[Note: Cisco recently refreshed this site and it is now Cisco Live 365, but overall this is still essentially accurate.]
Cisco Live Virtual
If you aren’t leveraging Cisco Live Virtual, you’re missing out on a useful resource. The real feature of Cisco Live Virtual is the Session Catalog. There are PDFs of all (or at least most) Cisco Live sessions for the last several years and videos of many of the presentations are also available. This includes sessions from international Cisco Live shows, as well. Besides being useful all year long, it’s helpful when setting up your Cisco Live session schedule. Oh, and did I mention that it’s free, even if you aren’t going to Cisco Live?
One of the tools the Cisco Live (non-virtual) session catalog gives you is letting you know how much of a given presentation is new this year. If it’s 0-25%, there’s not much difference from last year. You can go read through last year’s PDF and decide if it’s worth attending that session, or if another would be more valuable to you. Perhaps you may find a session that has a video, then you could watch the video of the session, which will free your time for yet another session. Even if there’s significant new content for 2012, you might find a recording of the session from Cisco Live London or Melbourne, both of which happened within the last month or two, and those will have most of the updated content.
Somewhere around a week before Cisco Live, PDFs should go up for this year’s sessions. You can double check the content of your scheduled sessions to be sure you’ll actually be getting what you need out of them. Sometimes it’s also nice to have a local copy of the PDF when following along with the presenter, too.
This year, I’m making space for additional sessions at this year’s Cisco Live by watching some sessions on Cisco Live Virtual. Here’s a couple example sessions I’m watching this week to help make my week at Cisco Live San Diego more effective:
BRKEWN-2016: Architecturing Network for Branch Offices with Cisco Wireless – Very nice recording of the presentation from Cisco Live London in February. Includes the new FlexConnect stuff.
BRKCRS-3145: Troubleshooting Cisco Nexus 5000 / 2000 Series Switches – 2011 audio only recording with slides, but not much changed for this year, so the content is still good.
I have several others saved in my CLV “briefcase” that I will try to watch soon.
Throughout the year I will occasionally search CLV for a technology I need to learn more about and around half the time there is a useful PDF. About 25% of the time there is a session recording available. The rest of the time I have to go elsewhere, but it’s really nice to get something useful 75% of the time.