For the past two years I’ve attended Cisco Live here in my hometown Melbourne. I must admit that it is one of the best organized events I’ve been to. Not only is there a huge diversity in technology and solutions presented but you can also check out the broad ecosystem of Cisco partners. If you have anything to do with networking, datacenter solutions, IT security, cloud etc I would certainly recommend you get a ticket and check it out.
For my techno colleagues I would advise to attend the Technology Seminars on day one. If you want to deep-dive into one of the tracks, which are presented by well established engineers, you really need to check these out. Cisco Live also provides the presence of Cisco TAC. They have been extremely helpful to me last year so my hats of to them. If you have a very specific question or problem then please go to one of the guys in the “Meet the Expert” section on the showground in the World of Solutions expo hall. In some occasions I’ve seen that people start a discussion around their specific problem during a general presentation, that’s not the way to go. The “Meet the Expert” provides you one-on-one time with the guys who handle your issues for a living on a day to day basis so you can start your whiteboard sessions there. they can even show you specific configuration options and parameters which you might not have thought of.
If your into putting your money where your mouth is and obtain the accreditation of Cisco to become a certified engineer than definitely goto Cisco Live. You get a 75% discount on your certification exams which gives your boss even more incentive to provide you a ticket. Make sure you register beforehand because the enrolment cannot be done on the spot.
As a courtesy Cisco does provide (almost) all sessions online at Cisco Live 365. Obviously you miss the interaction but at least you get the presentation slides.
As for some feedback to Cisco for next events it would be great if there were small and short brainstorm sessions where Cisco partners can discuss their solutions with patrons. I know they present their stuff in the small sections of the show ground but this is always some sort of one-way monologue provided by marketing people. Partners like Fluke, Redhat or some of the physical infrastructure providers could be given the ability to dive into technical discussion sessions for those who are interested and discuss amongst peers about these solutions.
Hope to see you there.