Inside the Computer Society

Angela Burgess, Executive Director of the IEEE Computer SocietyInside the CS highlights the work of the CS from the point of view of the professional staff. I blog to make our programs more visible, build awareness and encourage participation. Check back for postings about how to use your CS benefits, member and customer feedback, new initiatives, and opportunities for involvement.
     — Angela Burgess, Executive Director

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Promoting the CS at trade shows

One great way the CS staff and volunteers collaborate is through our trade show program. In 2010, the RSA conference — one of the largest commercial security conferences — again chose IEEE Security & Privacy magazine's panel from among thousands of submissions. It appeared in the Hot Topics track, one of high visibility. This year was the sixth time S&P's panel had been chosen. Of course we also took along our booth to participate in the exhibition.

The panel, "Lifestyle Hacking—Social Networks & Gen Y Meet Security & Privacy," featured excellent panelists:

  • Avi Rubin, professor at Johns Hopkins and president of Independent Security Evaluators,
  • Gillian Hayes, professor at the University of California, Irvine,
  • Jim Routh, head of global application security, JP Morgan Chase,
  • Kim de Vries, professor at CSU Stanislaus, and 
  • moderator Gary McGraw, CTO of Cigital.

To promote the panel, staff member Kathy Clark-Fisher wrote a media alert and a press release. Kathy and her team members made sure the panel was promoted on our home page, and a special landing page was created.

Before and during the show, staffer Jenny Stout handled the feeds to S&P's Twitter account. We gained about 25 new followers to S&P's feed by tweeting about the show — people going to the show actively searched for posts about it, liked our tweets and became followers. 

The panel itself was a great success, mostly due to Gary's tireless efforts and creativity. The panel enjoyed a standing-room crowd. Kathy stayed after to talk to some members of the press. They said this panel was unlike many of the others — it didn’t sell anything and was thought-provoking with quality panelists. One attendee expressed a desire to become involved with S&P in some way. He was very impressed with the content and said we were the “real deal.” That's exactly what we want to achieve with all of our products.

Here are some links to the coverage we received:

In the booth were staff members from editorial, customer service, and marketing. We saw lots of CS members and subscribers. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive — not one subscriber mentioned anything negative, instead focusing on which issue topics and departments they liked. Notably, most all subscribers loved S&P’s news section. We signed up some new members — at one point we even had a line going! — and talked up the magazine. Visitors’ overall experience at our booth seemed very positive and informative, and many were interested in the half-year membership price! In addition, many past authors, board members, and “friends of S&P” (past panelists) dropped by. Kathy also solicited about three pieces of content for a future issue of S&P.

Kathy has since posted some pictures at the CS's Facebook page — have a look. And we hope to see you next year at RSA!

Until then, we recommend that you attend our own S&P conference in May: IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, 16–19 May, The Claremont Resort, Oakland, CA. It's the 30th anniversary, so this promises to be a very special event.

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