Our customers are the heart and soul of everything we do at Cisco and each one of them has an interesting story to tell! Our Q&A series allows us to shine a spotlight on some of our most passionate customer advocates from our Cisco Insider Advocacy community, as we learn more about their stories and backgrounds.
We’re delighted to welcome back one of our longtime community “Rockstars”—Daniel Hosking from NEC Australia—to our Customer Spotlight series, as he shares what made attending Cisco Live US 2022 in Las Vegas so special for him. As international travel restrictions started to lift for the first time in two years, Cisco welcomed customers and partners back to Cisco Live for a memorable onsite experience, with a focus on reconnecting with each other, taking advantage of learning and training opportunities, and making time for plenty of fun! Let’s hear from Daniel what stood out to him.
It’s great to have you back on the spotlight series, Daniel! Your last interview with us was just over a year ago. How has the past year been for you professionally and as a member of Cisco Insider Advocates?
The past year has been full of challenges, as the world is a complicated place these days. Now that borders are opening and restrictions are lifting, we are seeing a huge amount of activity as we assist our clients with challenges such as security and skills shortages. We’re also helping them adapt their businesses to new hybrid working models. On the personal front, it has been great to see friends and family in person and enjoy once again lifestyles that we took for granted up until two years ago.
Thanks Daniel, we have noticed similar challenges as the world starts returning to pre-pandemic activities. You were one of our “Road To Cisco Live Winners” which meant you were at Cisco Live Vegas with us in June! We would love to know more about your experience at the conference as one of the winners. On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the highest), how would you describe your overall experience this year? How did it compare to previous Cisco Live conferences?
A 5. It was a memorable experience attending Cisco Live Las Vegas, as it was the first time I had been to an overseas Cisco Live. I have previously only attended Cisco Live in Melbourne, Australia. I was shocked to find out it was considered a “small event” with 15,000 attendees, as the usual number at Cisco Live conferences is 40,000! Yet, I think 10,000 is what I am used to in Australia! Cisco’s World of Solutions area and the Innovation Zone was enormous. I think it took me two to three days to finally make my way around that floor.
Great observation, we find everyone who goes to Cisco Live Vegas is in awe of the number of people there! Cisco Live Vegas offered a lot of fun booth activities, including “The World of Solutions” which you mentioned. Among them, which one was your favorite and why?
That is a tough one, as there were a couple. The first that comes to mind is the community zone where there was a high degree of attendee engagement. Participants were given the chance to give back to the community through several activities, such as constructing items for schools or environmental projects. It presented a great opportunity to socialize with Cisco staff and network with other attendees. It seemed to be a hit with everyone. My favorite activity or booth, though, is a tough choice. It was a tie between having a go of the Webex Hologram and the Webex teams exhibit for the mission to the moon. Both were mind blowing and like nothing I had seen in any earthbound meeting room!
It sounds like there was a lot of variety at Cisco Live Vegas and I can totally see the Webex Hologram being mind blowing! You also had a chance to meet for the first time and/or reconnect with some of your peers from the community and members of Cisco’s Global Advocacy team! What did you most enjoy about reconnecting with everyone at Cisco Live this year?
Definitely a highlight for the event was meeting up with both the Cisco Insider Advocates and Cisco Champions communities, both of which I am a member of. There is nothing like meeting face to face and building relationships at global events like this that will last throughout your career. One of my best memories of the event was having a food exchange with Cisco’s “Chief Stroopwafel Officer” Nicole Wajer! I think exchanging Tim Tams from Australia for some Stroopwafels from the Netherlands was a great deal! I can’t thank enough both teams that run Cisco Insider Advocates and Cisco Champions programs for making it such an amazing and memorable week.
Sounds like a great biscuit exchange! I know both the Cisco Insider Advocates and Cisco Champions teams loved having you there too. Do you have any advice for anyone attending Cisco Live for the first time? What are your best tips to them to help them prepare, both before and during the conference?
I have a few tips:
- Plan ahead – Accommodation and even some sessions book up early.
- Speak with your Cisco Account Manager or Cisco Partner Account Manger to arrange meetings at the conference with Cisco attendees you want to engage with. It is a rare opportunity to speak face to face with subject matter experts from all corners of the globe.
- If there is a Cisco learning session you could not confirm in advance, check again on the actual day, because often people don’t show up and you can find an open slot.
- Make the most of the Cisco World of Solutions area. Usually there are representatives from different Cisco business units and you can directly discuss topics with them, such as new features or product roadmaps.
Great checklist, Daniel! I will be taking notes for when I attend Cisco Live EMEA in Amsterdam in a few months. To wrap up our conversation, if you could summarize your experience at Cisco Live US 2022 with one word, what would it be?
We love your enthusiasm, Daniel! It’s been a pleasure chatting with you again. Thank you for joining us.
You are welcome, Rashik!
Read more advocate interviews
You might enjoy Daniel’s previous interview with us.
For our customers who have already joined our Cisco Insider Advocates community, say hello to Daniel if you haven’t met each other yet. And for those Cisco customers who haven’t yet joined, consider doing so. You’ll be able to:
- Connect with peers in a gamified, online community
- Have an opportunity to meet with Cisco’s executives
- Share your feedback, questions, and best practices
- Get access to ‘insider’ content and resources
- Grow your professional and personal brand
- Amplify your company’s success story with Cisco technology
Ready to get started?
Head over to the Cisco Insider Advocates Community and say hello!
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