VMworld is one of the most anticipated events of the year for many people in the tech world. Engineers and architects from all over the world come together to share, learn, and make new friends. I have been fortunate enough to attend both VMworld 2016 and 2017 and have learned many lessons about how to maximize my time.
There are a few tips you’ll read over and over again. They are definitely worth repeating, though.
- Bring a couple pairs of broken in shoes. You don’t want to get blisters and will be walking miles per day
- Bring and use hand sanitizer and wash your hands often. You’ll be shaking a lot of hands and sharing facilities with 25,000 other people. Do your best to stay healthy
- Drink water. Vegas is dry and the parties are typically open bar, you will get dehydrated if you’re not drinking enough water
Now that we’re healthy and comfortable, it’s important to consider how to spend your time. It’s easy to look through the content catalog and choose enough sessions to fill a schedule for the entire conference. The best part about these sessions is that they are all recorded and made available through the website after the show. There are probably 3-4 sessions that I plan to attend in person, the rest I will watch from home later.
The real magic of the show happens in the VMTN Village. This is an area set aside for networking, socializing, and sharing tips and tricks among the community. vBrownbag has a stage with community presentations starting every 15 minutes. These quick sessions can lead to great conversations off stage. The people you meet will be top notch and can help you accelerate your career if you’re looking for a change and help you out if you are in a pinch. The likelihood of meeting someone who is facing the same challenges you face is high and everyone likes to talk about the problems they’ve fixed or the script they’ve written.
Make sure you connect with the people you talk to as well. Twitter seems to be the most common way to connect with the tech community. If you don’t have an account, sign up before you go. The more you interact and participate in the community, the better your experience over all.
If you’re ready to book just go to VMworld’s site and register. I hope to see you there!