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Though the tutorial sessions kicked off Sunday and ran through today, the RSA Conference Welcome reception kicked things off officially on the show floor at this evening. I arrived late this afternoon, checked into my hotel and made my way over to the convention center to check in and get my badge around 4:00pm.
I also went by the speaker lounge to check in and meet up with my co-speaker for my Wednesday session and we were able to make some good progress on slides (yes, they were due weeks ago, but we'll be tweaking them up to the last minute, not doubt). We also requested permission to film our session with my camera - this is apparently something that is possible, but you have to ask ahead of time - luckily, we got good guidance on this from the good Mandy Schu, our speaker manager.
At 6:00PM, we went down to the reception and, I must say, my first impression for this year was very good. The show seems bigger and better than ever. I saw lots of familiar brands and we meandered over by the Microsoft booth, where I ran into Kai Axford, Austin Wilson and a bunch of other Microsoft folks. After a bit of smalltalk, I set out to accomplish my goals for the evening:
Shortly later, as I'm walking by a booth, my ear caught a familiar tune - " naaa na na na na... story of my life, story of my life..." I look over, and yes, there are two security geeks rocking out on Guitar Hero. Hmm, interesting idea, it definitely seemed to be drawing a crowd. I wonder why nobody else thought of that. Five minutes later, after passing 3 Guitar Hero sets, I realized that a lot of people had thought of it. Play, get high score and win a game system!
So, there it is, the theme of RSA 2008: Guitar Hero III.
Okay, so that may not be the security theme for the show, but it certainly seemed to be a hit with the attendees, judging by the many people stopping to show off their mad (or not so mad) Guitar Skillz.
I'll be checking back in with you midday tomorrow to give my feedback of how the morning keynote sessions go, but if I get some free time, you may see me on the show floor working my way through "Slow Ride" or "Barracuda."