By Melissa Roxas on June 30, 2023

Make the most out of Black Hat USA 2023

Following the RSA Conference, the cybersecurity community is now looking forward to Black Hat USA 2023, scheduled from August 5-10 in Las Vegas. In its 26th year, the event has become the go-to for unveiling the latest in cutting-edge cyber research, developments and trends, and promises a deep dive into emerging threats, critical vulnerabilities and advanced defense tactics. 

Align business goals with Black Hat USA 2023 opportunities

The best way to get the most out of the event is by aligning your business goals with the opportunities on site. There will be a lot to do, see and learn, so it's easy to get caught up in trying to do it all. Simplify by ensuring your event strategy messaging maps back to your company objectives.

To start, ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the company's overall goal of being at Black Hat? 
  • Do we have a unique perspective to offer?
  • Do we have the right people there?
  • What worked last time and what didn’t?
  • What’s the one most impactful activity we can do at the show?
  • Are there influencers, partners or peers we should align with to enhance our presence?  

Once you've answered these questions, there are few actions you should take.

  • Be proactive: Don't wait for conversations to come to you; initiate them. This could mean hosting a panel discussion, running a live Q&A session or publishing thought leadership articles on trending cybersecurity topics.
  • Tell a story: Cybersecurity is complex, and effective communication means making it understandable and relatable. Make sure your messaging tells a story, drawing a clear line from problems to solutions and indicating how your audience fits into that narrative.
  • Maintain flexibility: The cybersecurity landscape is ever-evolving and your communication strategy should be adjusted accordingly. Be open to new platforms, new forms of content and new ways of engagement.


Talk to a security expert about executive storytelling


How Highwire clients are preparing for Black Hat USA 2023

To understand what's top of mind for our clients this year, we conducted a brief, informal survey. Our questions ranged from their anticipated presence at Black Hat USA this year to their communication goals and here’s what we uncovered:

Black Hat first – While Black Has been happening for more than 20 years, some are considering attending and having a presence for the first time this year. 

According to one client, “this is the year for us to have a presence at Black Hat to bolster our security strategy. It’s not something we’ve participated in the past but it would be good to send our team and get visibility among that audience. It’s too late to get a booth or sponsor a speaking opportunity but we can look at paid opportunities as another way to get our message out there.” 

Another mentioned, “this is our first "official" Black Hat, meaning our first time sending people on the company's behalf, not on an individual basis.

Booth must have - For many clients, having a booth is a big part of their strategy but it’s still too early to know what their plans are. 

A few contacts mentioned that they just started thinking about their planning this month and many mentioned that it’s still in the early stages of discussion.

The AI element - With AI being the hottest topic in the news and at the last security conference, some clients are fine-tuning their AI messaging.

According to one security comms professional, “We’ve been talking a lot about our AI messaging and we’re working to have a solid story to share. You can expect that customers and prospects are going to ask what your stance on AI is and you want to make sure you prep your team for that. 

A scaled back approach –  Of course given the economic climate, some clients are having a limited presence, pulling out of sponsorships or will be doing less this year. 

“There may be some limited onsite researcher engagement/events,” one client adds. “I’m not looking at Black Hat as a time to drive news – if we move forward on any strategic comms activities, it will likely be more focused on elevating the company’s leadership in security research and press relationship-building.”

Get comms support with Highwire

At Highwire, our seasoned cybersecurity team has a wealth of experience in supporting and amplifying your messaging at high-profile conferences. If you're interested in learning more about Highwire's cybersecurity practice and how we can provide comprehensive onsite conference support, don't hesitate to reach out.

Contact us today.

Published by Melissa Roxas June 30, 2023