RSA Conference 2023: Review from Adlumin’s VP, Chief of Strategy Mark Sangster

RSA Conference 2023 returned to its pre-pandemic pandemonium. Attendance seemed to have returned to around 50-60,000 attendees, streets were packed, and restaurants were all but sold out or booked for corporate functions. Walking the exhibit hall floor, the show seemed business as usual. Here are a few general observations from my time at the event.  

Post-Pandemic Return

Things that seemed unaffected by the pandemic hiatus. First, many vendors and attendees returned. Second, the market, which I am happy to report, seemed more inquisitive, informed, and ready to engage with vendors on a deeper level. In general, we appear to be moving from first-generation to next-gen buyers with the wisdom to better qualify potential vendors against their requirements. 

Cautious Optimism

I also had the chance to meet with numerous investors across venture and equity capital. With concerns about a commercial real estate collapse, the banks left holding most of downtown San Francisco buildings, and there was optimism. Like the Gen-2 attendees, the investors have evolved from a hedge in hyped companies to realistic investments based on proven growth, responsible spending, and experienced leadership. The money is there, as is the appetite. It’s about responsible investment rather than gambling. That’s not bad for an industrial full of fast (and not so fast) followers who desperately need consolidation across various security categories.


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