In case you haven’t heard, VMware Forum 2012 is making the rounds again. Starting in early April on the west coast and making its way across the country over the course of the next several months, these medium-sized (smaller than VMworld or Partner Exchange, but larger than most VMware User Group (VMUG) meetings or conferences) events where virtualization-minded IT pros and execs can come and learn about the many different VMware products and technologies. Clearpath is proud to co-sponsor the Washington D.C event on June 19 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in downtown D.C.
With that out of the way – in my experience, events like VMware Forum are great for a few reasons:
- Networking with peers
- Visiting the Solutions Exchange
- Hands-on Labs
I’m not trying to discount the actual content of the event. There will be some great presentations, given by knowledgeable and talented people. The general sessions are always packed full of vision and forward-thinking ideas. That being said, let’s be honest – if that’s all you’re after, you can watch the Online Forum sessions (registration on at the VMware Forum 2012 link below).
Networking with Peers
To me, this is most important reason to attend. Along with social media, these kinds of events are the best way to find people with similar backgrounds looking to do similar things with technology. The community VMware has been able to cultivate over the years is one of the most outstanding I’ve seen in tech. The amount of knowledge available to be shared amongst each other at events like this is truly remarkable, and I never miss an opportunity to learn from others if I can help it.
Visiting the Solutions Exchange
The Solutions Exchange is a good place to interact with vendors and learn about exciting new products and services. I find it to be a very useful resource to interface with vendor reps about any questions or issues I may have with or about specific products, as well as being a great avenue for learning about new technology. Vendors generally have their newest wares on display, so getting eyes on new tech is possible without going through an evaluation yourself. Oh, and the giveaways are nice, too.
The Hands-on Labs have proven to be a wonderful way to get in front of VMware and select partner products without having to take the time and resources it would normally take to get a demo going. This can be especially handy with solutions, such as Site Recovery Manager or vCloud Director, that require a bit of time or know-how to get through an evaluation by yourself. Make sure you show up early or getting a spot can be tough.
VMware Forum is a great event to network with your peers, learn about new products, interact with vendors, and get your hands on new and interesting technology from VMware and its partners. The price isn’t too bad, either (free!). All in all, it’s one of my most highly anticipated events each year.
P.S. – Clearpath is giving away an all-expense paid trip to VMworld 2012 at our booth in the Solutions Exchange. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to go to the leading virtualization conference of the year!