2014 marked my first VMworld, quite an amazing event. Leading up to the event I booked sessions to attend and made note of Hands on Labs I wanted to take. I was fortunate enough to fly into San Francisco (also my first time in SF) with a great friend, Luigi Danakos, and then met up with Shawn Cannon as he landed just about the same time we did. We hopped a cab to Moscone, dropped our stuff off and registered for the event. Once we hit the VMunderground Opening Acts put on by the #vBrownBag crew, I knew why I was here.
It wasn’t for the keynote, that was a great experience and I am very excited about EVO:Rail and EVO:Rack. It wasn’t for the sessions, though I surely enjoyed the How to Build a Well Run Hybrid Cloud session with Rick Scherer and Tyler Britten. It was the experience of meeting, talking and just hanging out with the community. The EMC Hybrid Cloud session was so much more fun and interesting with Erin Banks and Tommy Trodgen, whom I met for the first time. Supporting the #vBrownBag Tech Talks would have just felt like work had it not been for meeting, working with and having fun with Cody Bunch, Alastair Cooke, Gregg Robertson, Anthony Hook, Kyle Murley and Jon Harris and then talking off Monday night to catch a San Francisco Giants game, over looking the bay with Gregg (his first American baseball game!), Anthony and Jon.
I was watching the keynote on day 2, chatting with a guy next to me; turns out that I often interact with him on the Spiceworks forums. I got to meet Rene Van Den Bedem and Larry Smith. Then Kellan Damm, Byron Schaller, Mike Preston, Eric Wright, Angelo Luciani and Melissa Palmer. Lest I forget meeting Frank Denneman and Scott Lowe.
There are so many wonderful people who I met at VMworld that have been a huge help to me I can’t possibly list them all. And just when you get to the point where you think, what more could I possibly do – you end up at dinner with Phoummala Schmit, Emad Younis, Kyle Ruddy, James Green, and Alexander Nimmannit. You get a text from your friend and head out to vBeers Hans De Leenheer, Kasia Lorenc and Stephen Foskett before packing up and flying out with another friend you shared an apartment with all week and have an awesome Lyft to the airport and breakfast – thank you Matthew Brender.
My one tip for anyone that hasn’t been to a VMworld, go and leave plenty of time to meet the community, that was the most amazing experience of VMworld.