5 Reasons not to go to Cisco Live


Cisco Live US 2015, the largest networking conference in the world, is right around the corner, June 7th-11th in San Diego, CA. This year is promising to be ever larger, with more training sessions, bigger events, futurist keynotes, and a massive World of Solutions expo. But think about it – do you really want to go? Let us consider some reasons not to attend this year’s Cisco Live.

1. Training overload

With upwards of 600 training sessions, labs and technical seminars, you’re likely to get your mind proverbially blown. Ouch, who wants a headache?! And I mean, c’mon, who in the world can possibly attend all the sessions of interest in only a few days?  In the earnest words of the famous Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

Seriously, how do you even choose the topics you want learn more about? Certification, Cloud, Collaboration, Core, Data Center, Mobility, Enterprise Networks, Security, Service Provider, Software Defined Networks, ridiculous!

Then we have Technical Sessions tailored for any technical level, from beginner to expert.  We have focused breakouts, case studies, panel discussions, hands-on labs and seminars. #TMI

At Cisco Live, they even want to show you how Cisco uses their own technology and strategy within their organization.  Who really cares to know what Cisco’s IT department is like?  Borrrriiiiiing!

All in all, way too much training, impossible to fit into a few days.  It’s not like you can create your perfect schedule on ciscolive.com and then watch all the sessions you missed, online at any time, willy nilly.


2. TL;NR (Too loud; no rest)

So, being a NetVet, I can assure you with veritable evidence that these events are just way too loud, going on for all hours of the day and night, with little-to-no rest.  To make things extra loud this year, Cisco has invited Aerosmith to play the Customer Appreciation Event, being held at the Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres.


All these people filling this stadium, so noisy…

Petco-Park-Photo1000x1000 (3)

As a long-time customer, I would instead appreciate some nice and quiet rest.  I’ve already had enough sleepless nights implementing Cisco equipment, and even more trying to beat Aerosmith on Guitar Hero.


Training all day, a convention center filled with massive amounts of people on their internet phones, clicking wearables, expresso shots, DJs, twittering, and nightly events hosted by sponsors and partners – make sure you bring ear plugs and Advil.

3. Overcrowded by likeminded individuals

With well over 25,000 people expected to attend, you are certainly in for large crowds of nerds speaking in TLA, business-minded individuals speaking business and parties of each having highly uninteresting conversations, muddled with the annoying clinking of bottled microbrews.

Entire events and areas are dedicated to the flocks of these likeminded people, such as the social media lounge and tweetups.  Hey look, there I am at CLUS 2013, disregard the smile, it’s a facade.


And there I am again, last year, in the back, escaping this plague of education and “fun.”


4. Free stuff sucks

It can be overwhelming, the guilt that sets in from receiving a t-shirt or rad pen at no cost.  And what do you do with all this free stuff – load up the Cisco backpack you receive at the conference check-in and then get stuck with the extra carry-on costs at the airport when you leave?!  Imagine you enter a contest and win tickets to yet another dreaded Cisco Live event!  Oh don’t worry, the free food, snacks and drinks during the opening night of World of Solutions will keep you distracted from the pain your shoulders feel from carrying a backpack full of useful data sheets, flyers and tchotchkes.

The World of Solutions is filled with over 200 vendors and partners, spanning every technology, and showcases the best that Cisco has to offer, both from a technology standpoint, and a solutions strategy.  There are areas dedicated to certification, social lounges, and walk-in labs.  A Technical Solutions Clinic in the WoS is filled with actual Cisco TAC Engineers and representatives, dedicated to helping you find the answers to your long-burning queries.  This place is awesome!  Uhm, I mean, eww, look at all these people:


Good luck treading through this circus of nerd events stringed together by tattered CAT.

5. You have never heard of Cisco

When you hear the word Cisco, do you think of the Thong Song or the food service company?  If so, maybe you’re not quite ready for over four+ days of something you possibly know nothing about.

Have you heard of Cisco?  Do you possibly adopt their solutions in your environment, use their technologies to support your business, utilize their strategies to successfully achieve your goals?  Do you have any Cisco certifications?  Do you enjoy networking?  Is the phrase “it’s not the network” in your vocabulary?  Well, my friend, Cisco Live may be for you!

Register now!

In all honesty, Cisco Live is my favorite time of the year.  If you have never been, do all you can to try and go.  If you have already been, well, you already know how awesome this event is.  Learn as much as you can about any technology you desire, connect with likeminded peers, get answers to your questions, find solutions for your obstacles, rock out to Aerosmith, and most importantly, have fun doing what you love!

Register here. See you in San Diego!

David Varnum


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4 Responses

  1. Brandon SM says:

    You must be 80 years old to think this…

  2. ciscolivesucks@aol.com says:

    This is my first year going to Cisco Live. I’m actually here right now. I think it sucks. I feel like at any moment I could be assaulted by a beard or a backpack. I went to one session and walked out of the second 5 min in and went back to the hotel room. Too many people for me. 2.3 days and I get on that plane and go home. It doesn’t help that Vegas is 110 and everything is so damn expensive.

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