Experiencing cyber-attacks and hacking at D3NH4CK

Teaching people to think like hackers to make the Netherlands #increasinglysecure: that is the objective of Dutch IT security specialist DearBytes. That is also why the Hague-based company organised D3NH4CK for the second consecutive year. The marketing event was centred around the Internet of Things, Cyber Threat Intelligence, building security labs and cuddling with hackers. DearBytes tapped Eventive Event Marketing to develop a creative, effective and interactive event concept.

Interactive concept

Given that DearBytes, as a leading IT security specialist, has quite a lot to say, Eventive developed a festival format that revolved around interaction. For example, D3NH4CK kicked off with ‘D3NH4CK Draait Door’, a time slot during which table guests discussed the event’s various topics. Audience members were directly involved because the table manager immediately raised their critical questions. Frederike Rollerman, Concept & Event manager with Eventive Event Marketing explains, ‘For our concept development, we always strive to achieve the highest degree of personal interaction. This way, you give the visitors personal attention and people go home with knowledge that is relevant to them; hopefully, they will enthusiastically share this the following day at work or with their friends. But to reach this goal, you need to offer a programme that appeals to everyone. For example, let visitors decide which session they will learn the most from, and then provide interactive programme components. Doing so allows you to truly create an experience that connects with a brand.’

Live boardroom game

After the event kick-off, the visitors were split up via the block programme. The live boardroom game enabled visitors to experience what it’s like to suffer a cyber-attack and how best to deal with it. Additionally, during the Capture the Flag competition, visitors had to hack several items. Using the Mentimeter tool, they could ask questions throughout the day and vote on different topics and sessions. In short: all different and interactive programme components in which IT professionals and security specialists really engaged with one another.

Innovative programme

The second edition of D3NH4CK attracted 250 visitors; 82% more than in 2017. During the day, many participants indicated that they found the programme innovative and would like to see the same format in a subsequent edition.
Finally, based on evaluation forms, Eventive was able to conclude that visitors valued the networking and their newly acquired insights the most. This was in line with visitors’ expectations, as 83% attended the event with the express purpose of acquiring information and knowledge. These positive reactions were incorporated in the Return-on-Investment event report.