It has been a few weeks since Geek Summer Camp has ended, oh how I miss seeing everyone.  Now that I have somewhat recovered from the whirlwind adventure, I figured it was time to put my thoughts into html.
It was great to see everyone again – and see how much many of them have grown professionally over the past year. As you can see from the image at the top of this article, there is an amazing group that makes Cisco Live what it is.  It is not the education, not the vendors in World of Solutions, not even the keynotes – but the people you meet.  This group goes beyond just other attendees, there are people from the vendors (Cisco and others) that are great to see and catch up with.  Granted we all keep in touch primarily via Social Media (twitter, facebook, etc), but nothing beats a face-to-face talk.

Ultimately many come for the sessions – and you cannot go wrong there.  This year did not disappoint either – with the announcement of the Catalyst 9000 right before the conference – there were many session available on the new gear. Just remember that if a class does not have enough details, most (if not all) of the speakers share their contact information for questions later.  Trust me – ask them anything, they love sharing what they know with others.

World of Solutions this year was HUGE!  I was amazed and impressed on how large the show flow was this year.  Not sure if it was because it was an L-shape, or they just had 2x the vendors.  Either way – bravo to Cisco for World of Solutions this year.  Not only the size but they made it easier to navigate by calling them by streets – way easier to find a vendor (or the Brew Zone)!

Again this year the Social Media Lounge was a great spot to hang out with friends, and the phrase board was cool and allowed people to come up with great tweets!  The lounge area made for a great place to meet up with friends, a convenient area to meet new people, and it was staffed by an awesome Cisco Live Social Media team. It was somewhat located in WoS, which made it also a nice place to meet new people.  Granted, getting a group of introverts to socialize is a big task, having the lounge in a more open setting made it possible to meet other people.

Cisco Live Social Meda Team

The Hidden Gem of Cisco Live 2017 was most certainly DevNet.  It may have not really been “hidden” as it took a decent amount of space in World of Solutions, but it is something that not many attendees may have noticed.  It was a great area to learn new skills, see where the industry is going, as well as a place to talk to peers about what they have done and will do. If you are new to this field or a person with 20+ years of experience, there is much for all to be found here.  If you are able to, I strongly urge you to check out their website.

I will be the first to admit that I am not a Bruno Mars fanatic and have only heard a few songs of his on the radio.  I will admit that I had a great time at the CAE and he most definitely entertained us!  I enjoyed hearing him sing, dance and especially watching his band with the brass instruments – just amazing.  My wife and I enjoyed the concert – I also saw many of my peers dancing.  I also did see that my friend Hank has some moves – videos might have been recorded!

The celebrity closing keynote was amazing!  Bryan Cranston had us rolling in our seats the entire time!  He told stories, answered questions, and was able to keep everyone enthralled with his command of his art.  In my view, it was definitely one of the top 3 closing keynotes we have had – he is right up there with Mike Rowe and William Shatner.
To sum up Cisco LIve 2017 I am choosing to use this pic from the closing keynote:

So until Cisco Live 2018 in Orlando, Fl