Industry Insights: Top Exhibitors and an Interesting Trend from Black Hat 2023

Industry Insights and Trends

Black Hat USA 2023 may not be the largest cybersecurity show around but it sure is jammed pack full of…well, everything. Over the top lighting, LEDs, bright colors, and every gimmick you can possibly imagine. With all that action, there’s no doubt where the event was held. VIVA LAS VEGAS! The event displayed the offerings of more than 370 exhibitors to over 19,700 in-person visitors, including security professionals from 127 countries.

The EDE team was walking the floor from Day One, so let’s explore what caught our attention at this year’s show.


Hackerone Trade Show Booth

Without knowing who HackerOne was before the show, we were surprised to be immediately drawn to their booth. The ceiling treatment is a stunning eye-catcher. And we loved how this design element was carried throughout the design of the booth. They had a nice-sized LED wall which wasn’t overdone. There was one small touch we loved around the corner. Using the same design element from the hanging sign, they used a rolling divider between the walls to create a semi-private conference room. It’s a super functional and great use of space!

We’re big fans of interactive experiences and HackerOne didn’t disappoint with their create-your-own LED pin. After completing the pin, attendees could upload a photo of themselves wearing the pin to Twitter, tag HackerOne, and be entered into a drawing to win $500. A great example of gathering information through engagement! As if the show didn’t have enough energy, HackerOne took it up a notch with their hospitality section which included an espresso station. Their whole booth looks like it’s on wheels, like it moves. A cool feature that makes the booth easily adjustable to give it the best flow possible. 


Cybrary Trade Show Booth

Cybrary did a beautiful job with its booth and one of the features we liked most was their floor-supported hanging sign. We all know show services can be a killer, and rigging is a prime suspect!  Which is smart, because no rigging = no rigging fees. They had a nice presence at a decent height, and took advantage of that 12′ H to 16′ H zone that most exhibitors ignore. 

We are big fans of using pops of color to draw attention and Cybrary nailed the branding of their space. The dominant black booth had pops of color throughout and especially made the raised floor easy to see. And you already know how much we love lighting. That toe kick on the reception counter…chef’s kiss! Their conference area was impressive, with light fixtures worthy of your home. While they didn’t have lights in the sky, they did in the booth. It meshed well with the rest of the booth, and they had a fun feature for displaying content.


Cyera Trade Show Booth

Cyera had a new booth at the show and it looked better than ever. The front of the booth was a large LED screen which drew attention and made for a great presentation. They had a lot of great lighting elements to draw attention to them as a whole. 

It isn’t Black Hat without great swag, and Cyera was a standout with their swag! They had inner tubes (yes, like the ones for the pool or the lazy river at Mandalay Bay!), t-shirts, and small bucket hats with their green bug logo all over them.


Salt Trade Show Booth

Salt Technology Group had a nice booth with unique architecture. Another brand that did a good job carrying design elements throughout their space. For Salt, it was all about the curves! We also know that lots of curves can burn through a budget.  Was the juice worth the squeeze? I guess we can only hope their event team sees this and lets us know.  They did a great job with lighting and booth flow due to the open nature of the design. The big wall in the back also made their presence feel bigger than it was.


Securonix Trade Show Booth

Securonix is one of our favorite booths and we loved the upgrades they made between RSA and Black Hat. They did a good job of lighting up their brand and combining that with LED strip lighting to make the architecture pop. They had an entire LED wall for presentations, but what really caught our eye was their semi-private conference room. Not something you hear every day, right? Their use of what appeared to be purple-printed plexi with LED strip lights was a cool touch.


Mimecast Trade Show Booth

Double decks command attention. They also command big dollars!  And while we liked the look of the overall booth, we feel some of their money might have been better spent on more lighting and dimensional letters to draw attention from attendees. 

We always talk with our clients about how their booth experiences tie back to their brand. If you’re going to do something interactive, make it something that will help your visitors remember you over your comeptitors.


