Executive Summary

National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) & Nasdaq partnered with Whova to host the Cybersecurity Summit, “Usable Security: Effecting and Measuring Change in Human Behavior.” The one-day summit used Whova’s web and mobile app to virtually facilitate great engagement among cybersecurity experts and provide high-level ROI for sponsors.

Sessions were led by prominent speakers in the field, including the Information Security Officer of Bank of America, Nasdaq Senior Director of Information, and the Director of Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

Interview with the Organizer

About Usable Security: Effecting and Measuring Change in Human Behavior, an NCSA & Nasdaq Cybersecurity Summit

NCSA and Nasdaq brought together public and private sector experts from various industries and disciplines to discuss best practices, new innovations, and current threats in cybersecurity. This Summit took a close look at research on designing security products and processes that are usable and accessible with a human-centric focus.

15,000+

Sponsor Impressions

700+

Speaker Webpage Views

~600

Tickets Sold

100+

Attendee Profile Interactions

Challenges

1. Offering attendees a reliable platform for sharing information

The NCSA and Nasdaq needed a convenient way to handle registration, manage attendee information, and host their attendees in a secure online location. Being their first virtual event, it was a priority to provide attendees and speakers with a safe and stable platform to join the 2020 summit and access the event content virtually. 

2. Creating  a productive and collaborative conference space remotely

At the summit, it was critical that attendees would be able to engage effectively to discuss important topics in cybersecurity. Once it went remote, the organizers were tasked with finding the best tools and strategies for virtual communication during the event. 

3. Organizing a virtual conference schedule with important speakers

According to the organizer, Jennifer Cook, securing speaker sessions from leading experts in cybersecurity is one of the hardest parts of organizing NCSA conferences. This year, the “Usable Security” summit faced the unprecedented challenge of coordinating with a range of prominent speakers and incentivizing them to participate virtually.

4. Providing sponsors and exhibitors with a high ROI

The 2020 event was the first time the NCSA and Nasdaq hosted the conference remotely, which made securing sponsors more challenging. The organizers needed to assure their sponsors that sponsoring a virtual event could be just as valuable.  

Solutions

1. Registering the summit attendees directly with Whova: By using Whova’s registration platform, the organizers were able to easily track who signed up for the event. As the attendees registered, they were seamlessly integrated into Whova’s virtual conference platform, where they could securely access the necessary event information and content. The attendees’ ticket type, attendee category, and other relevant information immediately links with Whova’s event management tools, making it easier for the organizers to handle all of the content.

2. Live streaming conference sessions through the Whova appAll of the Usable Security Summit sessions were live streamed through Whova. Integrating live stream sessions into Whova’s agenda was key to establishing a secure virtual space for attendees to join. The session links aren’t directly visible from the attendee side, keeping the meetings accessible only to registered participants who join through Whova.

The Agenda feature also allowed the organizers to efficiently configure the event schedule and provide a reliable way for participants to view and attend each session. 

3. Creating opportunities for online interaction and networking 

The summit’s participants were connected through Whova’s attendee profile matchmaking system. They were recommended to other attendees who had uploaded similar interests and affiliations to their profiles, so they could easily find people to private message or video chat with. 

Attendees also used Whova’s Community Board feature to post discussion topics and share articles. This hub for interaction served as a great way for attendees to share information and collaborate on ideas throughout the event.

Attendees were able to share relevant cybersecurity articles with other participants through Whova’s Community Board feature.

4. Coordinating logistics with Whova’s Speaker Center

Using the Speaker Center eased the process of scheduling guests to speak during the summit. After the speaker list was uploaded into Whova, each speaker was provided with a personal  link where they could enter their bios, contact information, profile photo, and other key information, saving the organizers time and avoiding tedious back-and-forth communication getting everything right.

The speakers could conveniently upload their personal and professional background, profile photo, and contact information with a personal link. 

The speaker list was also available in Whova’s app so participants could check out which experts would be speaking and when. The organizers also used the speaker list to automatically generate a speaker webpage through Whova, so they were able to promote the expert cybersecurity professionals before and during the summit.

Attendees could check out the list of expert speakers scheduled to present at the summit and click on their profiles for more details. 

5. Showcasing sponsors and exhibitors digitally through Whova: Sponsors of the NCSA & Nasdaq Summit were highlighted in various locations throughout the virtual conference platform. The organizers featured the sponsor names and logos by using Whova’s eye-catching sponsor banners to display them across the mobile and web app. They also utilized Whova’s sponsor tiering function to separate “Gold Sponsors” and “Silver Sponsors,” which allowed them to give the sponsors different benefits and levels of visibility. 

Likewise, exhibitors were able to generate leads by interacting with attendees in digital exhibitor booths. In Whova’s virtual booths, each company could upload a video, live streaming session, and links to deals and offers, and more. They could also engage with participants through a chat sidebar, mimicking the experience of an in-person exhibition hall. 

15,000+

Sponsor Impressions

~600

Tickets Sold

700+

Speaker Webpage Views

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