Kyle Dillon | May 11, 2023
Cisco Live! is Cisco System’s annual conference where customers, partners, prospects, technology innovators, and members of the C-Suite gather for education, networking, and inspiration. The five-day event offers live booths showcasing new technologies from Cisco and partners, breakout sessions on every aspect of networking from some of the companies’ brightest minds, certification testing, lab environments, developer areas, and much more. Arraya Solutions plans to attend this year, once again, to network with existing customers, prospect new technologies, and keep up to date on current IT trends.
I’m Kyle Dillon, Practice Director – Network with Arraya Solutions. In this blog, I intend to take you through the full Cisco Live! experience, including everything from booking to the conference itself.
Cisco Live! runs this year from June 4, 2023—June 8, 2023, in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Convention Center. The conference comes with different package options you can purchase, catering to different IT folks. The conference also offers discounted rates at the Mandalay Bay, should you choose to stay there (if you value your feet, you will). It is imperative that you register for everything early. As soon as registration opens, things book incredibly fast.
Full Conference passes are self-explanatory, granting you access to everything except IT Leadership sessions. IT Leadership is a newer option to purchase that provides enablement for anyone in a management position in the IT workspace. Leadership talks, meetings with high level executives, and inspirational stories come with that side. I opt for the full conference option, as my role at Arraya requires a blend of technical expertise to continue to deliver quality solutions to our customers.
The explorer pass is likely only useful if you live within proximity to Las Vegas and have extra cash to burn. The explorer pass gets you access to the World of Solutions and major events, but no breakout sessions or exams. A nice benefit of the Full or IT Leadership packages is the free pass to take any exam at the event, subject to availability. However, CCIE Labs do book quick here, but I believe you can take them if you enjoy a bit of stress with your conference.
One of the nice things about Cisco Live! Is the ability to get access to Cisco’s technical teams that create the products that customers and partners like Arraya must implement and troubleshoot daily. Most of the breakout sessions are about 45 minutes to an hour depending on what you select. I plan to attend a plethora of them this time around. I try to absorb as many best practices as I can across the many different focuses Arraya Solutions offers under the Hybrid Infrastructure line of business (Routing, Switching, Wireless, Security, and Collaboration).
I recommend registering for the breakouts you’re interested in as soon as Cisco announces their availability. These sessions fill up fast, so you need to register quickly.
Even if a breakout session doesn’t provide you much value, the speaker generally gives you 5-10 minutes after their presentation to chat with them. As there isn’t usually much of a line, I encourage you to come to the event loaded with questions to bombard them with. You’ve certainly paid for it.
World of Solutions
The World of Solutions is the trade floor of the conference. Usually located on the first floor of the convention center, it is the centerpiece of the event. Multiple vendors, partners, and divisions of Cisco all show up with their own sections and booths to showcase new technologies, products, arenas for labs, theaters for lightning sessions, and much more.
This is the best part of the event and I often walk through it many times. The World of Solutions is a must-see for anyone interested in networking topologies. This is the mecca to travel to and see the latest and greatest developments in the field. I highly encourage anyone that goes to the event to explore and try their best to see them all.
Next Steps: Tips & Insights to Plan Your Visit
Cisco Live! is a must for any aspiring network engineer. There’s so much value in all its offerings. You walk away with a fresh, forward-looking perspective on the industry every time. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide on what you feel works and doesn’t work for your business, but this is the forum to do it in. This will be my fourth year attending and before I end this article, I’d like to offer a couple of very important tips and insights, should you decide to attend:
- Wear very comfortable shoes. You will be walking a lot.
- Register early, book your hotel early, and book your sessions early because all of it fills up fast.
- Come with questions for your areas of interest. There will be plenty of people to answer them.
- Don’t spend the whole event in breakout sessions, take only the ones that you are interested in. The WoS is a much better experience.
- The Cisco Store has a booth where you can buy clothes/merchandise at a reasonable discount and it’s worth looking at.
- Take a certification exam here if you’re ready. It’s free, so why not?
- Don’t be afraid to network with other conference goers. It never hurts to have more friends in the industry.
To learn more about our partnership with Cisco, contact an Arraya expert today!
Visit https://www.arrayasolutions.com/contact-us/ to connect with our team now.
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