VMworld is just a few days away and the excitement is definitely in the air as everyone prepares for the show. Trying to cram all the various events, sessions, labs and everything else into one’s schedule is like trying to assemble a jigsaw puzzle that has way too many extra pieces. I finally managed to prioritize and fit everything together as best as I could so I could make the most of my experience at VMworld. Here’s a summary of some of the things that will be happening each day, along with what I’ll be doing at VMworld.
Sunday - I arrive on Sunday and after doing some sightseeing with some friends and virtualization peers will be heading to the big party at the Thirsty Bear. You can also check in on Sunday to avoid the lines and get your conference badge and VMworld gear.
Monday – Monday is traditionally Partner day where VMware Partners receive various briefings from VMware. New this year is a Developer Day track with many sessions geared towards developers that focus on using the various VMware SDK’s and application programming interfaces (APIs). Registration is required for Developer Day though and the cost is $249. Additionally there are many hands-on labs that you can schedule and attend on Monday, but they do fill up quickly. Lastly the Welcome Reception is held Monday evening in the Solutions Exchange where you can enjoy drinks and hors d’oevres and check out the all the vendor booths.
Be sure and stop by the Community Lounge where many of the bloggers will be hanging out at, there is also an informal vExpert booth that will be staffed by various vExperts (including myself) where you can come by and ask questions. We’ll have access to a virtual lab there as well so we can do product demonstrations and also use it to help answer questions. Additionally be sure and stop by the TechTarget booth (#1232) as well where you might be able to catch various folks from SearchVMware.com and SearchServerVirtualization.com.
After the Welcome Reception ends head on over to the B Restaurant & Bar which is right by the Moscone Center for a Tweetup hosted by John Troyer from VMware. For those of you who don’t use Twitter, a Tweetup is a social gathering of Twitter users to meet face-to-face and talk in sentences longer than 140 characters. Finally to end the night a few of us plan on heading over to a local cigar bar to enjoy some drinks and fine cigars. If you are interesting in joining us there just let me know via Twitter or email.
Tuesday – Tuesday is when things really kick off with Paul Maritz’s keynote session at 8:00 AM. Afterwards there are a whole days full of sessions and labs that you can attend (if you’ve scheduled them ahead of time). Tuesday is also the day that a group of us judges visits vendors to decide the winners for the Best of VMworld awards. I am judging the security category again this year and also helping out David Davis and Scott Lowe with judging the hardware for virtualization category. After we meet with all the nominees we sit together in a room and discuss our findings and decide on winners for each category. Tuesday evening is when most vendors have their receptions and parties. If you haven’t gotten an invite to one check with your vendors, there is a good chance one of them is having a party.
Wednesday – This is the keynote that most of the techies look forward to as Stephen Herrod takes the stage at 8:00 AM and delivers his presentation which is usually more technical then the previous day’s keynote.
The Best of VMworld awards winners will be announced at the Solutions Exchange theater at 12:30 PM. I’ll be doing a signing for my book at the VMworld book store at 1:00pm so if you have one bring it with you and if not (and you want to) you can buy one there.
If you’re a vExpert there is a special lunch area for you at noon as well as a private session at 5:30 PM where you’ll get a chance to meet Stephen Herrod.
Finally at 7:00 PM the official VMworld party begins, unlike last year where buses were required to get to the party, this year its right next to the conference at the Yerba Buena Gardens. Music will be provided by DJ Ravi Drums, Elastic Skye (VMware house band) and Foreigner. Entertainment includes rock climbing, mechanical bull riding, laser tag, video games and bowling. This is always a fun time and you also get to see the effects of alcoholic beverages on VMware geeks which is always entertaining in itself.
Thursday - Things tend to wind down on Thursday and is your best chance to get to sessions and labs as many of them are not full. The Solutions Exchange closes early (2:00pm) as many vendors are packing up to head back home.
I hope to see many of you who I regularly communicate with on Twitter at VMworld. I resisted using Twitter at VMworld last year but now that I’m using it I can honestly say it’s a great mechanism for communicating with fellow virtualization professionals and conference attendees. If you’re a Twitter user make sure and use the #vmworld hashtag in your twits. Additionally you can follow @vmworld for the latest conference information. I’ll be doing daily blog posts here as well and will share my experiences at VMworld with you.