Next month we’re going to be having our CISOs Connect™ meeting in Chicago, where we’ll be offering our peer community a trove of practical wisdom on issues that concern us all, including professional development, compensation and some of the hottest new technology out there.

A lot of us just came back from Black Hat. Because of its size and panoramic format, it offered a good way to surveil the whole technology landscape. But while these types of large events go mile wide, they also only go inch deep.

The more intimate setting of CISOs Connect will offer an excellent complement by probing more deeply into parts of the information security ecosphere that preoccupy CISOs specifically. Led and largely curated by CISOs, the in-person event is an extension of our online community and offers unparalleled value, because it focuses on us as well as on technology.

One of the big challenges for CISOs, whether they’re new or experienced, is how to negotiate a compensation package, something that’s complicated by the very wide salary band in the industry. A lot of people struggle with how to have salary conversations, unsure what key things to emphasize, what is and isn’t negotiable, and what other benefits to pursue.

Our master class on executive compensation, led by attorney Loretta Richard, head of Ropes and Gray’s Employment, Executive Compensation and Benefits group Group, will be an interactive session delving into the legal aspects of money matters that impact us directly. CISOS will have plenty of time to ask questions.

Over the years, the CISO’s job has transformed multiple times. Being a successful CISO involves setting a good strategic direction and having a good technology understanding. But it also requires understanding the business and demonstrating alignment with its goals, as well as being able to communicate, in language the CEO and board can understand, how security is able to help the business from a risk-based perspective.

Executive recruiting firm Korn Ferry, will lead an interactive session in Chicago on what skills make a successful CISO. The firm has a leadership potential assessment that’s designed to help people learn what they’re good at and where they need to develop. CISOs who take the assessment before the event will get a personal analysis against a successful CISO profile.

A lot of CISOs want to work with startups, where some of the most innovative technology is being developed. At CISOs Connect™, Gamiel Gran, Mayfield Investment’s Chief Commercial Officer will explain how venture capital funds function and how CISOs can engage them for introductions to startups, or possibly join their advisory boards. Too many CISOs give away their time and expertise to VCs and startups, and this interactive session is designed to help you set clear expectations of what you will do, and what is fair to ask in return.

And of course, we’re going to be holding our signature Security Shark Tank, where cutting edge vendors recommended by CISOs take questions and feedback from participants in rapid-fire Q&A format. This session is a win-win for both sides. The presenting vendors get candid feedback from CISOs on what worked and didn’t work, and whether their product positioning and messaging are correct. CISOs benefit from hearing their peers’ expertise and insights in this no-holds-barred setting.

Finally, the event will also acknowledge the winners of this year’s CISOs Top 100 CISOs Awards. In a world where increasing demands are being placed on a chief information security officer, it’s not always easy to put a finger on what makes some CISOs stand out. But what sets apart the best of the best is their willingness to give back, and impart hard-won knowledge, skills and lessons to create the next generation of cyber professionals and leaders. It was a tough call when we put together our awards list, but we at CISOs Connect firmly believe that outstanding leadership deserves its own recognition and reward.

May we all continue to strive to be exceptional at what we do. I look forward to seeing some of you in Chicago!