Information Security Conferences


We have plenty of them these days, good and bad, underground and business-focused, small, large and extra large. When you are young and start attending conferences all you care about is content: the latest and greatest talk from Juliano on Padding Oracles or how Sebastian Muñiz and Alfredo Ortega take control of a satellite but after a few years the most important things happen in the hallway track.

After a few years the talks are just there to fill the void between talking to different professionals you respect, and might be hard to meet face to face somewhere else. Lunch and after-conference meetings become places where friends are made and business deals closed.

Conferences create communities, share knowledge, build friends and fuel our businesses. We like them so much that we create small quarterly meetups to do exactly the same while we wait for the next big conference in our city.

Something we rarely think about is the huge effort associated with organizing these conferences, and how the organizers sacrifice their time with family and friends to create an event that is appealing for all of us: junior, senior, tech, sales, developer, red or blue team.

Today the Ekoparty organizers announced that they will cancel their event in Los Angeles because of multiple problems with their local partner. I was going to deliver a training at Ekoparty LA, and consider some of the organizers good friends, so I received the news in a phone call a few days earlier.

The announcement took me by surprise.

The announcement made me realize that I never really thought about the huge effort that these guys invest to organize the conference.

The announcement made me think about all the times I should have said thanks and didn’t. Better late than never, to all of you: thanks for organizing the greatest conference.

I’m sure that after all the sadness is gone, this will be a great learning opportunity for them. You learn more from your failures than you do from your success.

Hopefully, this will also be a learning opportunity for all of us.

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