Well, another year has nearly passed since our last UK VMUG and this year’s is just around the corner! Lots of the community and speakers have already blogged about it but this post gives some insight into what’s involved to put on this event. As a committee we also run the London VMUG, this is a local ‘chapter’ as VMUG HQ likes to phrase the local meetings. Most chapters also hold a User Conference once a year too. The User Conferences are all day affairs, with multiple tracks and multiple sponsors. As these are major events, we are very fortunate to have the backing of VMUG HQ to assist in venue liaison, securing sponsors and sending out invites. We also have the assistance of VMware who invite their entire customer-base, whereas invites to our local meetings only get sent to the VMUG membership base.
As volunteers, we put in a lot of our personal time to put on the UK User Conference and it is made all worthwhile when we see tweets, blogs etc. stating things like:
“The agenda for this year’s UKVMUG has been published and a pretty fine line up it looks too. What’s really great is that during each section of sessions, there’s a community slot with real world info from people working with VMware technologies at the coalface.”
It takes a lot of time and effort to secure speakers, discuss content, format, venue logistics etc. but, as mentioned, we’re fortunate to have the support from VMUG HQ who, for user conferences, assist with all the sponsorship signup and logistics and we’re very grateful to all the VMware and community speakers for their incredible support of the UK and London VMUG in general. It really is a team effort and we’re also fortunate to have a great camaraderie in the UK VMUG committee, which consists of Alaric Davies, Stuart Thompson, Simon Gallagher, Martyn Storey and myself.
One of the objectives of the User Conferences is to bring more customers together and provide access to VMware speakers, sponsor & community sessions as well as peer networking. But we also want to encourage more people to become a VMUG member. We have seen the membership of VMUG worldwide grow to over 80,000 (from just under 20,000 back in 2010 according to Mariano Maluf, our president, in this ComputerWorld article).
We’ve also seen a couple of new ‘chapters’ open for business recently in the UK, we now have 5 just in England; London, North East, North West, South West and Yorkshire, and there’s a local group in Ireland and Scotland too. For all the UK local group meetings, visit vmug.com.
This is our third year of running the UK VMUG User Conference and we’re looking forward to seeing many of our members attend and, if you’ve not attended a VMUG before, come along and find out what all the buzz is about, register here.