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Buzzwords and Booth Bunnies

Posted by on March 3, 2016.

I try to keep my (paid) work for the security industry at arms length from what I write about here, and I certainly don’t go in for product placement. However, I’ve just seen an article by Cameron Camp, my colleague at ESET North America, which neatly encapsulates almost exactly the way I feel myself about trade shows and conferences with a heavy trade-show presence.

Security is ‘easy’: Just ask someone at RSA

That doesn’t mean I’m not aware of the importance of vendor sponsorship to most conferences, and if an abundance of trade booths helps to subsidize a good event, why should I object? In fact, I’ve put in quite a few hours of networking at trade shows myself, though I’ve never been accused of being a booth bunny and have managed to avoid giving product presentations and demonstrations. On the other hand, I’ve long felt that there are conferences that pride themselves on demanding high technical standards, yet offer some pretty fluffy, buzzword-rich and product-friendly content.

I see enough dross on my own computer screen from companies who’ve just reinvented the wheel and believe (or want their potential customers to believe) that malware detection hasn’t changed since Form and Michelangelo were the new kids on the block. I don’t feel compelled to go travelling so that I can get the same dross blasted at me from all sides. Still, it’s good that there are people younger and more enthusiastic than me who are prepared to patrol the periphery looking for old ideas that are really going to make a difference, rather than old ideas disguised as new buzzwords.

David Harley


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