VMworld – Defy Convention – in a Convention Centre!

I find this year’s ‘theme’ slightly paradoxical; we’ll be stuck in a convention centre for 4 days defying convention – yay right!

But, seriously, I’m looking forward to this 10th VMworld maybe more than any other prior event.  I was lucky enough to attend the very first VMworld 2004 in San Diego and be part of the global VMware marketing team that organised it.  I didn’t attend VMworld 2005 in Las Vegas, but since then have been at every US and EMEA VMworld, other than Copenhagen in 2011.  The content, the sponsors, the parties, they’ve all grown and morphed into an incredible yearly ‘pilgrimage’.

There’s been many blog posts about recommended sessions, advice for first-time attendees and which parties to attend, all of which are great reads.  For me, this year is about going as a VMUG Leader and SoMe attendee.  In all previous attendances I’ve been with a client and always worked the Solutions Exchange.  I will be in the Solutions Exchange this year at certain times on the VMUG booth (#1721), encouraging attendees to join the VMUG community and to meet with many existing members.

I’m looking forward to the vBrownbag TechTalks, hanging in the community area in the Hang Space and also to the vExpert daily podcast hosted by Michael Letschin.  It’ll be great to chat face-to-face with many of the tweeps I converse with in Twittersphere and the Hang Space will be the place to catch up with them all.

A track that is close to my heart is the Women of Purpose agenda.  Three dedicated VMware employees – JJ DiGeronimo, Sonal Patel and Kristin Heisner – host the main event, which is a two hour session on Monday 26th at the Marriott, where they bring together a number of female executives from some of VMware’s customers.  The agenda is always engaging and informative, so I’m very much looking forward to this part of my itinerary.

Other ‘women of purpose’ I’m looking forward to seeing again at VMworld are my good friends Susan Gudenkauf, Liselotte Foverskov and Lauren Malhoit, as well as Amy Lewis, Gina Minks and meeting Kasia Lorenc for the first time.

The community awesomeness will start for me on Saturday 24th when Susan and I will continue our VMworld ‘bubbles’ tradition and then head over to vBeers Tweetup at the Chieftan organised by the wonderful Simon Seagrave.

So I’ll be defying convention by continuing to immerse myself in the VMware community, looking forward to seeing many of you in a few weeks!