Speaking at Cisco Live! in Milan this week, senior George P Johnson staff have discussed the changing nature of events and the challenges faced at venues.
The global experiential agency delivered the event 27-30 January for 8,000 delegates. The agency’s vice-president for operations Chris Doggart said that 40 per cent of those who visit Cisco Live! were first-timers, meaning the format is always fresh for them.
The show is a leading global platform for education and training events for IT, networking, and communications professionals.
Cisco held its second-annual Academy Day at the Cisco Live! conference in Milan. The event is sponsored by the Cisco Networking Academy Programme, which trains one million people worldwide each year in computer networking technology. The theme of Academy Day this year was Internet of Everything for Social Innovation, and more than 1,000 college-age students from Italy and elsewhere participated in activities including robotics demonstration and the future of technology carees.
GPJ’s Doggart also discussed getting to grips with a venue: “The first year you go into a venue you have an idea of how it’ll work but then you put it all in and realise there’s things you could’ve done differently. The first time you come into a venue it’s just concrete walls and you have to realise it as a living, breathing thing,” he added.
Doggart went on to discuss the challenges GPJ faced over the years honing people flow, and finding out how visitors reacted to the venue.
“It’s interesting how doing an event for a number of years, the trends change, but then some come back around. It’s cyclical,” he added. “The social media studio has been an interesting evolution for us. The first year I saw it, it was hidden away at our US show. But we realised that we should chuck it out onto the floor as people are fascinated by what’s going on in it.”
GPJ’s Stella Alexander added that the Social Media Studio was put at the front of the event for maximum impact.
“We took ideas from various events including the Cisco San Francisco event, which featured a DJ. We weren’t sure if it’d work for a European audience but the reactions been great,” she added. “It provides a place for people to meet and interact.”
Elsewhere, GPJ’s vice-president of business development Kevin Jackson discussed the modus operandi of the exhibitors at the show.
“Content is king and we’re trying to pass on content that makes employees better at their job instead of people trying to sell you stuff. It’s about asking ’what can I do to make your life easier Mr Delegate’.”
“The look and feel of the event always comes from the States,” Alexander added, “but we adapt it for the European audience.”
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