The long anticipated Cisco Live event in EMEAR came into fruition on the 27th of January. A few of us from our Cisco Support Community team did a lot of preparation behind the scenes for this event. We were looking forward to meeting with our customers and partners face-to-face so we wanted to have something to share with them. This year we were equipped with better cameras to capture their feedback on the video screen, had lots of new community programs to share with them and prepared some fun contests to play during the live show!
I was fortunate enough to represent my team during the show. I embarked on my long trip leaving the San Francisco airport in early dawn. I flew through Canada and Vienna in order to reach my destination. Despite my fatigue from the long hours at the airports and sitting on the planes I marveled at the beauty of sunrise while in the midst of the clouds and was thrilled to see the beautiful views of Garda Lake and the snowy Italian Alps as we approached Milan – the views were breathtaking!
The Cisco Live show was going to be at the Milano Congressi having the theme of Tomorrow Starts Here. In order to reach this exhibition center we had to travel by metro every day. During the first couple of days I was a bit confused as to which subway lines I had to take to reach my destination; I even had to change trains to reach the exhibition center which made it even more confusing! Milano Congressi is a beautiful center with a unique exterior architecture. The Italians living up to their reputation for being great architects proved that one more time with the design of the center.
I registered the day before the event trying to avoid the crowds and the long lines and it proved to be the right thing to do. There was absolutely nobody in line so it took me a few minutes to register and get my event entrance badge. I spent the rest of the day wondering around Milan getting lost in beautiful streets covered with cobbled stones, visiting the beautiful Duomo – the cathedral dedicated to Virgin Mary – the 5th largest cathedral in the world, walking along via Monte Napoleone where all the high end boutiques are located selling designer fashion items which I was only able to admire and not buy (out of my budget) to having a coffee at one of the many quaint coffee shops around the city! Next to Duomo is the eldest shopping center in the world – Renascente - as it’s called today. Renascente has beautiful architecture that no camera lense can fully capture. Lot of beautiful stores and restaurants are located in this huge shopping center. It was in one of these restaurants that I made a dinner reservation for our Cisco Designated VIPs who attended the Cisco Live Event. Meeting our Cisco
Designated VIPs in person and talking with them over dinner is one of the recognition activities we offer to them each year. We do acknowledge their contributions and their willingness to share their expertise with our community users. We hold special events for them, get them connected with Cisco subject matter experts plus lots mote.
During the event I had the opportunity to talk with a number of customers and partners while at our booth area within the World of Solutions – we had a booth within the Learning@Cisco booth. There was lots of traffic thanks to the coffee kiosk across from my area as well as the CCIE lounge! As always I captured on video the feedback from customers who did not shy away from the camera. I was equally eager to g
et the feedback from those who were willing to talk with me but did not want to be recorded. Several played the different trivia contest I offered every day; they were eager to win the prizes I was offering but also they were curious to find the Cisco products hidden in the pictures that my colleague Francine prepared very well – she even named the games Eye on Cisco.
The first day on the exhibition floor was long – standing a talking for several hours till 7:30 at night is tiresome but also very rewarding. I find it very rewarding to be able to talk with customers and get direct feedback from them and put a face to many of the replies we get on the community. Once again I was able to talk with many customers who are avid users of the Cisco Support Community and also to others who wanted to learn more about it and more about its programs.
I have attended many of the Cisco Live Events and I find each one of them rewarding and exciting because I talk and interact with our customers, get their constructive feedback and work towards implementing their suggestions when possible. Lastly but not least I meet many of my colleagues I work with virtually so it’s wonderful to meet them in person! During this trip I met people from the Nordic, Baltic, and South region of EMEAR that I only met in virtual environments.
I see more and more how we are all connected along with everything around us – Internet of Everything (IoE)! IoE is bringing together people, process, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before something that we always strive to do on the community.
Till the next big U.S. based Cisco Live Event 2014 in San Francisco stay well!