Cisco Live US 2017 – The Plan So Far

Put it on your calendar.  Cisco Live US is June 25 – 29, 2017, in Las Vegas.  This is the largest conference I go to every year, and it’s the highlight of my professional year.  I’ve been going for a few years now and enjoy it for the content and camaraderie.  What are we doing this year?

We’ll fly in on Friday again and do something.  No idea what, but I imagine we’ll throw out an invitation for dinner to the public and meet somewhere.  If you’re going to be in town, let me know, and we’ll meet up.

The Saturday Adventure was going to be ham radio related since that’s ARRL Field Day.  I reached out to the Las Vegas ham club, and they told me that the clubs out there all go to the top of a mountain to operate.  The problem : that mountain is 44.8 miles away from Mandalay.  That’s one helluvan Uber ride, so that’s out.  I looked at some other epic sites like the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam, but, based on past participation, the time requirements for those don’t make the cut for the group.  We probably need to meet somewhere at 1pm or and be back by 4pm or so.  That’s just how it’s happened the last few year.  I’m thinking maybe Fremont Street.  There’s plenty to do there.  Let me know if you have any other ideas.

Sunday afternoon is usually open to whatever.  People start arriving en masse, so we play it by ear.  We’ll probably just wind up hanging out at Social Media Central.  Sunday is typically the first tweetup and also the Mentor Program meeting.  Those are big events, so we won’t miss that.  I’ll take part in the Slacker Bet on Sunday.  We all take the CCIE R&S Written exam, and whoever has the highest passing score has to buy everyone else who passed a beer.  It’s always fun.

Monday is sessions, but, perhaps more importantly, it’s Kilted Monday.  Wear your kilt and show off your tartan!  You’re looking at the reigning second-place finisher in the best legs contests!  The biggest conference event of Monday is the opening of the World of Solutions.  This is where you get all the cool swag for your coworkers and kids.  And there’s free beer and food most of the time, too…which is important.  My favorite exhibit in the World of Solutions each year is Cisco Tactical Operations.  These guys have some fancy equipment that they use in disaster relief efforts around the world.  It’s my dream job to work with these guys.  Fingers are still crossed for that.

Tuesday is sessions.  The CCIE party is usually that night, so I try to find a vendor who wants to feed me drinks.  It’s not hard to find one.  Just ask somebody where they’re going.  Your AE back home may have sent you an invite for something that night, too.  I think mine sent me 4 of them total. In other words, you can find something to do.

Wednesday is sessions…and the Customer Appreciation Event!  This is usually the highlight of the week as we all pile into an arena somewhere (I can only imagine we’re in T-Mobile again this year.) to hear some world-class musical acts.  We’ve seen a wide range of acts from Maroon 5 to Devo to Aerosmith to Lenny Kravitz.  The act hasn’t been announced yet, though.  I voted for Rammstein, but we’ll see who shows up.  And don’t forget your hat.

Thursday is sessions mixed with hangovers from the CAE.  As an experienced attendee, I advise you not to schedule an 8am session on Thursday; you probably won’t make it.  Thursday is the closing keynote, so make sure to attend that. It’s always worth your time.  We also wind up meeting for dinner that night as a large group.  And I mean a large group.  I think we did about 45 or so last year.  Remind me to work on getting someone to make reservations for that.

Friday is travel day home and filled with tears as you already miss your buddies that you won’t see until 2018 in Orlando.  🙁

Send any vendor party invites questions my way.