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Blog: Back to In Person Events

As the world continues to ride the post-pandemic roller coaster through twists of variants, turns of new outbreaks (monkey pox, really??), and holding on through all the ever-changing loops of safety protocols, our team at SPHERE found it refreshing to have a little taste of “normalcy” with the return of in-person events and conferences this Summer. In June, we divided and conquered across both the 31st annual RSA Conference, the world’s leading information security event & expo, as well as Gartner’s Security & Risk Management Summit.

The SPHERE team that headed to RSA at the Moscone Center in San Francisco June 6 – 9 joined 26,000 other attendees to discuss pressing topics surrounding privacy and surveillance, the positive and negative impacts of machine learning and artificial intelligence, the nuances of risk and policy, and cybersecurity-focused innovations across crypto and blockchain.  While SPHERE decided to forgo the expo booth this year (we’ll likely return bigger and better in 2023!), its fearless leader, Rita Gurevich, was invited to participate in a panel entitled, “Talent Shortage: Fact or Myth? Resources for Finding and Growing Talent.” Rita spoke about promoting gender and neuro diversity in technology while recruiting and cultivating the best talent—topics she is no stranger to especially as a female founder and CEO in the historically male dominated tech space. SPHERE co-hosted events with our friends at Forgepoint Capital and met with organizations and analyst firms including IDC and Omdia.

Gartner’s event was held June 7 – 10, in National Harbor, MD. The focus was on key strategic imperatives such as establishing an agile security program, fostering a human-centric, security-conscious culture, devolving risk ownership, and establishing a new simplified cybersecurity mesh architecture.  The SPHERE team hosted a booth during the three-day expo center where we provided on-site demos of our proprietary SPHEREboard software and spoke to attendees about cleaning up their open access issues (broom props and all!).  Our Product Manager, Kristen Buckley, was even interviewed by the Gartner team to highlight the benefits that SPHEREboard delivers for organizations around the globe.

While both events required proof of vaccination, attendees seemed comfortable—and even happy—to gather in groups again.  Face masks were scattered, though it was noted how organizers have gotten more creative and innovative to promote safety and comfort in numbers (though we didn’t see any wearable UV air purifiers just yet).  More events had outdoor portions, which is especially easier in the summer months, and there were plenty of sanitation stations and contactless options, such as handheld scanners for sharing contact information.

Overall, our teams never felt uncomfortable or unsafe and were more than happy to join together again with peers who share our passion for cybersecurity and identity hygiene (as long as they practice good personal hygiene, as well!).  We hope to see more of our friends and colleagues in person soon. See our latest pictures below and check back for updates on where SPHEREnation will appear next!  In the meantime, stay safe and healthy, keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times, and enjoy the rollercoaster ride!

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