How to Put RSA Conference Learnings to Work for Your Campaigns

This year marked a return to a (nearly) typical in-person RSA Conference (RSAC). Over the past month, WE Communications has been in regular communication with security-industry media and influencers — keeping our finger on the pulse of the trends surrounding the annual cybersecurity conference. Now, we’re taking a step back and reflecting on some of our takeaways from this year’s show, which has evolved over the years to become more about industry vision than big news drops:

As predicted, AI was HUGE!

From booth experiences to panel discussions and keynotes, artificial intelligence was unsurprisingly a major topic at this year’s show, as were other emerging technologies like quantum. Ahead of RSAC, WE released a Cybersecurity Communications Pulse showing that emerging tech topics like AI are on the rise (seeing a 16% jump over the past year), and that these future-focused topics are driving the most engagement. RSAC coverage was no different. Our post-conference data show that one in four RSAC-related articles focused on AI, while the topic drove two-thirds of total article shares online. Meanwhile quantum appeared in 5% of coverage and drove higher average engagement compared to the event overall.

Government security took center stage 

Government and federal agencies were among the top influencers on social media surrounding RSAC, and media outlets like The Washington Post, Wired, Axios and NBC News took note. At his talk, NSA cybersecurity director Rob Joyce told the cybersecurity industry to “buckle up” and prepare for big changes ahead from AI tools like ChatGPT, which “will no doubt be wielded by both attackers and defenders alike.” The talk drove high engagement and was among the top-shared content on social. Discussions about policy and regulation were a key focus at RSAC. With the 2024 election coming up, we don’t expect the government cybersecurity conversation to wind down anytime soon.

Constraints on media require being flexible in your event strategy

Media layoffs — including those that have impacted the tech newsrooms at Insider, Morning Brew, Protocol and other outlets — have taken a major toll on the enterprise-tech media landscape. Newsrooms (many now, just virtual) are trying to do more with less, and we saw the impact of this at RSAC, with more cybersecurity reporters opting to tune in to keynotes virtually, take coffee chats over Zoom, and participate in other remote-event experiences rather than attending in person. At the same time, many comms professionals agree RSAC is no longer the conference for dropping major news or executing a big launch. Rather, it’s a business conference for networking, driving leads and closing deals. As a result, we see the media who do attend leaning on keynotes and panel discussions about the future of the industry to drive coverage.

As RSAC has evolved over recent years, as has the way media cover these big industry conferences. Understanding what stories will amplify your key messages and drive the highest audience engagement is more critical now than ever.

For more information on trending topics in the cybersecurity space and how to break through in your storytelling, check out our Cybersecurity Communications Pulse report or drop us a line at