VMworld EMEA – My Tips For First Timers

With VMworld US started and VMworld EMEA just around the corner, I thought I would share my top tips for those people attending their first VMworld in Barcelona!

Travel

Getting to / from the Airport

  • VMware put on air conditioned coaches to and from the airport.
  • Check the VMworld pages for the times they run in between.  Most people arriving Sunday or Monday and leaving Thursday should be covered.

Metro

  • Download the Barcelona Metro Map in PDF or JPG and save it on your phone.
  • Don’t forget to ask for the free metro travel pass – I didn’t spend anything on metro travel last year because of this!
  • Fira Europa (L9 or L8) is slightly further away from the venue than the Fira Metro station but both are within walk-able distance.
  • If you are staying along L9 then go to Fira, if you are staying at Placa D’Espanya (L8) or anywhere else that means you want to change at Fira Europa to go one stop to Fira, then don’t bother.

Taxi

  • There is a taxi rank outside the conference venue, but queues form quickly.
  • Taxi’s are good value, but not as cheap as the metro.If you are out and about prefer to get around by taxi, then try downloading the Hailo App which was used by a few people last year.

Conference

General

  • Download the VMworld 2017 App!
  • Bring comfortable/worn in shoes for the days – last year I clocked up ~40k steps in 4 days.
  • If you insist on wearing swanky new shoes, bring lots of plasters!
  • If you want to buy VMware merchandise, go get it early in the week.  I left it to the last day and there wasn’t much of a selection left!
  • Last year food queues were a little silly.  They have changed the layout this year to make that better.  There is normally plenty of food though so don’t worry!
  • VMware HOL are an #awesome way to spend your time if you want hands on experience. The majority of the HOL staff are also experts and consultants too (and some are even human!).

Sessions

  • Don’t worry if you don’t make it to all the sessions you have booked into. Last year, by Wednesday afternoon I was worn out and wanted to just chill a bit, so I skipped a couple of the sessions and hung out in the hang space.
  • Remember that most, if not all, of them will be recorded and you can download them to watch at your leisure after the event.
  • Remember to ask questions – sessions should be interactive and you don’t normally get the opportunity to meet with these titans of the industry very often.
  • If you want to change your session last minute because something else takes your fancy, then do it. It’s your time, use it as you want to. There is always an overflow queue for all the top sessions, so join the queue and you may just get in. (if you don’t see previous point)
  • If you didn’t get booked into a session you wanted to because it was full, turn up a little early and get in front of the queue for overflow. I got into every session I wanted to last year, even when I didn’t book up front.

Solutions Exchange

  • Take time to talk to the vendors you want to.  That’s what they are there for!
  • Some of the people on the booth will be titans of their field and you wont get the opportunity to talk face to face with them very often!
  • Grab as much swag as you want, but remember you will have to carry it! Last year I tended to collect a solid carrier bag and fill one up a day then filter the stuff I want to keep back at the hotel!
  • If you get your badge scanned, you will more than likely get a follow up phone call!

The Tourist Thing

Barcelona is a wonderful city with so much colour and beauty.  If you’re staying around after VMworld, then be sure to check out the following:

  • Antoni Gaudi – Whether you like architecture or not, the works by Antoni Gaudi are a must see when you are in Barcelona.  Places such as Sagrada Família, Park GüellCasa Batlló and Casa Milà.
  • Camp Nou – Whether it is a tour of the stadium or the Champions League match that is happening the week of VMworld (Barcelona FC vs Juventus) it is definitely something to behold.
  • 1992 Olympics – You can also see remnants of the games all over the city.
  • Magic Fountain of Montjuïc which is a light and water display which happens Thur-Sat from 21:00-22:00.

 

My final, and most important, piece of advice is enjoy your time at VMworld and in Barcelona!

See you there

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