VMworld EMEA 2014 Tips & Tricks
With VMworld EMEA 2 months away and VMworld US kicking in in 1 week I thought I can give some Tips/Tricks/advice that I’ve learned over my last 5 VMworlds. Some of these are general for both, US and EMEA conference and some are especially for EMEA conference.
General Tips & Tricks
Wear comfortable shoes and clothes – my preference for dress code is Jeans, T-Shirt/Polo and sneakers.
Use large luggage – when you visit the Solution Exchange you will get a lot of vendor swag especially T-shirts you have to carry home! 🙂
Attend Partner day – there is a special day for partners where you get the latest info about the partner program, how to sell products, acquiring new customers, etc.
Get certified – If you want to get certified with VCP or VCAP use the 50% off promotion when you are at VMworld. This can save you 200$ when doing a VCAP. I’m using the partner day for exam scheduling so I don’t miss the other cool stuff.
Schedule your session – When scheduling your sessions do not schedule to many sessions. You will have long walks between the sessions especially at the EMEA conference and you will do other stuff beside sessions like visiting the Solution Exchange, doing some labs or get in touch with other people.
Network, Network, Network – at my first VMworld I attended a lot of sessions because I didn’t know anybody. Since I have started blogging and getting in touch with all the great people, the sessions I schedule become less and my time I spend in the Solutions Exchange and at the hang space become more and more 🙂
Attend Parties – there are a couple of vendor parties everyday. The best I was at were Veeam, PernixData, Nutanix and certainly VMworld Party itself. If you’re a vExpert or VCDX you should also attend vExpert/VCDX party.
Taking pictures – at one VMworld I carried my DSLR with me. With the backpack (incl. Laptop) and the DSRL bag it’s getting very heavy over time. So use a small camera – it should be sufficient even when you take pictures of the general sessions.
Get a Twitter account – it’s easier to get in touch and follow people. You will also get a lot of information when using twitter e.g. new blog posts or information about parties at VMworld.
EMEA conference Tips & Tricks
Watch your wallet – In Barcelona there are a lot of pickpockets so don’t put your wallet in the back pocket or it may get stolen.
Free time – if you have free time, take the opportunity to visit the most interesting spots in Barcelona (Park Guell, Sagrada Familia, Magic Fountain of Montjuïc, Las Ramblas, Gothic quarter). One personal recommendation if you want to buy fresh fruits and fresh fruit juices visit the La Boqueria market, it’s quite in the middle of the Las Ramblas.
Public transportation – If it’s like the last years you will get a public transportation pass with 10 rides (sponsored by Veeam in the last years). You will get to the conference center (Fira Barcelona Gran Via) when using the lines L8, S4, S8 or S33 from Placa Espanya to Europa Fira station. From the station there will be a shuttle bus service to the conference center. Don’t try to walk, it will take 20-30 minutes because it’s on the north entrance of the Fira.
Airport transfer – There are shuttle buses which goes directly from the BCN Airport to the conference center. Search for the ladies with the VMworld sign! 🙂
Attend vRockStar Party – if you’re in Barcelona on Sunday then you have to attend vRockstar party invented by Marco Broeken and Patrick Redknap. Follow these guys on twitter to get the latest updates about the party.
Carry a vest/light jacket with you – October in Barcelona is quite warm (20-24°C) but the conference facilities are all air conditioned and it’s getting a little bit cold inside. If you will take an exam DON’T take a vest/jacket with you because you have to take it off for the exam (security guidelines). Use a sweater or something similar instead. See my last year’s exam experience here.