I am amazed at how fast a year has come and gone. In just 24 hours or so, I will be hopping on a "short flight" from Washington, D.C. to San Diego. To join my fellow cyber lemmings in the great "Gathering".
We don't need no stinking USB...
A little bird told me that there will be no USB drive with the presentations on them this year. So, you will probably want to download your session presentations before you pack up and head to the airport. You can download presentations from your scheduler: https://www.ciscolive2012.com/scheduler/catalog.do. I am fortunate that one of my colleagues (Dr. Pete Welcher) was kind enough to download all of the sessions and post them to our intranet. You know, everyone needs a little Welcher in their lives! Thanks Doc!
Swag it up...
There is going to be somewhere around 200 vendors in the World of Solutions. If this is your first time going to Cisco Live and you were looking forward to looking at different vendors, make sure you add in plenty of time to do the tour. Oh, and make sure you wear comfortable shoes and aren't lugging around a ton of crap. Get yourself a nice big, empty bag and go to town. I am not one for swag myself (unless we are talking flying monkeys or light up bouncy balls) but if you have kids, or just like to have the worlds largest collection of pens, thumb drives, and what not, then you will have plenty of trinkets to choose from. Just make sure you have room in your luggage. Oh, and be prepared to have your email inbox pummeled about 1 - 2 weeks after the event. That swag ain't free man.
Don't forget the business cards...
Or Favicards or whatever medium you have that holds pertinent contact info. You will have plenty of opportunity to hand out cards. I have gone to Cisco Live and completely neglected to bring business cards. Talk about feeling left out. In fact, as I type this I am throwing a bunch in my bag. Don't want to make that mistake again. Such an ideal opportunity to get rid of those goofy things...
One of the things I found invaluable from last year's CiscoLive was the CiscoLive conference mobile app. This app has the session catalog, schedules, and other useful tools. You will definitely want to load the app on your mobile device of choice.
- iPhone/iPad: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cisco-live-2012-us/id527328557?mt=8
- Blackberry: http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/113534/?lang=en
- Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.activenetwork.mobile.ciscolive2012&hl=en
You know, I used to hate Twitter, now I am a convert. It is a real handy way to keep up on things. Everything is moving at warp speed during CiscoLive and you will want to stay on top of the events, as they happen.
Cisco has actually provided a way for you to register your Twitter handle via the Cisco Live portal. You can access it via your user profile settings on the registration page. You should also follow the hash tag #CLUS.
Last, but not least, Tom Hollingsworth (a.k.a. the "Networking Nerd") is maintaining a CiscoLive 2012 Twitter List. The list just keeps on growing. It is definitely worth the click to go check it out and see who is heading out to CiscoLive. You should also drop Tom a note to get your handle added to the list. I haven't met Tom (yet) but I'd like to thank him for carrying the torch and maintaining this list. You know he is super busy with all of those certs he is accumulating!!
Booths to Check Out
It is all about community...
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the Cisco Support Community. Cisco has one of the largest and most active support communities out there. If you have ever used CSC (or NetPro) to solve a problem then you may want to take a moment to stop by and meet the folks who make it happen. The people who manage CSC are outstanding individuals that are committed to furthering the community. I am a huge fan of their work. The CSC crew will be at booth #2940. I'll probably be lingering around there too, when I am not at the NetCraftsmen booth.
'Cause We're Crafty...
Saving the most important piece of information for last (haha). My company (Chesapeake NetCraftsmen) will have a booth in the World of Solutions this year. The booth number is #747. This year we will be hosting tech talks with some of our senior consultants. David Hailey (who is my partner in crime) and myself will be at the booth talking about Cisco UC and Collaboration topics. You will also find the likes of Pete Welcher, Denise Donohue, Carole Warner Reece, Terry Slattery, and a bunch of other "big brains". We will be covering topics ranging from CCIE prep to data center design, and a bunch of stuff in between.
If you find the time, stop by the booth. I would really enjoy meeting you. Once I find out my booth bunny time slots, I'll post something here. Unless, of course, I forget ;-)
Well, it is bye for now my fellow bag-wielding tech travelers. I hope to see you at CiscoLive and if I don't (...there will be like a ton of peeps milling around), I truly hope you get the most out of the experience. Time goes fast so make the best of it. You'll be back to the ol' cube farm in no time.
Thanks for reading. If you have time, post a comment!