Cisco Plus Canada: Tweets, Keynotes and a Candy Bar

We wanted to make Cisco Plus Canada the most interactive and social conference in Canada this year. And after the tremendous response in the building and on the web, we definitely accomplished that goal.

Over 1,900 attendees and 34 partners packed into the Toronto Congress Centre on May 16 to learn about the latest innovations in video, collaboration, networking, cloud computing and much more from the Cisco universe. Many of them took to Facebook and Twitter to share their experiences and I’ve highlighted some of their comments below.

Starting out, the keynote session was very well received by attendees who took in the session featuring Nitin Kawale, Cisco Canada’s president, and Lew Tucker, Cisco Systems’ vice-president and CTO of cloud computing.

Nitin’s keynote was a call to action for Canadians businesses to get with the program and catch up to employees on issues like flexible work hours, multiple devices and new collaboration technologies. I noticed many attendees nodding along to Nitin’s inspiring talk, and hope they can take his words back to their organizations and build the culture of innovation that Canada most definitely needs to boost productivity.

Following Cisco Canada’s chief, Lew took to the stage to talk all things cloud. He said traditional data centres will only get more complex as the number of apps grow and called for organizations to embrace cloud infrastructure in any form (public, private or hybrid).

Both keynote sessions covered a lot more than I’ve been able to summarize, so read the archive of our live blog for a full recap. In addition to the great keynote sessions, our breakout sessions were also jammed packed with information for analysts, business leaders and IT professionals.

And with so many partners in the room, we sent out our Cisco Canada roving reporter Warren Ross to go booth to booth and interview them on the crowded show floor. You can watch all of Warren’s adventures on our Cisco Canada YouTube channel.

Warren, like many of the attendees, navigated through the massive World of Solutions exhibit hall. The partner showcases were packed throughout the day, as was the Cisco Demo Pavilion and video/cloud focused solutions centres.

As I mentioned in my previous blog, it definitely paid to be social at this year’s event, as we gave away Cineplex and Tim Hortons gift cards, t-shirts and even an Amazon Kindle to some lucky attendees. Francesco Ientile picked up the e-reader after winning our Cisco Plus Captions contest. Check out Facebook to see the picture and all the creative captions.

Finally, we want to thank all of the sponsors and technology providers that made this event possible, including gold level sponsors Bell, EMC, OnX and TELUS. A special shout out also goes out to Jibestream and X2O Media, which both brought digital signage technologies to the event.

Jibestream provided an interactive touch screen at the Bell booth, a video wall and interactive demos at a variety of Cisco booths. They also displayed digital signage featuring the #CiscoPlusCA Twitter activity throughout the event and stationed wayfinding, mapping and interactive information applications at the event registration booth.

X2O Media showcased its Twitter Shuffle platform at the event, which dynamically displayed real-time tweets on a video wall in 3D. The video wall was also interactive as users could control the displayed tweets via a Microsoft Kinect or through a web application.

Thank you to everyone that attended and joined the conversation online this year. What was your favourite part of Cisco Plus Canada? Let me know below and we’ll see you next year!

About Bill Kastelic

Bill Kastelic is vice president, systems engineering, enterprise, for Cisco Canada. As part of the Cisco Canada senior executive team, Kastelic oversees Cisco systems engineering team focused on New Enterprise, Solutions, Partners and public sector customers. Kastelic also works to strengthen and enrich the engineering organization across Canada, and focuses on expanding SE and systems engineering manager (SEM) career-growth opportunities. He also provides thought leadership for the Canadian enterprise organization and ensures alignment with the Americas’ engineering group. Kastelic holds a bachelor of science degree in computer science from the University of Toronto.
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