Cisco never put their hands in their pocket to exhibit at industry events so why do some organisers let ’em speak?This rant is not aimed at this week’s Self Service Expo in London specifically, because we have seen far too many conference and event organisers succumb to the power of the brand and give Cisco speaking slots seemingly ‘willy-nilly‘.
Problem number 1 – Cisco never spend any money in exhibiting at our industry shows but are always first in line when it comes to wanting a speaking slot.
Problem number 2 – Cisco talks about areas where it does not have expertise. Cisco’s Dos Dosanjih bored the pants off the Las Vegas DSE audience when he spoke about content at the content day back in February 2009 and still managed to impart no wisdom to anyone.
If a vendor takes a speaking slot make sure they speak about something they are known for knowing about or have expertise in, something they have done (well) and that they don’t use the speaking slot as a sales tool or a free way to get their product in front of an audience.
There are unfortunately very few truly altruistic vendors out there with anything decent to say (Wiresping’s Bill Gerba being the prime exception – he speaks widely, speaks with passion, knowledge and experience, never sells and ten times out of time the audience walk away having learnt something useful).
If every supplier / vendor acted like Cisco did, no-one would exhibit and their would be no shows.
We have often said hats-off to the likes of Scala and BroadSign who are often first to put their hand in their pocket, take a big piece of floor space at a good show and / or sponsor it. The industry owes a lot to those folks.
Next time Cisco ask to speak at your event just say NO!