Bon Voyage! 12 Scenes From Cisco's Velocity Event In Cannes10:00 AM EST Fri. Apr. 19, 2013
Cisco's annual Marketing Velocity took place April 16-18 in Cannes, France, drawing in more than 200 Cisco partners from 44 different countries. The event, which is focused on next-generation marketing techniques for Cisco technology and solution provider partners, was the seventh Velocity conference in the networking titan's history.
In case you missed it, here are 10 scenes providing a glimpse into Velocity, and the beautiful city in which it was hosted.
Best known for its renowned annual film festival, Cannes is a popular tourist destination located on the French Riviera. Cisco hosted the event at the Hotel Martinez on Boulevard de la Croisette, which overlooks the Bay of Cannes and the Mediterranean Sea.
When the workday was over, event-goers and locals alike would swarm to the long stretch of boardwalk across from Hotel Martinez, taking in the sights and sounds of the Mediterranean.
Despite the almost irresistible lure of the world outside, Cisco and its partners navigated a jam-packed Velocity agenda during the three-day event. Sessions and workshops were aimed at helping partners evolve their marketing strategies to incorporate social media, more efficiently target lines of business, and break down the silos between sales and marketing teams.
Apart from Cisco marketing and channel executives, the Velocity speaker line-up touted names including Jeffrey Hayzlett, the former CMO of Kodak, Charlene Li, author of the New York Times bestseller Open Leadership, and Matt McFadyen, an inspirational speaker and die-hard adventurer who has led teams on journeys to the North Pole and many other corners of the world.
Sherri Liebo (pictured here), Cisco's recently tapped vice president of partner marketing, spoke to partners about the importance of embracing "the yin and yang" -- meaning different perspectives or viewpoints -- within their marketing organizations. Liebo also emphasized her aim of working with partners to drive more "as-a-service" or cloud-based offerings through the channel, and of growing Cisco's footprint in the mid-market.
Prior to her new role in partner marketing, Liebo was vice president of marketing for Cisco Services. She has been with Cisco since 2005.
Bruce Klein, senior vice president of Cisco's Worldwide Partner Organization, and Karen Walker, senior vice president of marketing at Cisco (both pictured here), spoke together at Velocity about the importance of breaking down the barrier between sales and marketing teams. To do this, Klein and Walker suggested partners start holding marketing accountable for meeting revenue goals, managing pipelines, and other tasks that have been traditionally and too narrowly associated with sales.
Cisco partners collectively contributed to the massive puzzle pictured here, which touts the theme of the Velocity event: Plan, Build and Run.
Throughout workshops and executive one-on-ones, partners received strategies for "planning" the next stage of their marketing initiatives, "building" concrete strategies based on those plans, and then actually implementing, or "running," these new initiatives back at the office.
Also emphasizing the "Plan, Build and Run" Velocity theme were these large flip charts planted throughout the venue.
On the last night of Velocity, Cisco handed out its Best Integrated Marketing Campaign awards, giving props to partners with particularly successful or standout marketing campaigns. Pictured here, a rep for Tech Data receives an award from Wendy Bahr, senior vice president of Cisco's Americas Partner Organization.
Other award recipients included Dimension Data, CompuCom, CDW and Logicalis.
After the awards ceremony, Cisco partners were invited to attend a Partner Soirée at Le Bâoli, a local Cannes venue and restaurant. Le Bâoli is located right on the Mediterranean, which made for fantastic views in the early evening.
When guests arrived at Le Bâoli, they were greeted by these two animated and very, very tall hosts. Though they didn't speak (think traditional mime meets stilts), these two hung around for the entirety of the evening, keeping partners in awe of their talent (and balance).
Cisco partners chatted the evening away at Le Bâoli, soaking up their final moments in Cannes.
After dinner, Cisco and its partners took to the dance floor to celebrate yet another successful Velocity. The band played for hours, mixing French tunes with some classic American hits.