Virtualization Pro

Aug 25 2009   4:07PM GMT

What to expect at VMworld

Texiwill Edward Haletky Profile: Texiwill

So you have convinced your manager, team, et. al. that it is a wise idea to go to VMworld 2009 in San Francisco. You have booked your days solidly with the VMworld schedule builder and plan to attend several talks, sessions and labs to absorb all the information you can. But what do you bring with you? What are you going to do if you don’t get in to a session or talk?

Here is what to expect at VMworld:

  1. Crowds everywhere. This forum is huge and there will be lines for just about everything including some places on the show floor. Talk to your neighbors in line, they may just have information that will help you as you make your journey into virtualization.
  2. Most talks will also be crowded. If you are not in the proper line early you may not be able to make it to the talk so it is important to pick your talks carefully. Since VMworld is crowded it will be difficult to get from talk to talk. Also, the labs are in a different location than the talks — and travel time from the Marriot to the Moscone Center is not just 5 minutes.
  3. If you do not make it into a session, do not fret. Head to the show floor and talk directly with the vendors, people staffing the VMware Genius Bar, or go to the VMware Communities vExpert lounge. In this lounge you never know who is going to show up and they will be able to help you. Or make your way to your next talk and have a seat in line, catch up on email or just talk to your neighbors who are doing the same thing.
  4. Expect to be walking quite a bit, so bring comfortable shoes.
  5. Expect to be walking outside as well. San Francisco is not the warmest city in August. Last time I was there, I had to buy a fleece else I froze, even inside the Moscone.
  6. VMware will provide lunch and breakfast, but dinner is on you. There are plenty of things happening at night as well. Maybe you have an invitation to a vendor-hosted dinner or can get one, else dinner will be at the restaurants around Moscone or deeper into the city. A little planning will go a long way.

VMworld is one conference that is full of information. Expect three days of information overload. The good thing is that if you miss a talk, an archived version will soon be up at so you can go back and refresh your memory.

For those not attending, nearly every blog and media outlet will be at VMworld, and you can get a live feed of what’s happening via Twitter. I fully expect that if you follow the #vmworld hash tag, you will stay up-to-date on VMworld with no issues. People will also be blogging from the event, so during or immediately after keynotes you will see those blogs appearing.

Do not forget the post show activities as well. Information overload leads to people blogging and writing about VMworld for several weeks afterwards as everything percolates through the brain to paper.

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