It’s over – for now

Well, that’s #CyberFest over for another year. What a festival it’s been with its high points and distractions. It’s a cliche to say that each one is bigger and better than the one before and in many ways this year has been just that. We had 14 events over the month with nearly 50 hours of content, 77 speakers and just under a thousand people registered to attend, both local and from far afield.

I am not going to dwell on the less positive aspects of the festival other than to say that each event had some technical issue we had to deal with, from network failure to speakers unable to bring up their slides. Clare, who helps me put the events on, always copes with these beautifully and hopefully the viewers don’t notice too much.

The most positive outcome though goes to the very essence of #CyberFest. The festival has demonstrated the amazing cyber security community that exists within the region and its willingness to get involved in helping each other. Everyone gave up their time voluntarily. Everyone was willing to engage in the process. Everyone understood what we were trying to achieve.

This community doesn’t just include those directly involved in working on the technical aspects of cyber security, though many were involved, but also those in education, law enforcement, business leaders, professional services, artists  and those who simply wanted to help out.

Without all those friends and colleagues we couldn’t put on one event let alone fourteen. Bringing it all together requires a lot of painting pictures, telling stories, weaving narratives and knitting it all together. It can be a process that is intensely stressful. Until the speakers are all online and Clare presses the go button I am on edge and my stomach churns. Now it is all over I can finally relax.

I promised myself that I wouldn’t think about #CyberFest 22 until at least November. Doh! That’s a promise I’ve broken already.

If you have been involved in this year’s #CyberFet in any way, I have two words to say. Thank you (and see you next year).

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