Aug 09 2013

What to Expect at VMworld 2013

The stage is set for the Moscone Center to turn into a living, breathing organism of virtualization education and evangelism.

In two weeks, IT workers and virtualization enthusiasts will descend on the Moscone Center in San Francisco to talk shop, compare notes and take virtualization inspiration back to their organizations.

VMworld is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, and organizers are planning to throw in unique twists to make the conference a memorable one for attendees.

We reached out to VMworld organizers to get a sense of what attendees can expect from Aug. 25–29.

BIZTECH: How many attended last year's VMworld? What number of attendees are expected at this year's conference?

VMWORLD: We’ve grown from 1,600 attendees in 2004 to more than 20,000 attendees in 2012, and we are expecting roughly the same number this year as last.

BIZTECH: As one of the largest virtualization technology events, what makes VMworld so unique?

VMWORLD: Besides the informative and fascinating panels, keynotes and breakout sessions, the educational tools we provide offer attendees an opportunity for a real, hands-on experience. Last year we delivered more than 240 exams in San Francisco and Barcelona. We find that a lot of our attendees like to take advantage of the trip to San Francisco to get certified at a discounted rate. This year we have preconference courses for those who don’t want to miss a minute of VMworld, as well as sessions during the week for 75 percent off the regular price. [More information here: vmworld.com/community/conference/us/learn/training ]

BIZTECH: What should attendees look forward to most at this year's VMworld?

VMWORLD: Every year we host a session for VMworld attendees with tips and tricks for making the most of the show — we’ve had really great feedback on that session. We really want to encourage attendees to set goals for their time at VMworld so they get the most out of the experience. Our attendees can take advantage of our great schedule builder tool once they log in at VMworld.com — it’s a fantastic way to browse the content catalog and start to build a schedule of sessions. Attendees should be sure to make time to walk the Solutions Exchange and take a couple of Hands-on Labs to get the full experience — and don’t forget the parties, tweet-ups and gatherings after hours.

BIZTECH: This year marks 10 years of VMworld. In what ways has the show and virtualization grown up since its inception?

VMWORLD: With this being our 10th anniversary, we have set the bar pretty high to ensure that this year’s conference is special. In addition to the fantastic educational and networking opportunities that our attendees have come to expect, this year we will also be celebrating the milestone with a look back at some of the great moments at VMworlds past.

Overall, VMworld has evolved to be a more targeted, productive experience for attendees. This year we are working hard to connect the activities at VMworld to help people find content that is tailored to their specific needs. For example, if someone is interested in network virtualization, we want to help them find the right session, lab and booth demos to get the tools and the information they need to go home and start having a real impact in their organizations.

The last decade has been truly transformational in the virtualization market. From the mass adoption of VMware’s first server virtualization product to the evolution of machine-level virtualization products and, more recently, the emergence of the software-defined data center, the industry has come a long way. We’re excited to be such an integral part of the history of virtualization, and we’re equally thrilled to be a leading voice on where the technology is headed.

BIZTECH: While it's true that IT conferences impart a lot of key strategic insights and technical knowledge, what kind of fun events are in store for attendees?

VMWORLD: Fun is always a key component of VMworld. In fact, there are almost too many social gatherings to count! In addition to the now-famous Hall Crawl in the Solutions Exchange (Sunday night, 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.) and the VMware Customer Appreciation Party at AT&T Park (Wednesday night, 7:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.), there are countless gatherings — everything from tweet-ups to charity dodge ball tournaments. This year we are crowdsourcing a calendar of all the gatherings so attendees don’t miss a thing.

Stay tuned to BizTech for more news and videos from VMworld 2013.