What was day 2 like at the community meeting? Lots more tweeting, lots more networking, and lots more info! First off, HUGE thanks to Gene Kim for being the most prolific twit, by far. Those present and not thank you! We started with the Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report review from Chris Novak. While the report is not new, Chris’s anecdotes that went along with the report solidified key findings for the group.

Save, by rpongsaj

Next the conference offered options. I opted for the PCI in Practice track with fellow board members Peter Cooper, Philip Morton, and Patrick Phalen. Each presented stories and strategies they used to bring their global organizations in compliance with PCI DSS. I enjoyed the session, and I heard from many others that it was one of the more valuable sessions that the community meeting offered. Then more Ask Bob and the afternoon wrapped with PTS and PA-DSS updates.

And with that, another community meeting is in the books! I have attended every north American community meeting and I must say this one has been my favorite. Here’s a few reasons why I liked this one, and a few things to consider for next year.

The new stance on Social Media allowed for a participation MUCH greater than the 1004 that were registered and in attendance. It was a just a taste of what I hope the Council will do. Although, I did tell Russo that he forgot one thing when talking about the social media policy—he forgot to say, “Branden Williams was right!”  It’s OK Bob, I’m just happy this is moving in the right direction. Improvements for next year:

  • Accept questions for the floor via Twitter.
  • Offer better FourSquare integration and contests (I created the only available check-in for the meeting).
  • Stream a couple of sessions live for people unable to attend.
  • Branch outside of Twitter. We have lots of other community options that could be used (like Wiki’s, blogs, Facebook, and Google+).

The keynote yesterday was indescribable. Everyone I spoke with said it was the best keynote they had ever seen, and I can tell you that we all felt personally connected to Frank after he walked off stage. One of my co-workers ran into him at the airport and he said the whole thing was delivered off the cuff. I do not laud Abagnale’s crimes, but I am proud of how he served my country (and the world) since leaving prison.

PCI in Practice was a fantastic session. We need more of this content, and this is one of the improvements that Anton & I are making to the 3rd edition of our book. MORE CASE STUDIES!

I absolutely loved the Art of Compliance exhibit (my company sponsored the event, but even if they didn’t I still would have loved it). That kind of creativity has a place at the community meeting, considering the amount of creativity we need to solve some of our most complex PCI compliance issues.

Couple more things for improvement:

  • The desert is hot, even in September. Would loved to have an audible called to move the outside events inside.
  • The Vendor showcase might need some work. For you vendors out there, please send me your comments so I can collect them.
  • Protein for breakfast would be AWESOME. A carb load like the last two days threatened to put me into a pre-lunch coma.
  • We need multiple tracks. I’m going to work on a new sample agenda, but it would limit all of the content to two days, and put the Ask Bob sessions opposite the more detailed QSA, ASV, and ISA sessions. Kind of like a newbie and oldie track.
  • Bring back the Birds of a Feather tables at lunch. The little icons were fun on the nametags, but impractical when seeking out like-industry folks.

What do you guys think? What was your favorite session? What did you find valuable? What would you change? As always, send me any feedback you have so I can bring it to the board!

This post originally appeared on BrandenWilliams.com.

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