• 05/22/2014
    3:00 PM
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Cisco Live's 7 Best Scenes

Attendees at Cisco Live this week were showered in APIs and ACI, and swimming in selfies. Take a look at the highlights from the annual customer event.



This really captures the highlights Sue. Moscone certainly was humming with non-stop activity, and I think I saw more than one DJ setup. Plus Cisco really wanted to make sure no one lost their way -- I don't think I've seen so many people hired to help with logistics questions.

The scene before Chambers' keynote was something, with professional drummers and dancers in the aisles and thumping loud music. The attendees running to get seats up front when the doors opened to the ballroom blew me away; I've never seen anything like that at a tech conference!

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Marcia, I agree, I have never seen so many "ushers" -- I wonder if they were counted in the total attendees because there were probably thousands of them. While the crowd was definitely excited to be there, Cisco may have played a part in inflating the numbers a bit... Then again, the running to get into the keynote was truly mind-boggling. That's the first time I've seen that as well!
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Susan, "running to get into the keynote" I am imagining a lion king style stampede of 20,000+ IT professionals, but I don't blame them because information about the network (and the future network to come) is an important area. Safety is important, I guess online attendees were safer, and maybe, someday 200,000+ IT attendees will collaborate with the show using Full-Body Collaboration -- it would be great.

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Hi Brian -- It was a pretty orderly run into the keynote by the first ones in line, so it was all fairly safe. A friend told me he's seen crowds rush into other high-profile tech keynotes, so I guess this wasn't an anomoly -- just nothing I'd seen before!

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Hi Marcia, it's great to see a high level of interest by IT professionals in conferences that concern networks. This high level of interest creates an environment where multiple individuals are keeping up with the pace of innovations that are taking place in the industry and in-turn disseminating the information gained -- collectivity this allows everyone to not have to rediscover fire.

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My favorite thing at the CL keynotes of late is looking at the front blocks of seats where you have the attendees of the Business track in the front middle, then CCIE/DE NetVets seated either side. 

The middle block is all button down shirts and suits; the outer blocks are Hawaiian shirts, shorts, sneakers and jeans. I posted a couple of pictures here - search for John Chambers and you'll find them. The difference is very obvious!

I couldn't be there the last couple of years and I'm sad to miss this one. Will it be John Chambers' last as CEO? We'll see I guess.

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Yep, isn't hard to figure out who is who in those photos, thanks for sharing John!

This recent Cisco Live could have been Chambers' last, but my guess is not. His retirement was a rumor on Twitter before the event, but he gave no clues on a timeline for stepping down, and I think last fall he only gave a sketchy timeframe of 2-4 years.


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I hadn't heard of cisco live before so I had to look it up.  Seems strange that they wouldn't include an east coast event.  NYC is usually a popular destination.

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Hi AbeG,

Cisco Live is once a year (in the US) and in a single location. People come in from all over the country, and internationally, to be there. In previous years Cisco Live US has been held in, off the top of my head:

  • Orlando, FL
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • New Orleans, LA

However, there is a definite West Coast leaning. Funny, that ;-) I believe in the past Cisco Networkers (old name for the networking part of CL) used to be in more than one location, but now it's all integrated.

The biggest problem they face now is one of size. With a quoted 25,000 people in attendance this year, there are very few venues that can handle the number of attendees - and those that can also need to have appropriate accomodation for those 25,000 nearby as well. As of a couple of years ago, that meant that the event was pretty much limited to two or three venues nationally... Still, the CL team on Twitter in my experience is very responsive and open to ideas, so I suspect they'd welcome suggestions if you have any!

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When it comes to nyc, the Javits center is a popular choice for hosting events. 

I ran a quick search and looks like it can hold somewhere around 85,000 people.  That said, nyc is notorious for being a prohibitively expensive place to do just about anything.

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AbeG> Handily I just found this link which you might like. It shows all the places that Cisco Networkers (and then Cisco Live) has been held in the US since 1990!




Things have grown pretty much every year. It's a crazy-sized event now.

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@jgherbert.  Thanks for sharing the link. 

I noticed that Washington DC was once part of the line up.  For whatever reason, that made me wonder why tech events aren't at least occassionally held at major Universities like MIT during their vacation periods.  Even if space is at a premium, summer time at these large campuses should open up the possibility of using outdoor tents and such.

What better way to lock in market share than to influence the minds of future decision makers.

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Abe, I agree it's a little strange that Cisco ignores the NYC market, but since they now only floor one US event (as jgherbert helpfully informed us) I think it's simply an economic decision. There is such a concentration of technology (hence partners and customers) in the Silicon Valley, and it is probably much easier logistically for the company to organize the event closer to home. For the rest of us, Mohammed must go to the mountain ;)

I saw on the Cisco global events page that next year's event is in San Diego. And Cisco Live Cancun is coming up in November, if anyone wants to start buttering up their manager for a trip there: http://www.ciscolive.com/global/


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San Diego is spectacular, and its convention center should be able to accomodate a huge crowd -- Comic-Con is held there every year I believe.

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@Susan.  Good points.  I think that unexplained mysteries like these open the table up for speculation, which can sometimes be fun.

Just as Silicon Valley is almost synonimous with IT, so is Wall Street with finance.  In theory, Wall Street would be Silicon Valley's biggest customer base. 

I wonder if things can be explained by a difference in corporate culture.  In nyc, I've often heard that companies do not want to pay to train someone else's future employee.  Also, an overwhelming majority of IT jobs at major corporations in nyc tend to only be available as temp/subcontractor positions.  I'm willing to bet that most IT Outsourcing companies either cannot afford to send their employees to events like these, or they cannot afford to have some of their top employees leave for any extended period of time.

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends....

Great event!!  Too bad there's so much going on in such a short time but at least now I've got photo proof that I was there. Big hugs to all old and new friends I met. Sadly I believe this might be the last time we'll be having CiscoLive in San Francisco. If the number of attendees rises above 25000 Moscone simply won't cut it.

See you all in 2015