Back to the Future – VMworld 2017

Before we move forward, let’s take a moment to reflect on my first VMworld experience. Please click on the following link for a collection of photos from VMworld 2017.

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Fast forward, it’s time for VMworld 2018. In order to do so, we’ll need some help from a expert at time travel (I’ve been told he’s applied to become a vExpert but we’ll have to leave the decision making up to @vCommunityGuy, @elsajmayer, @ericnipro, @smitmartijn and crew.

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The purpose of this blog post is to provide insight and feedback that will hopefully lead to a successful 2018 VMworld experience.

What you should do in preparation for the trip (in no particular order):

  1. If you don’t have a Twitter account or Blog, now is the time to consider one. If I had a choice, I would recommend Twitter first. It’s an easy way to stay connected and up to date on all things related to VMworld. If you’re up for sharing your experience via a Blog, there are plenty of options to choose from to get you started.
  2. If it’s not to late, register for the conference early to save money. If you’re a vExpert or a VMUG Advantage member, a discount is provided that can be used towards your pass.
  3. Pack lightly. Let me repeat myself, if you’re going to Vegas it’s going to be hot in late August and you should consider packing as lightly as possible. If I recall, my good friend @jfrappier was able to fit everything he needed for the trip into his backpack in 2016 for VMworld and did the same for EMC in 2015. Why you ask? If you’re not interested in the swag provided by the vendors in attendance, why bother packing a large suitcase? If given an option, Jonathan and many other other attendees would prefer if vendors contributed the swag (which includes shirts, socks, etc.) to the less fortunate. 
  4. Comfortable shoes are a must. If you want to take it a step further, I would personally recommend SuperFeet insoles. I’ve been using them for years and can’t imagine walking\running for long distances without them. If you suffer from any type of foot pain, this will be the best investment you’ve made for the trip so far. It also doesn’t hurt to consider packing eye drops, hand sanitizer and a hoodie (some of the conference rooms can get cold, regardless of the weather outside).
  5. Stay hydrated throughout the conference. Sodas\water\etc. are provided throughout each day but water is the key.
  6. Ask questions! Don’t be shy, you’re attending the conference for multiple reasons and one is to learn. Ask presenters, HOL staff and anyone else any questions you may have. Get to know someone but it requires you to engage with them.
  7. Network with others in the industry before, during and after the conference. Share your experiences, offer suggestions and most importantly create friendships that will last a lifetime. My biggest takeaway from VMworld (thanks to @J_Kolkes) and most recently .NEXT (thanks to @AngeloLuciani & @nutanix), are the friendships (see below for a collage of photos that include what I now consider my #vCommunity family). Below are just a few of the people I was fortunate enough to meet in person at VMworld and have remained friends with since then, they include: @Codydearkland@heathbarj@MostafaVMW@vKTBcommunity@vPedroArrow@daniellek_ford@elsajmayer@jhoughes@vCommunityGuy @Texiwill,  @J_Kolkes@whitehattechs, @PunchingClouds, @DarthVader, @prabhu_b, @arielsanchezmor, @lamw, @emad_younis, @PGelsinger and @VirtualizeStuff. I know you’re probably wondering, you’re in contact with Darth Vader and Pat Gelsinger?? Not necessarily but the common denominator in each of these photos is #happiness. 

8. The sessions are recorded, so try to take the time to make new contacts. This includes meeting vExperts, attending @vBrownBag Tech Talks, getting to know the wonderful people at @MyVMUG, spend some time in the @VMwareHOL area that also includes @NoellGrier from CloudCredibility. Don’t get me wrong, the sessions are a wonderful learning experience and offer you the chance to chat w\ the speakers but my advice to you is to continue networking with attendees throughout each day regardless of location (lunch, sessions, Solutions Expo, etc.)

9. Planning to bring your spouse or friend to Vegas but they’re not planning to attend VMworld? If that’s the case, get in contact with @crystal_lowe who manages @spousetivities. This is a must, don’t sleep on this opportunity.

10. Plan to party! From the VMworld party to the after hours social events hosted by the numerous sponsors, be on the lookout  for tweets about these events and register as soon as possible. In some cases, space is limited.

11. Need a car to get around town? Use Uber or Lyft. I personally used Lyft and absolutely loved the experience. It’s relatively inexpensive and easy to use with the mobile app.

12. Mobile\laptop chargers are must so keep them charged! Granted, you’ll probably be able to snag a mobile charger from the Solutions Expo but it doesn’t hurt to bring one with you to be safe.

13. It’s a marathon and not a race. PACE YOURSELF!

14. Spend time in the Hang Space, this is where you’ll be able to network with attendees. I spent a great amount of time in this location and I don’t regret doing so. This is where I met @jfrappier via a game of Marco\Polo on Twitter. Let’s just say you had to be there to enjoy it. Don’t hate the player, hate the game. 🙂

15. If you’re not able to commit to your agenda, so be it. Again, sessions are recorded and can be watched at a later time.

I hope this covers everything and my goal is to help you have success on your journey, which we commonly refer to as VMworld. Feel free to follow up with me about your experience and if I missed anything, I’m open to any suggestions. If possible, please follow my blog and thanks for your time. #KindnessMatters #vCommunity #vExpert

For more information about VMworld US or VMworld Europe, please visit: https://www.vmworld.com/?src=so_5b2404e403a36

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