1. It’s Easy To Submit … Just email two to three paragraphs on what you would like to present to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include what makes what you have to say novel and important. We will look at and consider whatever you send, but don’t overthink it.
2. Submitting Early Improves Your Chances … We evaluate proposals as they come in. If you wait until early-August there will be very few speaking slots left, and the likelihood of being the best in the flood of last minute submissions is less.
3. We Will Work With You To Try To Make It A S4 Session … About half of the sessions selected are the result of going back and forth with the speaker to convert the initial proposal to something that fits in with S4. Most often this is focusing on a specific aspect of a broader proposed talk. We will work with you to try to identify a successful S4 session idea in your proposal.
4. First Time Presenters Have An Advantage … We want new voices with new ideas at S4.
S4 Main Stage … is the huge Jackie Gleason Theater Auditorium. You will be performing on the big stage and get a great video of you to use however you like. It is a springboard to speaking at other events.
The S4 Main Stage is for the general S4 audience. Your content should be aimed at the experienced OT & ICS Security professional as well as executive management. No SCADASEC 101. It does not need to be technical, and related field talks are welcome as well.
Stage 2: Technical Deep Dives … Stage 2 is moving to a large theater that seats 600, so every S4 attendee will be able to see your session. Stage 2 is S4’s heritage, and the place to present your highly technical work to an audience that will get it. Stage 2 has the most technical sessions you will see and hear anywhere. Get into the bits & bytes, math, code, physics and other technical detail.
Is It New? … the typical S4 attendee is highly experienced in OT and ICS Security. Many of the attendees have spoken at other events and heard the same useful, but not novel information many times over. They follow the ICS community closely. Does your session have fresh information? A unique point of view? A reveal? 85% of the S4x20 sessions were new.
Is It Advanced? … No SCADASEC 101. No IT vs. OT. If you are submitting, you are likely advanced in this field. Are you presenting information that you would have found challenging and compelling before you began the project? (Note – the one exception is if you are proposing a related field session in an area that would be new to the typical S4 attendee)
What Is The Impact or Solution? … This is the “so what?”. It’s great to show some amazing research or theory, but what is the OT / ICS Security community suppose to do with it?
Does It Sizzle? … This is admittedly a bit silly, and we avoid hype without substance or vulns that display SCADASEC 101 problems. That said, we do look for speakers and sessions that are likely to garner the interest of attendees and press. At past S4 events we had the first sessions on the technical details of Triton, attacks on Ukraine, the first ever medical device hacking session, the first ever reveal of Internet connected ICS, and more.
The evaluation decision considers these four factors. Your proposal doesn’t need to check off all four, but it should be very strong in one or two areas.
We take great care of our speakers at S4 and help your session be a success. Leading up to the event you will get the help you need to make sure your session has impact, including review and suggestions of your presentation. On site we have a Green Room with a speaker coordinator, makeup, and a crew that will make sure you are taken care of from before you go on stage until after you wind down. Even if this is your first time on stage, we will help make this a great experience for you.
A great talk at S4 will increase your reputation in industry and make connections that will help your career.
We encourage everyone to submit their great work and ideas for S4x21, including speakers from companies selling products and services. Of course we do not allow a commercial pitch on the Main Stage or Stage 2, and the review of your presentation will be a bit more stringent.
S4x21 Partners and Sponsors have no advantage or disadvantage, much to their dismay, in getting accepted to speak on the S4 Main Stage or Stage 2. If your company chose not to Sponsor or wanted to after they sold out, you still should submit your best content to present at S4. If your company is a Sponsor, you still should submit your best content to present on the S4 Main Stage or Stage 2, in addition to your Sponsor Stage session.
We are moving forward with S4x21 as an in person event that will take place, as you can see with this CFP. Still we understand there is a real chance that COVID may make this impossible. S4x21 will not be moved to a virtual event, because this would not meet the S4 mission. Our why. We do have ideas about how we can publicize great content if S4x21 cannot happen. We would work with selected speakers to achieve this.
We will make a go / no go decision on S4x21 in early October.