Earlier today I received an inquiry from one of our Raleigh VMUG members for some tips on getting the most out of VMworld. I assumed this was his first trip out (this being my second) so I sent back the following list. This is not entirely comprehensive but hits some key high points for the VMworld rookie that I learned from my inaugural outing last year.
- Comfort - Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
- Contact - Have business cards or prepare other means to share contact info. This is a huge networking event and opportunity.
- Health - Stay hydrated and don’t get too excited at the parties in the evening. This is very tempting. Parties
- Communicate - Be on Twitter. TONS of things are learned during the event only on twitter. Announcements of giveaways and events.
- Swag - It has weight and volume. plan accordingly.
- Food - Lots of people around to buy you food. Take advantage when available and appropriate to your technical interests. I learn more from outings and events then I do from just about any session.
- Questions - Have questions that you face or issues that you’d love more clarification on ready. Being prepared to ask an important question to a knowledgeable person makes great use of your time and theirs.
- Approach - See a virtualization rock star you have a question to ask? Approach them. They are there because of the audience and are almost always willing to answer your question. Standard rules of social etiquette apply of course.
- Power - Bring extra batteries, chargers, small extension cord. Power is premium!
- Fun! - This is a great event. You’ll meet tons of new contacts (See #4) and there are a great deal of opportunities to make a friend! #v0dgeball for example!
Update: One thing to note with many of these things is the need to have materials on hand that will help you survive the conference. That being said the vBrownBag crew over at ProfessionalVMware.com are looking out for you. Make sure you follow the Twitter hashtag #vBrownBag for details about the vBrownBag Survival Kit. Here are some details posted on ProfessionalVMware.com:
What’s in the bags?
The exact contents of these kits are still in a bit of flux. However, expect at a minimum:
- 1x 4GB USB Key of Extreme Facemelting Awesomeness – This will be 3.5GB of vSphere Training and nested vSphere lab goodness, along with actual valuable content from the sponsors.
- 1x bottle of 5hr Energy – You will need this… maybe not day 1, but if you’ve been to a VMworld before, well… we’ve got your back.
- 1x set of ear plugs – Good for the plane ride home, or tuning out the general show floor din
- Something to soothe your throat – Speakers are the only ones flapping their gums and getting sore throats. One of the best and most undersold points of VMworld is meeting other folks in the space. But all that talking… we’re thinking maybe halls drops or something similar.
- Other things… like I said, final contents still in flux
The keys and the bags are brought to you by the folks at TrainSignal, Cisco, TinTri, and Veeam, so stop by their booths and say thank you.