VMworld is much more than the business side. I wanted to take moment to go over somethings outside of the usual keynotes, sessions, labs, etc. Also, to mention some other information and tips that didn’t fit in my other articles.
I recommend getting to San Francisco on Saturday to get the most out of the event. Give yourself some time to get settled in. There were a lot of events on Sunday, especially if you’re a TAM customer. Then you can be one of the first to hit the solutions exchange that night. Depending on your schedule, you may not have a lot of time the rest of the week for the solutions exchange. Also, more likely you will get a t-shirt in your size 🙂
Registration was quick and easy. I never saw a long line there whenever I passed by. Don’t go out of the way to pick up the official bag until you need to go to the west building. There were plenty of them so save the steps.
Be prepared to walk a lot. I was walking around 15,000 to 20,000+ steps a day. Even more tiring when carrying a bag of swag or a laptop all day. Wear sneakers and sit down whenever you can.
I never saw a session full. I don’t even think I saw a room 80% full. This is excluding something like a session with a very limited amount of seats, such as a raspberry pi based session. I am not a fan of how session reservations work. Don’t let a session marked as full to hold you back. Just have a backup plan with something else to do if it is actually full. Also, you can always watch the session online later on.
The breakfast and lunches provided by VMware were not good and lacked variety. Greasy breakfast sandwiches and pastries in the mornings. Mostly sandwiches for four days in a row for meat-eaters. The vegetarian and gluten-free options were combined for some odd reason. That one was some sort of tofu salad from what I saw on some days. The lunches had bulky one-use plastic containers that were a huge waste. I hope VMware/Moscone Center can have a more environmentally friendly version in the future. There are a bunch of restaurants nearby that are better alternatives.
There is no shortage of entertainment. Multiple parties every night. Then the big VMworld Fest on Wednesday night. Billy Idol and One Republic were great. I don’t think the performers knew what the concert was for. Hopefully, VMware can book a nicer venue next time.
I did not worry once about my safety outside of the Moscone Center or anywhere in the city. Several people warned me about aggressive homeless people and issues on the streets. I did not see anything different from where I live. I am guessing people that were worried probably live in a rural area. Obviously, take normal safety precautions. I definitely recommend to branch out of the area and not be worried. My final article next week will be on fun things to do around the city.