It’s hard to describe the Cisco Live Experience to someone who’s never been there. Basically it’s Awesome. But what makes it even more enjoyable for me is meeting up with my friends and colleagues that I haven’t seen for a year. Many of you know what I’m talking about. We communicate on twitter, facebook, text messages, and skype, but we don’t actually work together, or even live near each other. Still, when we get together at Cisco Live, it’s like we’re picking up right where we left off without skipping a beat. That feeling of community is what makes Cisco Live such a value add for me. And there’s more to it that just getting together with friends. Here’s a few points that I find beneficial.
There are 200 Partners! What an opportunity that provides to speak to various partners and integrators about their product offerings. Sure, those working the booths in the World Of Solutions are usually sales and marketing people, but that shouldn’t deter you from stopping by. In my experience these people have a lot of the answers to the most common questions. If they don’t have the answers then they likely know who does, and will have an easier time reaching that person than you will.
The Speakers and Technical Sessions
While I own a training company and advocate people coming to a class, not everyone can. However, employers can often justify an event like Cisco Live so that you can kill multiple birds with one stone. In other words, the technical sessions are like mini training classes. Sometimes this can scratch an itch. If not, see our full course schedule for formal training. However if this type of training will suffice, there are Technical Breakouts, Case Studies, Product and Solution Overviews, Business Strategy and Architecture Sessions, Panels, Technical Seminars, and Labs, just to name a few.
Getting together with like-minded people is another benefit of the Cisco Live Experience. Cisco sponsors a number of Tweet-ups and being a part of their social media following has a number of benefits. For example, last year at Cisco Live in Orlando, Cisco provided early entry and a special spot for hanging out at the Customer Appreciation Event at Universal Orlando. So, participate, spread the word, and enjoy the company!
Additional highlights include the Packet Pushers roaming around recording podcasts, , The Certifications Lounge, The CCIE Reception, the NetVet Reception with John Chambers, and the fact that it’s in a city that has some amazing sites to see.
Cisco Live is an amazing experience and I highly recommend that those who have never attended before make it a point to attend. It’s hard to describe the experience in so few words. You truly have to be there. What you take away from a Cisco Live conference can benefit you in your career as a data networker, and no doubt you’ll leave with some new friendships that might extend beyond that.