It is that time of year again. Wow, another year has gone by so quickly. If you are reading this post, then most likely you have heard about VMworld 2015, which is happening at the end of this month in San Francisco. I am happy to say that I have the privilege of attending the conference again this year. This annual virtualization reunion is a chance to see people you only get to see once a year, though you probably have been communicating with each other in the meantime. If you are attending this year, I hope our paths can cross sometime during the week.
If you are a VMware rookie, I would like to share my priorities for when you come to the show and hopefully pass along a tip or two. One of the most important things is a reminder that all the sessions are recorded and will be available online shortly after the show—the point being that if you miss a presentation you were looking forward to hearing, you will still be able to listen to it later.
Personally, not counting scheduled meetings, I like to keep my time flexible. What I mean by that is that for me, networking is one of my most important reasons for attending VMworld each year. You never know whom you might cross paths with, presenting an opportunity for some good conversation and insight along the way.
In regards to technology this year, I find myself having the most interest in cloud, orchestration, and automation. These will be my main focus when looking at the different exhibits on the expo floor. This has been my primary focus the last couple of years—truth be told, I have been an automation junkie for quite a while now.
The next tip has to do with the swag from the show. Make sure you have enough room for all the shirts, pens, and other trinkets the vendors will be passing out. You will also have a new backpack full of goodies that you will need to make room for. If you purchase any books from the bookstore, consider having the books shipped home rather than carrying them back with you.
Another question that I have heard asked more than once is “What is the proper attire?” Well, to be honest, that depends on your personal definition. I know people who have worn shorts all week and others who attend in a suit. So, that is really up to you, but I would like to encourage you to wear something comfortable; it is going to be a long week. Whatever you do, VMworld is not the place to break in new shoes. If you want to get new shoes to wear during the show, get them now so they are broken in before you arrive at the conference.
Regardless of what your focus and your plans are for the conference, be okay when plans change, and be sure to dress comfortably during the week. Make an effort to meet new people, and take the time to find the people with whom you would most like to share thoughts and ideas. If you miss a session offering an opportunity to talk with someone new, no worries: you can listen to the presentations later, because after all, it is that time of year again.