In 2019 Cisco enlisted the creative and executional talents of XDAgency and Lightswitch to design Cisco Live! for the third year in a row. The massive four-day user conference was hosted in San Diego and consisted of 25,000 Cisco ‘power users’ from around the world convening to learn, network, and be entertained. To meet their needs, we designed a large general session space and a more intimate Innovation Showcase.
WHAT WE DID
Working with the XDAgency creative team, we reconceived what a large business meeting should feel like from the moment guests entered the room. Gathering 16,000 people into a convention center flat floor space is not rapid and, as is common, the ‘walk in’ was actually longer than the show. So we challenged ourselves to create something distinctive and more curated than the traditional ‘rock and roll and t-shirt cannons’ of corporate show walk-ins. We asked, “Why can’t the walk in be a tightly staged part of the show? Why can’t the stage set feel more like an art museum installation?” and “Why can’t we make the audience participants in the show, not merely spectators?”. The result of this process of inquiry was a giant environmental piece that was part scenery, part art installation, and part sculpture. Constructed from the same PVC pipe we use on other projects such as Illumination, the 160’ square open cube defined the space and contained a massive array of Robe Mega Pointe and Pointe lighting fixtures. These fixtures created a lighting art installation that was tightly cued to musical and visual interludes ranging from Foo Fighters to Katy Perry to Hans Zimmer movie scores.
WHY IT WORKED
The project was a huge success and engaged the guests from the moment they stepped in to the room with a space that felt unlike any previous Cisco Live!. The dramatic and unexpectedly curated lighting and video pieces made the walk-in part of the experience more than simply a pregnant pause before the start of the show. The action didn’t stop when the show proper started, as the environment supported exciting presentations from Cisco senior leadership and special guests. Each year that we have been part of the Cisco Live! design team has been distinctly different, and we look forward to crafting something equally unique for year four!