The twitterstream is buzzing, press releases are being announced, and everyone is preparing their livers for the awesomeness that is going to be next week. Last year's VMworld was my first and it is going to be hard to top, but I'm determined to make it better than ever. I wanted to throw some quick tips for those venturing out to Vegas next week. I learned most of these the hard way because it was my first major conference, but hopefully you can learn from my mistakes.
- Only register for the sessions you know you can't miss. This year is going to be a bit different with the scheduling routine. Last year, it was first come, first serve for the session and many people were disappointed. This year, you have to pre-register for the sessions you want to attend. Don't be that guy who has sessions back-to-back because I'm 100% sure you aren't going to make those. Leave yourself atleast 15-30 minutes between sessions to make the hike. If you aren't at the door 5 minutes before the session starts, they are going to let people in the waiting line in first. Plus, I'm sure they overbooked some rooms and sessions, so don't be mad if you didn't show up early and lost your seat.
- Don't spend all your time in sessions. This is the one event that you are going to be rubbing elbows with some of the brightest names in the industry. Make this time valuable by making face-to-face connections and sharing stories over lunch or a beer. You would be amazed by how close-nit the community really is. Just talk shop and have a good time.
- Learn about some new products in the solutions exchange. From what I hear, the solutions exchange is going to be MASSIVE. With the booming horizon of cloud, new vSphere releases, and the VDI trend, the show room floor will be packed with startups that bring a new angle. Make the effort to visit a few booths that you've never heard of so you can get a feel for what they do and how they might help your business. From a blogger's perspective, it's the easiest way you can share all the new tech hitting the market and capitalize on a startup's new release.
- Organization is key. Last year I only made it to half of the sessions I wanted to attend because I got caught up looking at the VMworld packet that you get once you register trying to figure out where I need to go. Look at tip number 1 and don't make yourself run around too much, you're going to need that energy for the night. Get the sessions you want to attend in your iPhone or Blackberry calendar the day before the conference. This way you don't look like a tourist in a new city. Add a comment