Loffler Tech Fest 2019

Where does the time go? Loffler Tech Fest 2019 was held at the St. Paul (MN) RiverCentre on May 15th, and I couldn’t get around to writing this short summary until now.

Ugh.

This was the 2nd talk I gave (of five) that week, and the first of two I gave that day. This is my short summary.

About Loffler Tech Fest

It’s rare to find a quality event that’s free these days. Heck, it’s becoming rare to find a quality event period. Loffler pulls it off each year, and it’s fun to be a part of it. I don’t know how many people were there exactly, but I’d guess there were 1,500, or so. Highlighting the event was the keynote given by PJ Fleck, Head Football Coach, University of Minnesota and the IT Panel Discussion Featuring Twin Cities Business Leaders. Seated on the panel were:

  • Ben Davis – Executive Vice President & Chief Digital Officer at Cambria
  • Cindy Trousdale – Chief Financial Officer at Shaw-Lundquist Associates
  • Steve Molander – Chief Information Officer at Frandsen Financial Corporation
  • Barry Doerscher – Chief Information Officer at Midwest Dental

I know Ben and Steve, and they are amazing IT leaders. If the event only had the keynote and panel, it would be a success. There was more though. There were four technology sessions, prizes/vendor showcase(s), and a networking happy hour.

What was I doing there?

Three things, I think.

First, I stole PJ Fleck’s badge and showed it to my friends. The chances of me passing myself off as PJ Feck were very low, so I gave it back. This was more about having fun than anything else.

Second, this was a great opportunity to say “hi” to a bunch pf people that I don’t get to see very often. I love people and I love seeing them when I can.

Third, I gave a talk.

The Talk

The title was Speaking Information Security. It was well-attended. Maybe 80 people. I didn’t count, but the room was full. (I gave a talk once ~8 years ago where nobody showed up! Another story for another day).

This was a new talk, and I planned to deliver it twice that day; once here at Tech Fest, and again in the afternoon at Secure360. Not only does this save some time and frustration with PowerPoint, but I wanted to judge the audience reactions in both venues for a couple of reasons.

  1. The Tech Fest audience was mostly IT folks, not necessarily security folks. The audience in the afternoon would mostly be security folks, not IT folks.
  2. I’m the CEO of two companies; FRSecure and SecurityStudio. The Tech Fest talk was delivered as the CEO of SecurityStudio, while the afternoon talk would be delivered as the CEO of FRSecure.

A copy of this talk can be downloaded here. Arguably the biggest deal in the talk was the announcement that we’re going to be making the FISASCORE (self-assessment) free! I hadn’t even officially told my team yet. More to come on this later…

The talk was fun, as most are. The talk went over well, I gave away a few free books, had a few laughs, and answered a bunch of good questions. Stayed another 30 minutes(ish) to talk with people before I needed to leave for the next conference.

Overall, I loved the conference. Kudos to Loffler and all the cool people there for pulling off a great event!