calculate the following expenses
> (estimates): shipping - $210, additional shipping from MN - $300, schwag
> (bottle openers) $1670, tree - $80, your time (TBD), and what else?
> Estimated expense for donated booth approx. $2260 (not including your time)
> from what I know. What else can you think of and what can we reuse?
The total amount for shipping/handling was slightly more than that: GES
(Blackhat S & H company) - $306.95 ($100 more than we thought) and UPS for
return shipments - 37.46.... for a total of about $2400.
What can we reuse? I should have the box with the remaining bottle openers
by Monday - but I think there about 1000 left.
> ** **
> 2. What worked? Was the giveaway a success? Did you see something better
> that someone else was giving away? While you were there, did anything
> strike you as “Wow, wouldn’t that be cool…..?”
The (few) top 10 books we had on the table for giveaway were a "hot
commodity" (they were gone by about noon on the first day). We could have
used LOTS more for people that knew about the Top 10 (and wanted a print
copy to take home for themselves or others) and most importantly, for those
people who new very little about OWASP and the Top 10. This was a tangible
example of one of the things produced by OWASP that people could use
themselves and share with co-workers.
The bottle openers were ok, but once people saw the much fancier metal
bottle openers given out by another (vendor) booth, they weren't as keen on
our cheap plastic ones. I heard/saw many people asking for coffee/caffeine
between the dedicated coffee breaks. I think it would be great if we could
rent (or buy) a espresso machine to serve drinks at our booth. The espresso
would draw people in and then if we had a little more man/woman power at the
booth (at certain times - see #5 below) to talk about projects and
chapters, as well as handing out Top 10 books, I think we would be able to
provide even more visibility and education.
> ** **
> 3. Other than banners and table covers, is there anything else that should
> be a standard in the “booth in a box?” You mentioned an espresso machine –
> now that’s a great idea! What about a netbook for easy membership
> registration? I’ve always wondered if it would pay off to get folks to sign
> up while they’re excited. I know at conferences, I get quite a few new,
> walkup members.
Quite a few people had questions like - is there a chapter in (insert
location)? When is the next meeting at (said location)? It would be cool
to have a poster to at least show our locations around the world, as well as
a laptop/netbook to look up the date and time of the next meeting at a
certain chapter location. In terms of signing people up for membership on
the spot -- maybe. I didn't have many requests for this at Blackhat, but
did at Secure 360 (which I worked at the OWASP booth in May).
> ** **
> 4. What were the top three questions you were asked? I know that #1 was
> probably “Where is the bathroom?” #2 was probably “Where is the coffee?”
> and #3 was probably, “Where’s the beer?” But were there OWASP questions
> that we need to script an answer to? ****
- "Hey! I love OWASP! It's great you guys are here/What are you guys
doing here?" In either case - people were excited to see OWASP's presence
and wanted to express their enthusiasm for the organization and it's
efforts. Other's wanted to know what our latest initiatives and "news" was.
A newsletter would have been perfect for this:) But something prepared in
terms of latest projects/chapters/conference initiatives would be great.
- "Where's the coffee?" (hence, answer to #2 above).
- "What's OWASP?" (No, I'm not kidding; people really did ask this...)
Approximately 1/4 of people that approached the booth could either vaguely
recall hearing of OWASP (but not identify anything about the organization)
or had not heard of OWASP before. I was pretty surprised by this - but it
just emphasized our need to be there and evangelize about OWASP's mission.
> 5. How many people do you think need to be in a booth at any given time
> and what is the burn down rate? By that, I mean, if you are at the booth
> for 4 hours are you still able to walk and talk or is 1 or 2 hours about the
> energy limit?
For me - A break was definitely necessary after about 3-4 hours. A 7 or 8
hour day with a lunch break was definitely doable, after two days I was
pretty exhausted though. There were definitely highs and lows to the amount
of people at the booth at one time, and at the times where there were a lot
of people coming to the booth it would have been nice to have some OWASP
chapter leaders or project contributors present.
People certainly enjoyed seeing and talking to Tom when he was there.
Nevertheless, many OWASP contributors offered prior to Black Hat to help out
with the booth and seemed disappointed when I didn't take them up on this
offer and instead only asked for them to stop by and mingle with other
OWASPians hanging out at the booth (how Tom asked me to handle the
volunteers). I would have liked to schedule some of them to be there at the
high traffic times at the booth (breaks/lunch/etc). Also, instead of feeling
"burdened" with the responsibility of working at a booth, I think some of
the OWASPians would have felt appreciated and proud to represent OWASP and
talk to others on the organization's behalf.
> ** **
> 6. What are the opportunities to attract corporate supporters at events
> like this?
There were actually quite a few people that approached me about becoming
sponsors/corporate supporters, I think if we had a hand out of some sort
with statistics about our conferences - who attends, where they are from,
etc. that would answer a lot of their questions. Also, if we had some sort
of "deal" that would entice them to commit to a sponsorship then and there,
I think some of them would be interested in it. Finally, I think the more
"buzz" around the booth - energy of people working at the booth and amount
of people stopping by, the more likely we are to generate sponsors.
> So, I know there is much more we need to understand about being on the
> front line. Let’s not lose the momentum!****
> Kate Hartmann****
> Operations Director****
> www.owasp.org ****
> Skype: Kate.hartmann1****
> ** **
> Committees-chairs mailing list
> Committees-chairs at lists.owasp.org
OWASP Global Conference Committee
OWASP Global Chapter Committee
Los Angeles OWASP Chapter
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