Cisco’s Partner Velocity: What to expect and how to (maybe) get in

Luanne Tierney, vice president of worldwide channel marketing at Cisco.

Not a Cisco-centric event: Tierney pledges top marketing gurus for Partner Velocity event.

Ahhh, Spain in December. Paella, great wine, friendly people, great channel marketing information. Wait…. What? 

Okay, that last item might seem a bit of a stretch, but not this year, as Cisco Systems is bringing Partner Velocity event to Barcelona’s W Hotel December 7th through 9th

For those who don’t know it, Partner Velocity is Cisco’s annual channel marketing get together, the brain child of Luanne Tierney, vice president of worldwide channel marketing at Cisco, and her channel marketing team. The premise is simple: Bring together about 300 of the top networking vendor’s worldwide channel partners with a bunch of third-party marketing gurus, stir and enjoy. 

Last year’s Velocity event in Paris saw about 20 Canadian partners attend, and the invite list for this year’s event is about the same size, Tierney told But if you’re not on the list, how do you get yourself an invite to this swanky confab? 

Read on for more on what to expect at Partner Velocity in Barcelona, and some ideas on how to get your name on the list if it’s not already there. 


The agenda for the event is still coming together, but Tierney said the general tone is going to be the same as at previous Partner Velocity events. Expecting Cisco exec after Cisco exec after Cisco exec? This one might not be your bag. No doubt, some of the company’s channel heavy hitters will be in the room, but Tierney said the focus of the event will be on third-party experts on marketing, social media, video, integrated marketing campaigns and other buzz-topics. 

“We’ve got experts from around the world to talk bout what partners want to learn about,” Tierney said. “These are all real marketing gurus – this is not a Cisco-centric event.” 

What’s new this year? Tierney said the company is looking to offer more peer-led sessions sharing best practices amongst attendees, especially given the diverse global audience in attendance. 

“Partners really appreciate the global best practices, and we want to make it so a Canadian partner might learn something from a Croatian partner or vice versa where there’s not that feeling of competitiveness,” Tierney said. 

This year’s conference comes in what Tierney describes as an environment of renewed vigor and interest in marketing in the channel community. “I’m seeing partners investing more in marketing globally, moving resources around and freeing up marketing dollars for taking advantage of social media,” Tierney said. “I do see a trend to invest in marketing from partner around the world.” 

And it’s those partners who have been investing in marketing who have already received their invitations to the event. “Not fair!” you scream. “I’m looking at investing in marketing! What about me?” 

Well, there’s still hope. And the answer is simple to anyone who understands Cisco in general and Tierney in particular. Still got that Flip Ultra HD you got for attending Cisco’s 2009 Partner Summit? Good. You’re ready. Now just shoot a video explaining why you’re jazzed about marketing right now, submit it to the Cisco channel team, and you could find your way to Barcelona. 

“We know there are partners who are really excited about attending but who are not yet engaged from a marketing standpoint,” Tierney explained. “We want to hear why they’re excited, and if they submit a great video about that, we’ll look at inviting some to attend.” 

It’s not a guaranteed ticket to Barcelona, of course, but for the price of a quick video, is it worth a shot?  You bet. 

For the inside edge, here’s some tips for those looking to submit videos, straight from Tierney herself: 

  • Keep it short: Video’s at its best at a couple of minutes long, in Tierney’s estimation.
  • Be creative: “If you’re willing to put yourself out there, it shows us that you’re willing to invest in marketing and will be receptive to the ideas we’ll put forth there.”
  • Get ‘er done: There’s no formal cutoff to get your video in, but Tierney said attendance is already high, and once it’s full, it’s full. Put that video on the top of your to-do list for your best chance.
  • Get ready to see yourself in pictures: Tierney said her team plans on showcasing submitted videos at Velocity and “having some fun” with them.

So get those cameras filming, and good luck. And while we can’t offer you a ticket to Barcelona – yet – we’d love to hear what you’re doing with video in your business. Let us know in the comments below!