It's the first time I've been to Cisco Live and had no idea what to expect. I thought I'd make a few notes on my experience with the view of keeping a list of reminders in the event that I get to go again.
In no particular order:
- Wear comfy shoes, I was walking at least 12km each day!
- Don't worry about the schedule - it is not possible to do everything you might want to do so pick out your 'must do's' then use the app to bookmark anything else of interest
- Download and use the app - Cisco Events - about 2-3 days before the event the Cisco Live event was added and I could login in using my Cisco account and access my schedule (that I had already started to fill up online)
- Make time for the World of Solutions hall and the The Hub / DevNet halls - its not all break out sessions.
- Get to the Walk-in Labs early, find out what time it opens and get there before 9am - I found that after my 9am talks I'd get to the Walk in Lab area at around 9:30 and all the seats were full and there was a massive queue.
- Same for Capture the Flag - it fills up quick so get there early or go there late in the day
- The food was awesome, everything was free (meals, sandwich bags, tea, coffee, fizzy drinks) and breakfast was also available via pastries and muffins!
- Get Social - Follow @CiscoLiveEurope and monitor #CLEUR for updates and news
- Drop in on sessions that have already started, if you spot a session that you hadn't seen on the schedule before you arrived don't think twice about rocking up and standing in the corner. I did this a few times and found there was always a spare chair. People's plans change and I never had trouble find a chair even on the ones I hadn't registered for prior.
Would I go again? ABSOLUTELY! I learnt more in one week at Cisco Live than I had in previous roles going back years. In your day to day role you will no doubt have a set number of duties and its really easy to forget that there's more to networking than the bit you do. Cisco Live opened my eyes to whats out there and what's coming in the future and it was amazing.
I also loved the fact that I was with like minded people who were enthusiastic and that got me really engaged and excited about the possibilities on my return to work.
I doubt I'll get to go to Amsterdam next year but I'll be sure to be planning a visit as soon as I can.