By Rachel Kronenfeld, Manager of Investigations – Hetherington Group

Most of the OSINT community spends their day scouring the Internet. When you are already sitting at your desk working, you may be tempted to work and attend the conference at the same time. Maybe some of you are better multi-taskers than I, but I tried the two-for-one with a global conference I was looking forward to for months. The day arrived, and I was busy at the office; so I decided to watch the classes and work at the same time.

This was not a good decision. I only heard every third word from the speakers; I could only think of a handful of things I learned; and I missed interacting with other attendees in the chatrooms. Based on my experience and knowledge of the OSMOSIS 2020 program, I have thought of several ways to resolve this issue.

My Tips on How to Get the Most Out of OSMOSIScon 2020

  1. Add the conference to your calendar. Blocking off the time on your calendar and planning for it will help make sure you are free for the conference.
  2. Do not schedule calls before, during, or after a conference session. A phone call likely leads to other tasks you need to do, or more phone calls. Most of you have likely done the back-to-back meeting and ran late on the second call because your first call went over. It’s the same here.
  3. Schedule an Out of Office Reply for your email account. Sometimes urgent matters occur, but most of the time that email can wait until the break.
  4. If you can, attend the conference from home instead of an office environment. In the office you may be able to watch the conference with your coworkers, but this will likely come with distractions and diminish networking opportunities. View this as a chance to attend an event on your own, without the fear of sitting in a session alone or having to work up the courage to approach someone alone and network. Actually, you may find you network more in the OSMOSIS chatroom. Just think about how many people say things on social media they would not say in person … end sentence before I write a book about this topic.
  5. Avoid watching just the recording of the conference, if you can. Recorded sessions come with conveniences and may sound appealing to you. However, it is easy to say to you are going to watch the recordings later and keep pushing them off, forget about them altogether, or only watch a few. If this sounds like something that could happen to you, avoid falling into this trap.
  6. It is not all about the speakers. If you’ve attended OSMOSIS in prior years, you know that there is so much more to OSMOSIS than just the sessions. That has not changed by going virtual Globalcast. In fact, you have more opportunities to interact than ever before!

What’s in Store for OSMOSIScon virtual Globalcast 2020

From the moment you register until December 31, you become a member of our virtual OSINT community, where you can network with presenters, vendors, and attendees. The 2020 expert speakers hail from all corners of open source intelligence, offering nine sessions cover topics ranging from Dark Web intelligence, due diligence, and capital markets and the future of investigations. Many of the best vendors in the industry will be a click away. There will be 10-minute Bits & Bytes sessions, in which industry experts provide tips between classes. A Capture the Flag challenge will be held the night before the conference, and instead of cocktail hour, there will be a special “After Dark” session with Hg’s Cynthia Hetherington and Paraben Corporation’s Amber Schroader. Last, but not least, you will have a front row set to the First Annual Open Source Awards!

Fully participating in everything the conference has to offer will ensure you are getting the most value out of the conference.

Don’t Forget Your Zoom Shirt!

I am sure I am not alone, when I say I am going to miss traveling to beautiful San Diego and regret not being able to engage in such amazing face-to-face conversations. But let’s think on the bright side. No traveling saves money and keeps us safe during these strange times. OSMOSIS has already attracted attendees from all over the globe, which has only increased this year with the ability to attend without crossing international borders and time zones. Since you’re in the comfort of your own home or office, you won’t need to worry about business attire or the pocket for your business cards. Instead, you can get your Zoom Shirt on. For the few wondering, a Zoom shirt is the “clean shirt or blouse that’s kept on the back of your desk chair to quickly be presentable for video conferences” as defined by Urban Dictionary. Yes, there is a word for that now.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, OSMOSIS brings some of the most talented speakers, innovative vendors, and likeminded attendees from all over the world together not just for one day but for four whole months! I assure you that the conference and all the virtual extras lead to long-term connections and an increased skillset. I hope you will consider my tips to make sure you get the most out of this amazing conference.

Like what you’re reading? Maximize your online investigations with shortcuts, tips, trending investigative tools, and advanced research techniques for all skill levels at the 6th Annual OSMOSIScon virtual Globalcast October 11 – 13. Join 100s of other cyber intel specialists and immerse yourself in engaging OSINT/SOCMINT workshops (up to 16 CEUs) and explore the Expo, where on-point solution professionals offer experiential learning on their latest products and services to enhance your research and investigations.


Rachel Kronenfeld joined Hetherington Group in 2016 and is Hg’s Manager of Investigations and lead investigator. As a skilled and diverse analyst, she monitors current events and information on the Internet, identifies security threats, and conducts online risk assessment analyses for Hg’s clients. Ms. Kronenfeld conducts trainings for investigators and is a contributing writer to Hg’s newsletter, Data2Know. Her professional research specialty is Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) techniques.