Wednesday is typically the day that the mornings seem to be a little emptier in both the amount of people walking around and in the session sizes. This year, it seemed to be a little lighter traffic, but my first session of the day was still at capacity. Day 4 is also when we all get to get our groove on and rock out to the Cisco Customer Appreciation Event. This is my fifth CLUS, and it definitely delivered.
Today began bright and early at 6am, as I’m still on Central Time and my body is waking up at this time regardless of an alarm being set or not. This does work to my advantage and gives me plenty of time to get ready in the morning and locate caffeine. Coffee is a necessity for me and thousands of other attendees, and this morning was no exception.
My first session of the day was with another legendary presenter at Cisco Live, Johnny Bass (@CCIE6458). This session was all about Tunnels for CCIE R&S Candidates. He hit the areas that were of interest to me and helped to fill in some of the gaps that I had in my studies. Always a great presentation and a pleasure to listen to someone who can keep your interest.
I was also able to snag a front row seat to the keynote this morning, another benefit of being in the Cisco Champion program. If you ever want to know more about this amazing social networking program, look for someone with a Cisco Champion flag on their badge and they’ll be glad to tell you more. This was a great discussion on how we are moving towards a cloud-based world and how digitization and analytics are changing the world as we know it. It really pushed the idea that as a member of this new society, we need to embrace change and continuously push ourselves to learn new ways of thinking and doing things.
The afternoon also was an opportunity to take advantage of another Cisco Champion opportunity and see inside the Whisper Suites. Unfortunately, due to NDA restrictions, I can’t go into detail about what we saw here, but I’m excited about some of the new productions and technologies that are potentially going to be coming in the future.
The evening was capped off at the T-Mobile Arena. I was able to be invited into a VIP suite and watched two amazing acts: Elle King and Maroon 5. I’d never even heard of Elle King before, but she had a great voice and I was impressed by her performance. Maroon 5 blew the house down and put on a great show.
The highlight of the evening was getting to socialize with some of the other Cisco Champions before the event started. I got to hang out with people like Justin Cohen (@cantechit), Dennis Heim (@CollabSensei), and Bill Burnham (@stilgar). I got to meet some people who I have talked to on Twitter for years and finally meet in person like Amy Renee (@amyengineer) and the famous CCNA author Wendell Odom (@Wendellodom).
Finally, I want to take time to give a huge thanks to Lauren Friedman (@lauren) for giving me the opportunity to be a member of the Cisco Champions program. This has helped me get out of my introverted shell this year like no other, and has helped to make this my favorite Cisco Live so far. If you have any interest in this program, I highly recommend it.
Tomorrow is the last day of camp…er, Cisco Live. Enjoy it. If you happen to have time in your schedule, feel free to come to the Think Tank inside The Hub and listen to myself and some other Cisco Champions discuss How to Build Your Personal Brand with Social Media (CISTHT-1001). And if you see me around, feel free to say hello. I hope you have all had as amazing a week as I have. And I can’t wait to see President Underwood (aka Kevin Spacey) tomorrow in what should be a legendary final keynote. Also, don’t forget about the goodbye Tweet-up at 4pm tomorrow.