Making the Most of Cisco Live 2020

by Bill Heller

Like a lot of things in 2020, Cisco Live is different this year. Instead of traveling to your favorite city to meet up with your Cisco family and dive deep into as many Cisco technologies as your head can take in the span of a week, this year Cisco Live is a 2-day digital event with four channels of specialized content: Possibilities, Innovation, IT Heroes, and IT Leadership.

After a slight pause to focus on current events, organizers rescheduled Cisco Live to occur Tuesday, June 16 and Wednesday, June 17.

With a reboot and a postponement, don’t give up on Cisco Live in 2020. In its 31st year of existence since it was called Networkers back in the day, Cisco Live has always been an event full of announcements and learning. I’ve only been to six Cisco Live events but each time came away with a ton of valuable knowledge to help me do my job better and I’m not even a technologist.

Now that Cisco Live 2020 is no longer in Las Vegas and has been relaunched as a free, 2-day digital experience, I have to confess I’m still looking forward to June 16-17.

Musical and Celebrity Guest Appearances

Cisco Live will feature some top-notch musical guests and celebrity appearances, including:
MTV News anchor Tabitha Soren interviews the legendary rocker Joan Jett at 11:10 am PT June 16.
An acoustic performance by Dave Matthews at 12:45 pm PT June 16.
Keynote entitled “Disruption Mindset Shift” with spoken-word poet and Grammy-nominated artist Sekou Andrews at 2:30 pm PT June 16.
Fireside Chat/CEO keynote with Cisco’s Chuck Robbins and Charles Kelley of the Country music band Lady Antebellum at 11:35 am PT June 17.
Performance by The Chainsmokers and Fall Out Boy starting at 2:30 pm PT June 17.

To find out any last-minute additions and surprises, you can visit the Cisco Live “Let’s Celebrate” page.

Cisco is also still going to bring you all the informative keynotes and deep-dive technical sessions you’ve come to expect from the week long on-site events. Social engagement may suffer but typically some of the best tweets during Cisco Live pasts came from folks across the globe not in attendance anyway.

Streaming Channels

During Cisco Live 2020, four simultaneous channels will be live streaming (probably with some pre-recorded content as well) for virtual attendees from 9am-3pm PST both days. Agendas for those channels will be published next month and include:

  • Possibilities Channel featuring Cisco executives, subject matter experts, and IT industry leaders showcasing innovative technology solutions.
  • IT Heroes Channel will feature breakout sessions and technology demos (my favorite) that dive deep to provide technical insights from experts on security, collaboration, 5G, Wi-Fi 6 and much more.
  • Innovation Channel will explore the IT solutions and strategies essential to enterprises today from securing your data “to transforming your infrastructure and reimagining your applications.”
  • IT Leadership Channel is designed to cultivate the mix of business and technology that is always at the forefront of any Cisco Live event. This channel’s aim is help your organization succeed with insights from technical and business experts.

Executive Keynotes

I’ve been to my share of IT conferences and somehow Cisco always seems to keep my attention and never comes off dated although if you’re not a Cisco fan, these keynotes are not for those who don’t drink from the Cisco Kool-Aid cooler. Back when Chris Young, Padmasree Warrior, Carlos Dominguez and John Chambers ran the show, the technology and partnership announcements seemed to flow endlessly. Although now the faces may be different, they are no less exciting as this year’s keynote speakers include Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, Networking and Cloud SVP Todd Nightingale, Security SVP Gee Rittenhouse, and Emerging Tech SVP Liz Centoni.

Registration for the digital event only takes a moment and some features are still in the works but once you have registered for the digital event, you’ll receive email updates on how to build your personalized agenda with session recommendations based on your interests. You will also receive info on how you can network online with your peers and Cisco experts during the event as well as schedule a “Meet the Engineer” 1:1 meeting.

For updates before and during Cisco Live, don’t forget to follow the #CiscoLive hashtag which was updated from #clus earlier this year and follow me on Twitter @JohnMarkIvey and @SkylineATS for Cisco Live updates.

See you there!


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