We are pleased that the ICS and ICS security vendors are eager to come back to S4x23. We have put up the Sponsor Page so you can see who will be there. There are only a small number of sponsor packages available for the Feb 13-16 event (2xS4 Prime, 2xSBOM Pavilion, 2xLunch, and 1xCraft Beer Bash). We are holding one cabana back for case where we see some company doing something cool and innovative that we want to have at the event.
A few years ago Kim Legelis, when she was with Nozomi Networks, said that S4 was the hardest conference as a sponsor AND the best conference as a sponsor. We evaluate everything, including the sponsor packages, on how it will improve the attendee experience and help achieve the Create The Future mission. S4 isn’t a place where you can send some equipment and marketing people to stand behind a tabletop or more elaborate booth in a hotel or convention center ballroom (although this would bring in more money for S4). Vendors need to bring their top technical talent and be ready for tough questions and longer conversations.
Every year we are trying new things in all areas, including sponsor packages. The Cabana Sessions were generally disliked when introduced. Why would an attendee want to spend an afternoon around the pool. They came to see sessions. Once experienced, they were a hit. Go figure, a major benefit of attending a conference is creating and establishing relationships with your peers. Sharing ideas. Something about being around the pool, by the beach, in the sunshine in Jan / Feb, loosens everyone up. The sponsors love it too as they are having long conversations from start to finish.
Not every idea works. We tried different ways to have a Sponsor Stage. 30-minute sessions for each sponsor. Partner level sponsors taking over the stage. They weren’t a disaster, except for some of the rooms that housed this stage. The quality was uneven, and a portion of the attendees wouldn’t even consider attending a Sponsor session. No sponsor packages for S4x23 contain a speaking slot.
New Sponsor Packages For 2022
The move to the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, the Fillmore is closed for renovations, provides us with 8 rooms that are 25’x20′. Each S4 Prime Sponsor has a room from Monday 1PM to Thursday 1PM. They can use the room for breakout sessions, demos, roadmap previews, customer or prospect meetings, social activities, team meetings or whatever they want. The only restriction is each S4 Prime sponsor needs to have a physical flag and virtual flag for the S4 CTF.
While we are setting the stages up on Monday, the S4 Prime Rooms and SBOM Pavilion will be open to anyone who wants to get some pre-event content.
We are very curious how this will go. It requires creativity and work by the S4 Prime Sponsor to put together something compelling for the ~800 best in world ICS security talent. If they do, this could be great. If they don’t, it could be a bust. We shall see.
Again with the move to Loews we have another big room, above and beyond the 3 stages. We decided that all the attention to SBOMs deserved a closer look. The SBOM Pavilion will have six sponsors that have an OT SBOM solution. More importantly, they will all participate in the S4 SBOM Challenge. For a product unknown in advance:
- they will be provided with the firmware / software
- asked to create a SBOM, and this will be compared with the known SBOM
- asked to import VEX and potentially other feeds
- and have the results available for attendees to view and interact with us
Our hope is this will provide the S4 attendee with a view of the state of the technology, what they can expect from SBOMs and VEXs, a view on the different ways this information is analyzed and presented, and likely other benefits we can’t predict.
We’re very confident this will be value add for the attendees given who we have running the SBOM Challenge. It likely won’t be repeated at S4x24, but we may pick another burgeoning product or service area and create a focused pavilion.
And as a reminder, S4x23 tickets go on sale on Sept 15th. If you want the ticket 1-101 price, be prepared to buy your ticket on day 1.