Cisco Shows How to Party Online

Wondering how to help your attendees celebrate while they’re sitting at their computers? The closing festivities of Cisco Live offered some inspiration.

Author: David McMillin       

digital events

Frontman Drew Taggart and The Chainsmokers perform as part of the closing ceremony for the Cisco Live digital event.

Annual conferences always aim to end on a high note. After several days of learning, it’s customary to help all those attendees cap things off with a party. Replicating that sense of celebration in a digital environment always has been tough, but it’s especially challenging now that we have all been stuck behind our screens for months and are experiencing Zoom fatigue. By the time the closing session of a digital conference arrives, it’s safe to say that plenty of attendees are ready to disconnect.

The organizers of Cisco Live took a unique approach to the online send-off on June 17. The theme of the annual IT gathering was “Possibilities,” and the format of the closing celebration served as a reminder of the possibilities to give attendees a memorable social experience online. After two songs from Fall Out Boy, The Chainsmokers, a massively popular, Grammy-winning EDM group, performed from their living room in Los Angeles. Instead of simply playing a few songs, though, the band gave the audience an extra treat.

“We heard the theme of your event is ‘Possibilities,’” frontman Drew Taggart said. “So, we’re going to show you around our studio to show you some of the possibilities we use for making music.”

Taggart took the online audience on a behind-the-scenes tour of the house that they converted into a recording studio, pointing out some of his favorite equipment and the role each plays in crafting their chart-topping hits. “There are lot of things in this room that enable us to make more traditional sounds and then manipulate them in more creative ways,” he said.

After the look through the studio, the band performed three songs and shared the stories behind them. There was no simulcast option on Facebook or YouTube — the Chainsmokers tour and show was only available to registered participants on the Cisco Live site. So, while it was impossible to recreate the sense of magic of an in-person show in Las Vegas, the celebration did give attendees bragging rights to a VIP kind of experience that they could share with their friends and colleagues who did not participate. And perhaps there was a silver lining in the exclusive party: It’s easier to skip the invitation to have “one more drink” with other attendees if you’re at home.

Cisco Live delayed its broadcast earlier this month and called attention to the need to confront racism and inequality.