Pictured here is the entrance, five years ago, to the Customer Appreciation Event on the last night of Cisco Live US 2013. This was my first CiscoLive and first tech conference at all. I was exhausted from all I’d learned and excited by all the new people I’d met. The conference was in Orlando, FL that year and the CAE was held in a portion of Universal Studios theme park. This all comes full circle because this year
- I will once again be attending CiscoLive 2018
- It will once again be held in Orlando, FL
- And the Customer Appreciation Event will be held at THE ENTIRE UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA PARK!
Customer Appreciation Event Info
You read that right, for one night only, Cisco customers, employees and other conference attendees will have the whole park to themselves with food, drink, and all that jazz included.While the party itself is from 7:30 to 11:30, attendees will also have non-exclusive access to the Islands of Adventure side of the park starting at 6 so you can get there early, hang out in Diagon Alley and then hop the Hogwarts Express over to the party when the time comes. Can anybody say Geek Overload? Once the party starts all of the attractions will be available to you, rides like Transformers:3D, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, and Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon just to name a few.
There will also be a “festival style” music line-up to be announced later. Considering Cisco’s recent track record of musical acts (Aerosmith, Maroon 5, Elle King, Bruno Mars) it’s a good guess that those will be great as well.
There are other announcements out now as well. Included in these are the guest keynote speakers. This year it appears Cisco is going all in on the future looking vibe by having Dr. Michio Kaku, and Amy Webb as the Thursday speakers. Dr. Kaku is a renowned theoretical physicist and futurist while Ms. Webb is also a futurist and founder of the Future Today Institute. While I don’t know much about them at the moment I look forward to what they have to say.
Sessions, Labs and Seminars
Finally it looks like the Session catalog has quietly gone live today as well. Here you can begin looking for ideas of sessions you think you will find helpful, but I will tell you it is always my suggestion to pick these for now by the instructors you may really want to be able to interact with. All of these sessions will be available online after the conference so that frees you up to network (socially, not with wires) while you are there.
What you can’t access after the fact is the Labs and Seminars Cisco puts on the weekend prior to the conference itself. These come in 4 or 8 hour flavors and as someone who has attended a couple myself I will tell you they are a very fast way to deep dive into a topic. The catalog of these has been made available as well so you may want to check them out.
One note for those of you that like me that are heavy users of ad blocking in your browser. I noticed that uBlock Origin was keeping the actual list from appearing, you will need to turn it off to see the session catalogs.
As somebody with a small child and thus has spent a good deal of time in the Orlando area 😉 I’ll have some more to share soon in that regard. If you are heading to the show feel free to reach or say hi there! These events are much better when you allow yourself to get out an meet others.