[Global_industry_committee] AppSec Industry Table - updates

Tobias tobias.gondrom at owasp.org
Sun Feb 24 14:52:05 UTC 2013


Hi guys,

I thought I should give you a quick update on my latest attempt on an
"Industry Table" at the AppSec APAC in Korea.
(as a reminder the Industry Table is: At the AppSec conferences, there
is usually a networking event or dinner for all attendees and we setup
one table with a sign "Industry Leaders" and prior to the event, I went
through the list of all attendees, carefully selected people from
industry companies and sent them invitations via email to join this table.
This has two objectives:
1. generate value through networking and exchanging ideas among industry
peers
2. improve communication between OWASP and industry members (what do
they need from OWASP, which projects could OWASP offer they might not be
aware of yet))

Anyway, so far the results were very mixed and the one in Korea was
extremely disappointing.
- AppSec APAC 2012: there were a few people at the table and we had a
good discussion,
- AppSecEU 2012: done by Colin with a few people on the table
- AppSecUS 2012: organised and email went out 36 hours before the event,
unfortunately the table did not have a sign on it for the first hour,
and people didn't find the table and I basically only had 2-3 meaningful
discussions (e.g. one with the Head of Security Team at Oracle)
- AppSecAPAC2013 in Korea: I received and went through the attendee list
only one day before the dinner and sent out the email invitation. And
although the sign was on the table right from the beginning, the
turn-out was zero. :-(
(I talked to one of the guys and due limited email access during travel
he had not received the email invitation in time, but he also did not
signal that he would have had very strong interest to join the table
anyway.)
In general, in Korea, the total number of attendees was very low and the
industry related attendees were only very few (maybe 10-15% - 12 out of
90) of the overall attendees in Jeju. (At the other AppSecs I would also
say the ratio was a bit better.)

So far my learning points are:
1. send out email invitations at least several days before the event (or
people will not read about it in time)
2. it is important to have the table-sign there right from the beginning
of the event.

As some of the organisational bits went wrong at some of the previous
events, I would probably try the "Industry Table" one more time before
giving up, this time with more advance notice (ca. 5-7 days) before the
event and making sure the table is clearly marked with the little sign.

Beyond that, I am wondering, whether we maybe need to reconsider the
approach and whether we should consider alternative approaches or drop
it? E.g. like a meeting during one of the tracks with an industry guest
speaker or panel? Or any other ideas to be more effective in our outreach?

Best regards, Tobias


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