These are my tips for CiscoLive newbie, These have been learned from my mistake and previous experience at the conference.
Have an orientation tour of the facilities after registering
The conference center are usually huge, I recommend that you walk around after your registration to locate, where the meals will be served, the World of Solution, if you are taking a test, locate the test center etc.
There is also conference hosts that wear the same t-shirt, they are there to help you find where you need to go, don’t be afraid to ask direction, they might save you a lot of walking and being late at session.
I also like to walk and try to avoid the shuttle as much as possible, so I always try to find the shortest and easiest path to my hotel. This gives me extra minutes of sleep.
TIP: Do not be afraid to ask direction to get where you need to go
Netvet mentoring program
This year, Ciscolive introduce a new program call the Ciscolive Netvet mentor program, where a Ciscolive Netvet will be paired with a first year attendent. This is a great opportunity for all new attendant to get knowledge about the conference and get to meet fellow network engineer and have a friendly face to contact if you have any question.
The Netvet mentor have to contact their mentee, before, during and after the show. I will participate to this program and will most likely introduce my mentee to the Social media lounge where I usually hang out between breakout session. I look forward to see if this initiative will work and wished I could have benefit for it the 1st year I was attending
Get you conference pass as soon as possible and try to avoid the Monday morning rush. The registration process is easy and fast, You will get your conference pass that will allow you to attend the breakout session, keynote, access to World of solution, meal and party. Always check to see if you have it, before leaving your hotel room, and try not to loose it as it can be replacing with fees.
TIP: Check the lanyard clips, some are loose and I had to replace the lanyard a couple of time because the pass did not stayed attached properly.
This is the reason that you told your boss and wife to attend CiscoLive (while we all know it is for the party), You scheduled them and now that you are in the session you realize that you know the stuff, don’t like the presentation, I suggests that you make the best of your time and look for another session of interest and go, they will let you in if there is still place in the room.
TIP: Make the most of your time and attend session of interest
You can ask question to during the presentation, but please if you are trying to solve whatever issue you have at work, wait at the end of the presentation and take it offline with the presenter
You can bring you laptop, tablet and mobile phone to follow the presentation deck and take note. There are some power bars so you can plug your equipment in. Last year I only had my tablet and it was enough to cover my needs for the conference.
If you find the session boring and feel like watching a movie, update your Facebook status or need to work, please go outside the conference room (Refer to tips below) , this is again simple courtesy to your fellow attendee, keyboard noise are annoying and unless the movie is great, I’d rather listen the presentation.
TIP: Please be considerate of your fellow attendees
Also, beware, if you fall asleep, there will be some one to take a picture and post it on the #clus feed and also please do not snore…
Laptop, tablet and mobile phone
Please make sure that all your mobile device and laptop are on mute and/or vibration, this is just courtesy for the presenter and your fellow attendees. We are not interested in hearing your latest LMFAO ringtone.
Also, if you think there might be a possibility that you will receive a call and that not answering it will make the western empire as we know it collapse, please take a seat at the end of a row or even better and the back of the room. We are not interested in learning that your core has just melt down and please answer your call as quietly as possible.
TIP: Please make sure your devices are on mute and vibration.
There is wifi coverage in the conference area and I must say that for the last 2 years the coverage was good. I notice that the 5 ghz band was less used and therefore my tablet could always connect while my phone could not. Except for the World of solution and the keynote, I was able to connect to the wifi and have access to the internet
There is no dress code. Dress to be comfortable and remember that you might see customers, partner and coworker. So try not to be remember as the one who got the tramp stamp…
Also, the room are air conditioned and sometime I find that it is cold in the room especially in the morning and early afternoon.
You will notice that some attendees have a red or orange lanyard, there are Netvet, they have been to at least 3 Cisco live events in the 5 years so if you have any question, do not be afraid to ask, we may not have the answer but might know who to tweet to get it.
Do not be offended if I do not understand you at first
As you most likely notice english is not my first language, so for me Ciscolive is an exhausting week as my brain need to be in gear to attend the session and understand what is going on around me. So sometime I just shut my brain off and wander around. So if you talk to me I need to reboot and will ask for a retransmit… Also I have to be attentive to the different english accents and I have a very strong one
See you at Ciscolive and hope to meet you
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From my friend Jeff Fry