It’s that time of the year again. VMworld Europe 2019 is just around the corner. In only a couple of weeks it’s going to start. This years theme is #makeyourmark. VMworld Europe 2019 is being held in Barcelona like previous years and will be held from the 4th until the 7th of november 2019 and will once again be hosted in the great Fira Gran Via Conference Center.

This will be my fourth visit to a VMworld and my third visit to VMworld in Barcelona. Each year the conference is a blast and contributes a lot to my daily job as a cloud system engineer. There are numerous reasons why you should attend this conference, eventhough I think you can figure these out on your own, I will mention my own reasons below and explain why I think the conference is useful.

Reason 1 – Hunderds of valuable sessions for a wide audience.

The first and foremost reason for me would be the fact that you can attend any of the hundreds and hundreds of (technical) sessions in just a couple of days! This year there are a total of 666 sessions which you can attend. All of these sessions cover a wide variety of topics divided in a couple of tracks such as Hybrid Cloud, Multi-Cloud, Modern Apps, Digital Workspace, Networking and Security and a new one this year: Emerging Trends.

Because of this anyone who attends this conference, whether it be a Desktop specialist, a virtualization or networking specialist, a CTO or a Sales Director can find something interesting to attend. Think of VMworld as a “free” (al be it extensive) weeks worth of training. You will learn and gather a lot more information on this week than on any week-long course!

Just be careful though, my personal experience is that there is so much content, you tend to over schedule yourself. Keep in mind that each session you attend has to sink in. You have to take your time to suck up the information, or atleast make note of some of it, or else you will lose it. My tip; don’t schedule more than four or five sessions a day. Do two in the morning, three in the afternoon and then relax so that you don’t forget everything!

If you want to know what sessions are being held this year at VMworld Europe 2019, then click on this link to see the Content Catalog!

Reason 2: vCommunity, the best community.

I attend (and even present at) many vCommunity events like VMworld. The people you meet at these events are awesome and eventually get to be your friends over the years. Most of these like-minded people are always having the same questions or issues you are having. So this conference is perfect to exchange stories and tips. You can exchange and gather valuable insights which can, and as far as I’m concerned, will help you in your daily job.

The best thing about any event or conference is the fact that you can meet and talk to the SME’s for all VMware products, and a variety of partner products. The Solutions Exchange is perfect for this. Say for example you want to know everything for a specific product such as VMware vCloud Director? No problem, you can meet face to face with the Product Owner and a couple of SME’s which are specifically there for you. Find out about future updates, functionalities, roadmap items and more by just asking about it!

My tip; If you really want to find out specific information about any product or service, just walk up to the stand (or speaker) and ask them. People are really friendly and always willing to help you out!

Reason 3: Solutions Exchange

A hall full of VMware & partner booths and a lot of new and upcoming vendor booths! Together with lounges, giveaways, lunchrooms, baristas (the coffee is great!). The Solutions Exchange is always something I keep enjoying each year. Not only do I get to talk to my current vendors, I also get to find out about never before seen products. I always come home with a list of interesting vendors we might need to have a closer look at to further enhance our service offerings.

This hall can be a bit hectic though once the giveaways at multiple vendor booths start. If you don’t like that, I’d say avoid the Solutions Exchange the last hour each day.

My tip: Visit the vendors you really want to meet and have a chat with them. But don’t forget the smaller (often unkown) vendors! Some of them are really interesting and have a great product. They are a bit hidden most of the time because they have smaller booths.

Reason 4: Hands-On Labs (HOL) and live demo’s

Have you always wanted to know how a certain VMware product worked? No problem at all! VMworld hosts on-site VMware Hands-On Labs! Just register for the lab you want and attend it. You can use your own laptop or use the provided desktops. Now if you are familiar with VMware you might know that these are always available for free, even if you don’t attend VMworld. Then you are absolutely correct! You can find the Hands-on Labs at this link (for free).

But the difference at VMworld is that you can get help from a VMware employee directly when you are working with the Hands-on Lab. That is something that is very useful if you have a question about anything that is being covered in the lab.

The thing I always enjoy the most is the fact that most vendor’s have live-demo’s! This is great if you would normally have to pay for a product or service, but you just want to know how it looks, feels and works before you start using it. This always provides me with valuable insights on products.

My tip: Use the VMware employees at your disposal at the Hands-On Labs. They can really help you better understand the product that you are using in the lab.

Reason 5: Breaks and parties

Eventhough the days are very long, very full of information and you talk a lot. Don’t forget to have some time off. VMworld is awesome for this. All around the venue there are seating areas in which you can sit back, relax, take a coffee and have a break.

Are you done for the day? Get to the hotel, drop your bag and head off to the numerous parties that are beeing host each night! Ask around at the venue if you are not aware of these so that you can register. I found a couple of links that contain a list of parties around Barcelona! LINK1 and LINK2.

My tip: Don’t forget your VMworld badge! Bring it along with you to the party, they are required. By the way; don’t make it that late! You will have to wake up early again the next day to attend sessions!

Reason 6: Barcelona

Unfortunately, VMworld Europe got kicked back by a couple of months the last couple of years. It used to be directly behind VMworld US in august/september, which is much more pleasant in regards to the weather in Barcelona in comparison with november. But most of the times november is still pretty enjoyable with temperatures around 20 degrees celcius.

I’ve been to Barcelona many many times and everytime I keep enjoying it. I love the spanish people, the late dinners, the drinks and the gorgeous city.

Transportation to the Fira is always a bit of a thing. I keep seeing people using the taxi’s (which are cheap for european standards), but honestly, don’t use them. The lines are always long and you don’t get to experience the city! We always use the Barcelona metro system. The Fira Gran Via has it’s own metro station. Make sure you get off at the Fira and not the Europa Station, it’s a long walk…, and buy a 2, 3, 4 or 5 day Barcelona Metro card which is really cheap compared to using the taxi. You get to experience the spanish people, the ambiance, the city and you might even make a friendly chat with someone!

My tip: If you can and have the time, head out and walk around Barcelona. Have a late spanish dinner at the harbour or in the vibrating city center! If you have some spare time during the day; head out to Park Güell. This park is amazing. You get to have an awesome view on Barcelona and spent some time in the spanish nature!

I hope you are as excited as I am! If you want to meet up during the event and have a chat, just hit me up!

If you haven’t registered yet you can still register on this link!

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