In a few days, tens of thousands of people will descend on Las Vegas. They won’t be there to gamble—though that opportunity exists—but to attend AWS re:Invent 2018. Since 2012, the Amazon Web Services (AWS) conference has exploded in popularity as AWS users, partners, and employees trade information, experiences, and business cards over the course of several days. But, figuring out how to navigate the conference, which attracted some 40,000 people last year, can be a challenge.

This year, the conference spans seven hotels, making prioritizing your schedule even more important. The good news is that Armor is here for you—and the event organizers have also taken steps to make things easier for attendees.

Where you can find Armor at AWS re:Invent:

  • Visit us at the Venetian Expo at Booth No. 3010.
  • While you’re at our booth, play Whack-Attack to win cool prizes, watch a live demo, or just chat us up!
  • Armor Head of Product Arash Marzban will speak about full-stack security—don’t miss his session at 4:10 p.m. ET Monday, Nov. 26, at the Pilvi Theater in the Venetian Expo Hall.
  • Make Armor your first stop during the Pub Crawl from 6-8 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Nov. 27, at the Sugarcane.

Keynote and speaking sessions

Step 1: Identify the keynote and breakout sessions you would like to attend. In the case of keynotes, the executive leadership from various companies will typically make larger announcements focused on their new services, partnerships, and market strategy.

Choose the keynotes that have an impact on your business first and prioritize them over others. Likewise, prioritize the breakout sessions that cover topics core to your business. If you are a developer, what sessions relate to your next major project? Lean into those keynotes and sessions that are the most relevant to you and take advantage of the opportunity to hear the latest information firsthand from the professionals who build and use AWS technology every day.

In addition, many sessions will be repeated, and the event organizers have established overflow rooms, so you do not have to miss out on any you want to attend. Like many companies, Armor’s Head of Product, Arash Marzban, will be presenting. His discussion on full-stack security and how to address the requirements of shared responsibility while augmenting native AWS security controls will take place at 4:10 p.m. ET on Monday, Nov. 26, at the Pilvi Theater in the Venetian Expo Hall.

Growing your network and partnership

Walking the floor gives you the opportunity to meet and greet representatives from different partners and vendors—including Armor (Booth No. 3010). Many will be vying for your attention. My advice: Start with the partners and vendors that drive the most important IT initiatives for your business, and then branch out to other vendors that may be of interest. Before the event, research companies that will be in attendance and what they do, so you can more easily identify those that meet your business and security requirements. Ask direct, detailed questions that will elicit the information you need.

Choosing the right third-party vendor to partner with is no small task and requires balancing several variables.

What fits your business needs?

It is critical that you know how many resources your organization can dedicate to cybersecurity, what compliance and security frameworks you must abide by, and how that affects your strategy for improving and maintaining your security posture.

How innovative is the vendor regarding security orchestration?

Security orchestration and automation reduces complexity and streamlines security operations. Done right, these capabilities help accelerate the time for customers to effectively remediate and respond to threats. Closely tied to this is the use of machine-learning technologies that can quickly identify and categorize threats improving over time.

How much of your security will be internally driven?

There is no shortage of independent software security vendors providing tools to protect customer environments. That approach, however, leaves it to the customer to develop a security stack that is effective and meets their business requirements. Third-party providers can meet these needs, but companies must determine how much of their security they are willing to hand off and what the implications of that will be.

Events like AWS re:Invent offer the opportunity for customers to not only learn about the latest and greatest technologies and use cases for the cloud, but also to network with vendors and other like-minded AWS customers. Take the time to do both, and you will get the most out of this year’s conference.