Wiz Trade Show Booth

You may remember the Wiz booth blew us away with their RSA presence back in April. The booth was tricked out with all the Wizard of Oz themed elements you could think of including Dorothy, Toto, a host of characters, AND a yellow brick road through the booth! And at Black Hat, their display was completely different.

Wiz’s exhibit looked great and they joined the trend of the show using LED strip lighting all over the place. They also led with another favorite trend of ours, the use of translucent LEDs right behind the reception area.

The booth was always packed and they offered a huge Pac-Man game that had an almost continuous line of players.


Sysdig Trade Show Booth

Sysdig has leveled up their exhibit each time we’ve seen them. From RSA to Black Hat they added some nice touches, including a translucent wall with some great content, which is where some companies fall short. They’ve upped their lighting including the use of…you guessed it…LED strip lighting. They also added lighting on the interior, above and below all their demo stations, and at the reception counter.


Kandji Trade Show Booth

Kandji knocks it out of the park with their very specific messaging. When you read their content, you know exactly what they do, and who they do it for. We appreciate the unique take on their booth in that it presents more like a retail space, sort of like an Apple store. It’s a space that makes you want to sit inside, a place that people want to come into and engage, which is what every booth should do.


Aqua Trade Show Booth

Aqua was another great use of lighting. And they lit everything! From the cubes in the air to their ottomans on the floor. But our favorite feature in this booth was their use of aluminum extrusion with LED strip lighting. It created clear spaces and differentiated what was happening around the booth. 

Protect AI

Protect AI Trade Show Booth

Talk about bang for your buck. Protect AI did a great job in an unusually small space. You’ll never guess it but we were attracted to their booth by…effective use of lighting, lighting, lighting. Did we mention we are big fans of lighting?

OpenText and SpecterOps

Two for one special on this one. Why? Because OpenText and SpecterOps are showing off an important trend we’re seeing. With the expense of putting up a hanging sign increasing exponentially, many exhibitors are embracing the sort of up-and-over design you see in both these booths. This design allows companies to get their name up high without paying the high cost of rigging. Going forward we expect to see a lot more of this design choice.

SpecterOps also brought in another trend we’ve noticed over the last couple of years; the use of natural wood and wooden slats to create a warm and welcoming space.


JAMF is another example of a great use of natural wood with custom shapes. We liked their demo stations, and especially the graphic treatment, along with the smaller reception desk up on the hot corner.


The Barracuda brand makes it easy to stand out. The 3-Dimensional brand identity is fire! The Barracuda fins, the color, the way it absorbs light to add a pop. All of it! 


Entrust is an interesting one. They used the up-and-over design AND a hanging sign. Rebels! What we really loved was the cool design of the reception counter. It didn’t go all the way to the floor and brought a nice visual attraction.


Lacework’s use of a small grid with loads of information about their particular products. A unique way to share info for sure!


Tenable shows how LED content can transform your booth in an instant. Check out the two pictures to get an idea of how flexible LED can be.


The photo we’re using of Akamai’s booth doesn’t do it justice. Why? Because all of the LED content you see is moving! The dynamic visual brings excitement and makes for a beautiful booth.


When was the last time you saw a ball pit at a trade show? Def a crowd-pleaser…thankfully, no kids are allowed at Black Hat so no need to worry (as much) about cleanliness. 

Next Security

If you needed a break from big, bright, and shiny at Black Hat, Next Security was there for you. We loved their architecture, and with their use of natural wood and slats, they really stood out at such a loud show.


SentinelOne’s tree is the focus of one of the most spectacular exhibits we’ve ever seen. With moving lighting throughout the tree and a raised LED floor, we might be tempted to call this one a show-stopper. Kudos SentinelOne – what’s next?

Are you making authentic connections with your target market at every show? Productive connections require strategic planning and execution from start to finish. Contact to talk about how we help with that. 

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