I am very excited and honored to be selected to attend VMworld 2019 in San Francisco via the vExpert Blogger Pass. This will be my second VMworld, the first being in Vegas during 2017. So now that my travel plan is locked in, and I am scrolling through sessions to attend I wanted to look back at how I am planning my 2nd venture to this convention.
I am of course planning to attend the Monday and Tuesday keynotes (at the time of writing I don’t see a end of conference keynote listed in the schedule). Now I also went to these in 2017, however… I now know the secret of the VMvillage bean bag chairs which would be my recommendation for viewing. Just kickback after breakfast and watch in much less crowded comfort, if you get there early enough to grab a seat that is. (and if this is still a thing this year)
In 2017, I was still pretty new to the role of System Administrator, and that was also the first time attending an IT conference. This coupled with not knowing many other people going, I loaded my calendar from beginning to end with sessions. Now, this isn’t really a mistake. Most of the sessions I attended had something to do with something I was either doing at work or needed to learn. However, going into this year I am trying to keep some time open to spend time with my co-workers going for the first time, Visit the Expo Hall, stop by the Ask the Expert area and spend some time on my next point…
Interacting with the vCommunity
This is probably going to be my biggest difference from attending in 2017. I wouldn’t say i was very active in the VMware community 2 years ago. I attended VMUGs and followed some people on Twitter. However, I didn’t really reach out past current and past co-workers. For anyone I followed on Twitter I didn’t know, my level of interaction was probably a ‘like’ at most. One of the people i knew that also went tried his best to introduce me to as many people in person as possible but I was mostly a deer in the headlights the entire time.
Fast forward 2 years. I am in my 2nd year as a vExpert and made the cut for the first year of the Cloud Management Subprogram this year to boot. I interact with a much larger group of vCommunity people over Twitter and the vExpert Slack, and even take place in discussions (somewhat). Offline, I have continued to attend VMUG meetings locally where I have gotten to know more members and the leaders. Just 2 weeks ago, I was part of a group from our local VMUG chapter that hit the road to attend the Indianapolis VMUG UserCon. Here I got to meet quite a few people I have been following for a while on Twitter and met several new people that I have added to my follow list. The largest difference personally, would probably be that I cracked into the world of speaking this year. I presented at my local VMUG for the first time and now I am scheduled to give a talk at a neighboring VMUGs UserCon this September.
So, going into VMworld this year, I plan to leave time open to catch up with people i know, and meet new people. I have also signed up/or plan to take place in a few vCommunity events like the vCoffee exchange. I will of course spend some time in the Bloggers area trying to put together a few posts during the event. If you see a guy clearing his screen for the 5th time to start again, that is probably me. Stop and say Hi!
Also, yes, I have registered for a few of the after-hours parties :)
Second Also, wear comfortable walking shoes. Sandals were a bad choice last time