The last days flew by. This week I attended VMworld 2019 Europe. It was my first participation in an event of this size so I decided to write a few lines about it. This post should give you an idea of my personal impression of the venue and everything around it.
My journey started quite early on Sunday morning (03. November 2019). I took the 09:35 flight from Stuttgart to Barcelona to have at least one afternoon for sightseeing. Since I was in Barcelona not so long ago for vacation, I skipped the usual tourist stops and explored the area around my hotel. I had booked a hotel near the exhibition centre (easyHotel Barcelona Fira) and never regretted this decision. The room was clean, the staff friendly and the WIFI (with costs) worked without problems. The biggest advantage, however, was the location. Directly in front of the entrance was the subway station, which led into the city centre. The metro station towards the airport was also only a few minutes walk away. The venue itself could be within 20 minutes walking distance, on the way there was also a supermarket, which provided the necessary supplies for the week. I stayed till today and took the 15:00 flight back home to Stuttgart.
During my Sunday afternoon walk I took a first look at the venue and picked up my badge. I quickly realized that the other bloggers didn’t exaggerate when it came to the size of the venue. The breakout sessions were in a different building than the general sessions, the Solution Exchange and the VM Village. Between the buildings there are 5 minutes where you have a lot of time to meet friends and colleagues. So be sure to take this into account when planning your schedule.
Although I find it difficult to identify certain points because I lack experience and comparative values, I was positively surprised by the complete organisation, the catering and the choice of drinks. At almost every corner there was a beverage refrigerator that left almost nothing to be desired. Soft drinks, water and juices, there was something for every taste. Additionally there were numerous food stations with snacks, coffee and tea. For some reason, I only made it to lunch once. Also here the selection was generous and there was nothing to complain about.
My personal highlight was the community area in the VM Village. At any time it was the perfect place to meet someone from the #vCommunity and have interesting conversations. I can only recommend everyone to stop by here every now and then.
I attended both the keynote session at the Partner Forum and the two official general sessions. To be honest, the keynote of the Partner Forum and the general session on the first day were very similar in terms of topics. It was also exciting to see what other VMware partners are doing in the ecosystem and how their business model is structured.
For the breakout sessions I tried to achieve a good mix of sessions on new and innovative topics as well as sessions with a concrete relation to my daily business. I think I have succeeded in this very well. With the innovative topics I am curious when and to what extent they become relevant for my customers (mainly german SMBs). Nevertheless, it is very exciting to see in which areas VMware is now a strong player and which trends and developments have been identified at this point.
Community events and parties
At least as important as the sessions are the events organized by the #vCommunity and the manufacturer parties. That’s definitely a point I need to improve next year. I took part in the vEXPERT Party, the Veeam Party and the VMworld Fest, but was somehow not able to just enjoy the whole thing and get into conversation with the people present. I missed the #vBreakfast as well as the #vRockstar party on Sunday evening. Definitely two must-attend events for next year! Thanks to all who are involved in the organization of all these events. You are awesome!
Overall this week was a wonderful experience. Great topics, great event and even more great people. I am looking forward to VMworld 2020 Europe! Then maybe a little less sessions and more networking with the #vCommunity. At least that’s the plan. For all of you who are still traveling back today, a safe and enjoyable journey! See you soon.