Last year I did a post on Why you should go ( you can read it read here ), but since that was for 2011 – I figured I would update it for 2012 as well. I won’t go into as much detail as I did last year, just figure I would refresh some points, provided some 2012 San Diego information, and bullet point some reasons to attend.
So, What’s New for 2012
Well, first off the location – this year it is in San Diego, CA. The event tends to move around the country, primarily between a location on the east coast and west coast. For example, next year the event will be in Orlando, FL from June 24-27 (if I recall correctly) – and the year after that I think we are then back to San Francisco in May. By having the event move around it helps to keep things exciting and different, granted Vegas is nice but it does tend to get old quick.
Another thing that will be new for 2012 is the guest speakers. Last year William Shatner showed us his Vulcan hand symbol as part of the closing keynote, this year we will have Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage as our closing speakers (you can read more here). I am really looking forward to see what they present and say – to be honest, I have no idea what to expect other then a great time during the closing keynote.
And of course there are some new sessions this year, most notably is a session on the CCIE Data Center. That is the latest CCIE Certification to be announced, so I am sure there will be quite a bit of buzz around that there this year.
So, What’s the same for 2012
Of course there are some things that are still the same, and consistency is nice. Once again our host is Carlos Dominguez, Senior VP and he has hosted the event for many years now – and he does a great job at it. While researching some of the event, I came across an interesting thing about Carlos – he is a board member of the CDC Foundation, a foundation that helps the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do more, faster by forging effective partnerships between CDC and others to fight threats to health and safety. It is nice to see others give back to society and try to make things better.
Once again, our Keynote and Welcome address will be given by John Chambers, Chairman and CEO of Cisco. John has an engaging speaking style – he makes you feel that he is speaking to you, not at you. What I like most about his keynotes are that he shows you where he sees not just the company, but he industry as well is going. If you are new to networking, you can easily see where you want to focus your career on when he speaks and presents.
Just like last year, Padmasree Warrior, SVP Engineering and CTO of Cisco, is giving the Cisco Technology Keynote. What is really nice about here is that she is very active on Twitter (@padmasree)
And again, there will be CCIE Labs available to take during the event. The CCIE labs that will be available are R&S, Security, Voice, Service Provider, Wireless, Service Provider Operations, and SAN. I am surprised to see some of these available, but very pleased. Here is a copy of the e-mail that I received about the labs:
Reason to attend
Ok, now for a few quick bullet points that have reasons.
- Learning Opportunities – the opportunities to learn via the Break out Session, Labs, Techtorials, or Birds of a Feather are just amazing. Rarely do you have this much information in one place, and if there is something that you think you are interested in, sitting in a breakout session for a little over an hour or two should provide you enough of a taste for you to get a better feeling. Plus, most of those session are giving by engineers, not marketing people. These are people who use or have used this product, not just market it.
- World of Solutions – At WoS you have the chance to meet and greet vendors. You can see what their products look like, what they feel like, as well maybe even get some free swag from them ( drawings for iPads, iPods, shirts, blinky things, etc) . I will be honest here, I have actually called on some of these vendors after the show to discuss products seen there. You can see some good products you might have not been aware of that might solve a problem you have today.
- Networking – This is one of the biggest reasons I attend. I love the opportunity to meet people, engage in conversations that I would not normally have the chance to have, as well as to reaffirm some friendships. Many of us are on da twitter and talk every day, but don’t always get a chance to see each other. Cisco Live affords us this opportunity, and that is what Networking is about. As you can see from the photo below, there are quite a few of us who tend to get together and have a good time. Not everyone was available for the picture last year, so maybe we can do better with that this year.
- Traveling – Ah, just getting away. Some of us in the field travel all the time, others not so much. Attending Cisco Live affords some of us out there to travel away from home, without the family, and get away. Some people take their family with them to this event and use it as a vacation, others use it as a vacation from family. To be honest, I like the chance to see places I might not normally have a reason to visit. I have actually used this event to scout out future vacation spots with family 🙂
- Parties – Plain and simple, Cisco knows how to throw a party – specifically the Customer Appreciation Event (CAE) and the CCIE Party. The CAE is always a blast, good music and a great time. I am just wondering if they can top last years event, that party was AMAZING and probably the most fun I have ever had at a Cisco Live event.
- Cisco Store and Cisco Press – There is also a Cisco store at the event where you can get some Cisco labeled shirts, pens, bags, etc. It is nice to be able to have some vendor logo stuff either for yourself or to take back to your associates. There is also a nice area dedicated to Cisco Press where you can look at the books available, browse through many of them before you decide to purchase, as well as a chance to meet some of the Cisco Press authors from time to time.
Oh, one last thing. You also have the opportunity to embarrass yourself if you so choose to. I will not mention a certain networking nerd’s name, but you can see how one can have the opportunity to do crazy things. Then again, when I look at that image – it just cracks me up! It was all in fun!
Hope to see you in San Diego!
Links to other sites talking about this topic:
Mes 2 Cents – My 10 Reasons to Attend CiscoLive
If you have a link and would like it added, just drop me a line and I will add it.