VMware seems to be intent on virtualizing anything it can these days, so when is VMware going to get around to virtualizing VMworld? It would be great if VMware could take its annual physical conference and transform it into a virtual conference to reach a much larger audience. After all there are many people that can not attend each year for various reasons and having a virtual conference will allow them to experience the benefits of the conference without the extra travel expense that is required to attend.
Here are a few ideas I had if VMware ever chooses to implement this.
- Virtual sessions – Recording and live-streaming all the sessions as they happen would allow virtual attendees to see the session as it happens and get all the benefits from it. Additionally they could ask questions via an interactive online interface which allows people to ask questions which could be relayed to the speaker. This would have an additional benefit of allowing physical attendees to view sessions that are full from their own laptops or offsite at another location.
- Virtual labs – Virtual labs would pretty much be the same as physical labs with the only difference being the PC that’s used and having a virtual instructor instead of a physical one. This is commonly done today by many training companies and is a very effective means for providing hands-on labs. Virtual attendees could sign up for the virtual labs which could accommodate more people as there are not any seat limitations.
- Virtual Solutions Exchange – VMware currently has their Virtual Pavilion which attempts to mimic the physical Solution Exchange in a virtual way by providing some information about vendors. It would be nice to see this taken a step further though and enhanced so attendees could see product demo videos, interact with the products and ask questions directly to the vendors at the booth.
- Virtual networking – VMware also a virtual lounge as part of its Virtual Pavilion with a chat room, but it’s not very user friendly. Enhancing this with multiple chat rooms where virtual attendees could interact with each other — VMware developers/engineers, vendors and others – would allow for some great networking and information sharing to occur.
Virtual parties might be a bit difficult as attendees would have to supply their own food and drink, but live streaming from the official VMworld party would be a nice touch.
It wouldn’t be all that difficult to implement these ideas as the technology already exists to make all this happen. VMware seems to be slowly heading in that direction, as evidenced by their Virtual Pavilion, but it would be nice to see this fully implemented
Having a simultaneous physical and virtual VMworld conference would allow VMware to greatly expand the number of attendees without having to worry about increasing the size of the facilities at the show. While it’s hard to beat physically attending VMworld, having a virtual alternative would really be a great benefit to everyone who cannot physically attend.
Editor’s Note: If you’d like to see what attending a virtual conference is like, you can check out TechTarget’s most recent virtual conference, Advanced Enterprise Virtualization, with Eric Henderson, Greg Shields, Shannon Snowden and Rick Vanover. Click on the free registration button to view the archived content.