As mentioned in the brief introduction above, last April the Rightschain Team had the opportunity to participate as exhibitors at the National Cyber Security Show held in Birmingham. The experience allowed participants to understand how industry events work outside of Italy, both from an exhibitor's and a visitor's perspective.
Promoting the essentials of cyber, including cyber management, security, protection and recovery, this event has now become the benchmark for protecting companies from any type of threat in the field. In fact, the goal of the National Cyber Security Show is to unify the UK's diverse approaches to addressing cyber threats and make companies resilient and aware of technology issues. Moreover, cybersecurity is not the only interest explored within the venue, as there are always concurrent events within the same venue: The Security Event deals with home security, The Fire Safety Event explores solutions from a fire safety perspective, The Health and Safety Event showcases the latest developments in workplace safety, while The Workplace Event showcases innovations to improve professional environments; finally, The Professional Security Officer Live hosts the leading brands in the security industry. Held concurrently, visitors are free to explore and attend all the exhibitions with a single ticket.
The event was held during the week, from Tuesday 25 to Thursday 27, occupying only a few hours of the participants' days, more precisely from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The host venue for the fair is, every year, Birmingham's famous National Exhibition Centre, strategically located for any professional or business matter, but not only. Being a few minutes away from the city's airport and a large number of hotels, the NEC cyclically confirms itself as the most profitable event space within the UK, hosting, in fact, any kind of fair within it, be it in the business sphere, as mentioned earlier, or in spheres generally dedicated to leisure, such as comic conventions, wedding exhibits, and you name it. In addition, the venue boasts of various extremely useful services: in addition to housing various restaurants and food services, there is a supermarket, a printing service in less than half an hour, and several staff responsible for any repairs to the facilities in real time. Inside the venue, the temperature is always regulated, various stations for free tea and coffee can be found, and the sections devoted to lecturers' presentations feature specially designed acoustics so that they can be heard by those inside the small theaters, yet without disturbing those in adjacent areas.
We're focusing on these details, seemingly insignificant from an external point of view, to emphasize the management difference from the organization of Italian events. Having participated as exhibitors, we were able to experience it from an organizational point of view, and we were more than satisfied with the methodologies undertaken to manage this more complex side. Seven months after the event, we were contacted and informed of the location of our booth, provided with a map and information regarding the procedures for setting up our booth, consisting of two chairs, spotlights for lighting and a table, provided and set up by the organizers themselves. In addition, once we were closer to the date of the fair, we were shown how to obtain exhibitor badges and free parking. Having had continuous contact with the event planners, we were then able to establish a relationship with real people, who then took the time to come to our booth to get to know us and make sure that everything was going well. At the end of the event, we were provided with an explanatory document regarding how to make the breakdown of the set-up after the fair closed, along with confirmation of the dates dedicated to the event in the coming year. In essence, we can confirm how communication between exhibitors and organizers was of paramount importance for the best possible outcome, as well as allowing us to experience the event in a safe and rewarding manner. This kind of thoughtfulness made the experience decidedly more personal and positive, underscoring once again how much communication between parties makes a difference.
Generally, the event was confirmed as deeply enriching in all respects. There were dozens upon dozens of speeches and presentations to attend each day, some given even by quite young speakers, a clear sign of how the industry is increasingly opening up to individuals from newer generations. Our speaker gave a presentation titled "Ransomware on the Rise," aimed at illustrating the processes of ransomware infiltration within seemingly protected facilities, attracting considerable interest from the audience. It can be said that the event was particularly fruitful from an interpersonal point of view, having had significant opportunities to meet potential collaborators and individuals interested in our work.
More than 3,500 visitors attended the event, having the opportunity to engage with hundreds of exhibitors, each with their own booth, their own team and various gadgets aimed at attracting attention. We were able to explore the fair with extreme freedom, seeing firsthand the huge variety of companies present: from those who occupied their booth with just a table and a chair, chatting with passersby as if they were old friends, to those whose booth stretched so far as to cover the space of four booths, whose team acted as members of a team, engaging in curiosity to the spectators. Our goal from the outset was to get an idea of how such an event worked abroad, which is why the plan of action adopted was extremely simple and passive: we left a leaflet on our booth table, venturing inside the venue to be able to interact with the other exhibitors present, subsequently obtaining meeting requests so that we could better disquisition our professional view within the scope.
Several months after the event, having had time and opportunity to analyze the experience and formulate our own opinions, we can confirm that we received extremely positive feedback both from our own perspective and from those with whom we spoke during the days of the event.
Such an event can only teach Italy how running trade shows in this field works. Hoping for similar results in the future, we strongly encourage you to attend the 2024 National Cyber Security Show in Birmingham, which will take place from April 30 to May 2.