For as long as I have worked at Global Knowledge, the weeks before Cisco Live have always been an exciting and busy time. New booth designs. New product flyers. T-shirt, socks and phone charger giveaway discussions. So exciting.
Once I got the chance to actually attend Cisco Live, it all made sense to me. After a few years off I’m going again, and I’m thrilled. San Diego is a great host city. Cisco Live has always been awesome, but they’ve added so much. There’s a lot to experience whether you are a Cisco Live vet or newbie.
My tips: stay hydrated, take comfortable shoes, and pace yourself during evening activities. The Cisco Live days are long and will catch up with you quickly.
Here are a few things I’m personally looking forward to:
The Robots Are Coming
“I’m completely operational and all my circuits are functioning normally.”
-Hal (2001, A Space Odyssey)
A great thing about Cisco Live is it’s the one place you’re completely allowed to geek out about all things Cisco and tech. Wear a funny hat, and there’s no judgement. Same goes with your geekiest Star Wars T-shirt. Check out Kate Darling’s talk on “The Future of Human-Robot Interaction.” A researcher at MIT’s Media Lab, Darling is the expert when it comes to the topic of Social Robotics. As robots are on the cusp of making their own decisions and autonomously navigating public spaces, humans will have to adapt to interacting with them more in the near future. Dr. Darling will explore how human interaction with robots is poised to change the way we relate to each other and our own humanity–and why it matters. I’ve watched enough sci-fi movies to be both intrigued and terrified of a future world full of robots around every corner. Or is that world already here?
Moments in Silence
There’s only one man who can say he’s caught a pass in the NFL and walked in space. In addition to being a NASA astronaut and NFL wide receiver, Leland Melvin is also a chemist, an engineer and an inspiration to us all. Melvin’s life story illuminates how grit and grace are the keys to overcoming adversity and rising to successful heights. While training with NASA, Melvin suffered a severe injury that left him deaf. He continued with the space program despite being relegated to earthbound assignments. His loyalty paid off after recovering partial hearing, earning him a spot on two flights aboard the shuttle Atlantis and working on the International Space Station. He will share the highs and lows of his inspiring life and drive to succeed.
Realizing True Potential
Do you dream about doing the impossible? From playing basketball with President Obama to having a beer with Prince Harry, New York Times bestselling author Ben Nemtin created the ultimate bucket list after a deep depression derailed his life and career. Nemtin and some friends borrowed a rickety old RV and criss-crossed North America, achieving the unthinkable. Most importantly, every time they accomplished a dream, they helped a complete stranger cross something off their own bucket list. I look forward to hearing his story.
Cisco Live Is So Social
No one does event social like Cisco does. One of the first companies to have a Social Media Hub at their annual conference, it’s a great place to connect with your socially-savvy peers throughout the week as well as Cisco Live’s top-notch team of social media mavens. This year the SMH is located outside Ballroom 20 in the foyer and across from the Sails Pavilion of San Diego Convention Center. The SMH also has a social leaderboard and other social gaming opportunities.
I’m a Twitter guy, so I love me some tweetups. Cisco Live is bookmarked by two of them. The “Arrival Tweetup” is 5:45 – 7:15 p.m., Sunday, June 9 at the Social Media Hub and then the “Departure Tweetup” at 4:25 – 5:25 p.m., Thursday, June 13 at the large Cisco Live 3D logo sculpture on the Marina Lawn. You can’t miss it. I won’t.
Cisco Live Customer Appreciation Event (CAE)
Foo Fighters and Weezer in Petco Park. Need I say more? And yes I know all the words… “Run and tell all of the angels … this could take all night!”
Closing Keynote with Julia Louis-Dreyfus
When attending Cisco Live, I’ve always looked forward to the closing celebrity keynote. From billionaire Richard Branson to Mike Rowe from “Dirty Jobs,” the celebrity keynote has always been good stuff. When I heard this year’s closing keynote was to be Julia Louis-Dreyfus, I was pretty excited again. I have been a fan of hers since she was on “Saturday Night Live” in the Eighties and through the Nineties when she portrayed Elaine Benes on “Seinfeld.” Even when I watched Pixar’s “Bug’s Life” with my kids hundreds of times, having her voice as Princess Atta made it bearable. Every holiday season when TBS airs “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” non-stop, I watch just to see her as Margo, the mean neighbor. So yes, I am a fan.
You’re probably wondering what Julia Louis-Dreyfus has to say that Cisco geeks will find so appealing. Having heard Serena Williams and Kevin Spacey successfully discuss data analytics at IBM conferences, I think Julia is up to the task. After all, what industry changes faster than the entertainment biz than maybe technology? I want to hear Julia discuss the ever-changing environment she navigates in Hollywood. I also hear she’s on some HBO show these days. I’ll be front row center for sure!
GK Shameless Plug
Since I couldn’t persuade the Cisco Live organizers to sponsor me, Global Knowledge agreed to cover my expenses so I could experience the conference this year. In return, I feel obliged to tout all that we have going on at Cisco Live. As usual, we will be exhibiting in the World of Solutions at Booth #2129, where our expert Cisco instructors can answer your Cisco technology questions, and our training advisors can provide guidance to help you on your Cisco training journey.
Also, Global Knowledge is the official exclusive all-encompassing sponsor of the Cisco Certification Testing Center where Full Conference and IT Management attendees can take a free cert exam during Cisco Live! This year the testing center is located at the Marriott Marquis Hotel, which is next to the San Diego Convention Center in the Marina Ballroom of the South Tower Level 3. Why so far away? Try taking a certification exam among the hustle and bustle of a major IT event in a conference center, will ya? Testing center hours are listed below:
Sunday, June 9: 12 – 5 p.m.
Monday, June 10: 7:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Tuesday, June 11: 7:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Wednesday, June 12: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Thursday, June 13: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
We’ll have our Global Knowledge logo socks available at both sites so leave your drab socks at home.
Announcements, Announcements, Announcements
Any IT conference worth attending always has a ton of technology announcements. It makes me miss being a reporter … until I come to my senses. With CEO Chuck Robbins, EVP David Goeckeler, SVP Amy Chang, and SVP Maria Martinez scheduled to speak at the event’s keynotes, we’ll be ready for all the game-changing news. Cisco Live is always an exciting time for us Cisco fans. In fact, I will be on-site at San Diego Convention Center sharing all the latest announcements.
Whether you are attending or not, be sure to follow us on Twitter at @GKonCisco and @GKJohnMarkIvey for updates from Cisco Live 2019. We’ll be sharing announcements, giveaways, learning partner activities and all the cool stuff Cisco Live 2019 has to offer.
For more information on Cisco Training, visit https://ter.li/gkatciscolive