Months of preparation and anticipation came to an end on June 23rd upon arrival at the Orlando international airport in Florida for the Cisco Live 2013!
I had gone to many other Networkers events which at a later time evolved to Cisco Live events but my anxiety and at the same time excitement have always been high! I was full of energy and anticipation to start the event. I arrived in Florida close to midnight. By the time I settled down into my hotel it was morning hours – I didn’t care much – a few hours later I was up moving rapidly through the event registration lines. My teammates had called me earlier to get together and walk together towards the convention center. The convention center in Orlando is the largest convention center I have been to so far and let me say that I have been to quite a few and even overseas but this one blew me away! It’s an impressive building! After completing the registration process where a few minor hiccups took place like telling me that I could not register because I didn’t pay we were all on our way to our booth within the World of Solutions. By the time we arrived, the construction of the booths was almost completed. We had two areas within the Services booth along with two monitors; a great luxury compared to previous years.
The World of Solutions opened in the afternoon of June 24th. An influx of customers and partners was welcomed! I was thrilled to start talking about the launch of Cisco on Demand Solutions and the Experts Bureau. I had a lot of new information to share with existing as well as prospective community users. To top it all of I was also having fun with the online trivia contests we had launched during Cisco Live. The trivia questions were fun and allowed all of the participants to enter the daily drawings. Among all this information I was squeezing in a few customer interviews every day. I had on my belt my little flip camera and was asking some of our users if they would be willing to give me their feedback and experience about the community. To my surprise, many said yes.
Cisco Support Community at Cisco Live 2013 Videos Watch Live Interviews with some of the Experts that participate in the Cisco Support Community
We finished the first day with a dinner we hosted for our Cisco Designated VIPs at a nearby restaurant called Cuba Libre. It was great meeting many of our top users face-to-face and getting to know them better. The dinner also gave us the opportunity to thank and acknowledge the many contributions these loyal customers provide on the community. By the end of the dinner though I realized that my fatigue from a long travel and a long working day had reached its peak and needed to rest!
The second day was quite busy as all of the days during the week while at Cisco Live. Working on the floor, replying to e-mails and uploading interviews filled the biggest part of my days and evenings. Every day we had contest winners who were quite happy to win Amazon e-cards and everything on the community was getting updated with the latest and greatest from Cisco Live by our wonderful team back in San Jose and in some other parts of the U.S. Once again our team collaborated well and delivered great results.
Even though the days and evenings were busy with greeting and talking with customers no-stop there was always time at night for a relaxing dinner and chat with colleagues and friends from work. Me being the foodie I am, I loved trying all the different small plates at Café Tu-Tu Tango which is quoted as one of the best and most entertaining restaurants in Orlando and I have to agree to that! The delicious food paired with the unusual but very artistic décor made a perfect place for dinner and great conversation. I also loved the exquisite food at the Capriccio Grill at the Peabody hotel. My mouth watering scallops were an excellent choice for an entrée.
My enthusiasm is always high when I go to the Cisco Live events because I have the great opportunity to meet our customers and partners and get their honest feedback about our community, our Cisco products and technologies as well as the Cisco Live event! In my opinion, having their face-to-face constructive feedback and unedited responses as well as thanks for what we do well, is not comparable to any other form of communication! I left the show with a lot of takeaways on things we need to do differently to serve our customers better and a few new ideas for fun things for the next Cisco Live Event! I even learned that next time I have to attend the customer appreciation event in my sneakers and not high heels looking good shoes! What was I thinking? The event at the Universal studios was fun, entertaining as well as scary (taking the mummy ride with my team almost made me throw up and kept me silent for a while – unheard of for me) and … physically painful. I went back to my hotel limping due to the huge blisters on my feet. Oh well, I have learned my lesson the hard way – what can I say!
Stay tuned till next year in San Francisco! Nice meeting you all and looking forward to seeing you again!
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