It’s almost time for the biggest virtualization and cloud computing event of the year: VMworld 2019. Are you ready?

We at Lakeside are looking forward to connecting with attendees and sharing the latest version of our product, SysTrack 9.0, which combines digital experience monitoring and AIOps for cross-domain workspace monitoring and automated resolution with minimal human intervention. As per usual, we will be exhibiting at both VMworld US and VMworld Europe, so make sure to come by for a live demo of our new features and enter our giveaways to win awesome prizes.

Whether you’re a first-time attendee or VMworld veteran, this post will help you plan your agenda and make the most out of VMworld San Francisco and Barcelona.

If you don’t need a refresher on the conference basics, you can skip ahead to learn about this year’s must-attend sessions for EUC pros.

See you there!

The Lakeside Software team standing at the booth during VMworld US 2018

Why Attend VMworld 2019?

While it’s easy to follow along with VMworld announcements online, if you’ve ever been to a live concert or sporting event, you know there’s no substitute for being surrounded by a crowd of people with the same passion as you.

But that line of logic probably won’t sell your boss, so here are some of the other many great reasons to attend:

  • Build your skills through hands-on training and discounted VMware certifications
  • Continue your career education through in-depth sessions
  • Gain insider-knowledge on emerging IT trends from experts and peers
  • Meet your vendors in person
  • Discover new solutions to help address your organization’s IT challenges
  • Network with peers and industry leaders
  • Learn from other’s challenges and success stories

Crowd at the VMworld US 2018 general session

VMworld 2019 Conference Details

Dates and Location

VMworld 2019 US will return to the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California from August 25 – 29.

VMworld 2019 Europe will be held at Fira Gran Via in Barcelona, Spain from November 4 – 7.

Ticket Pricing

VMworld 2019 US: The cost of a full conference pass is $2,195 for an individual if purchased in advance or $2,395 if purchased onsite. For full pricing details and discount information, see the VMworld US pricing page.

VMworld 2019 Europe: If you act quickly, there’s still time to register at the early-bird rate of €1,275 for an individual full conference pass by July 26. The regular rate is €1,475 and tickets can be purchased onsite for €1,675. For full pricing details and discount information, see the VMworld Europe pricing page.

Theme

The theme for VMworld 2019 is Make Your Mark.

Language

The official language for both VMworld US and VMworld Europe is English. You can contact the VMworld registration team about bringing a translator.

WiFi

Technically there is free WiFi at VMworld, but with 20k+ techies roaming about, connections can be slow or spotty. If you’re someone who needs access (say, for instance, you want to live Tweet a keynote or take a Skype call), you’ll be better off bringing your own mobile hotspot.

VMworld badges from 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2018

VMworld badges over the years

Dress Code

There is no formal dress code for VMworld, but casual to business dress is considered appropriate. No one will look twice if you’re walking around in jeans and a t-shirt (this is Silicon Valley after all). What you wear should reflect your job role and the kind of networking you want to attract, but you probably don’t need me to tell you that.

You may want to pack an extra layer for cooler evenings and sitting through air-conditioned sessions. Comfortable clothing (especially footwear) will help you endure long days walking around the large conference center.

Food

Breakfast and lunch are provided at the conference as well as free small bites in the Solutions Exchange. Free coffee, beer, water, and other beverages are also available. There are water coolers throughout the show floor for you to refill your water bottle.

VMworld caters to some special dietary requirements, including gluten-free and vegetarian, which you can specify when you register. Last year’s VMworld US had a good amount of vegan options, but that could change now that the event has moved from Las Vegas. If you’re worried about food options or making it to meals, it’s always a good idea to pack a few energy bars to bring with you.

 

VMworld refreshments

Hotels

After you register for the conference, you have the option to use the VMworld hotel booking tool which shows you the available discounted hotel room options for your travel period.

The VMworld US hotel block closes on July 29 (another good reason to book early).

If you miss the booking period, there are a number of hotels to choose from near the Moscone Center:

Attractions

Several of the top tourist destinations in San Francisco are within close walking distance of the Moscone Center:

  • Yerba Buena Gardens – A public park with art and greenspace. Their website says that a portion of the gardens will have restricted access August 24 – 29 for a private event (do those dates look familiar?). VMworld Fest (the official VMworld party) was held at the gardens in 2014 with The Black Keys headlining. (VMware has yet to announce the location or band for VMworld Fest 2019. Update: The VMworld Fest 2019 US headliner is OneRepublic. There will also be performances from Billy Idol and DJ Umami.)
  • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art – One of the largest contemporary and modern art museums in the world featuring works by famous artists including Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Andy Warhol.

On-Demand Viewing and Livestreaming

If you can’t make it to VMworld or if you missed a session, you can watch the keynotes and sessions on-demand in the VMworld video library. During the conference, be on the lookout for live streams and follow along in real-time.

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger and VMware CTO Ray O'Farrell onstage at the 2018 keynote

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger and CTO Ray O'Farrell onstage at the 2018 keynote

Attendee Checklist

Once you’ve purchased your pass, made travel arrangements, and secured accommodations, here are a few more things you’ll want to do before the event:

  1. Build your schedule – This includes sessions (these fill up fast, so it’s best to sign up early to reserve your seat), activities like Hands-on Labs and VMworld Hackathon, and parties. Tip: events can be spaced far apart, so make sure you leave time to travel and don’t forget to pencil in lunch!
  2. Download the VMworld 2019 app The app will have your QR code for registration which you will need to pick up your pass (alternatively, you can access the code in your email). It also has the event schedule, sessions you’ve signed up for, a map of the conference center, and other features for navigating the show.
  3. Follow VMworld on social media The official VMworld Twitter and Facebook pages offer tips and information leading up to and during the event. You can also follow the #VMworld hashtag to connect with other attendees and see what exhibitors will be up to.
  4. Pack your suitcase – Remember to leave some room for swag and your VMworld backpack!

History of VMworld

VMworld is one of the biggest events in enterprise technology today, attracting 20,000+ attendees from 5,000+ global companies at the US event alone. It’s come a long way since the first VMworld in 2004 with just 1,500 attendees!

In recent years, the US conference has shuffled between Las Vegas and San Francisco. This will be the first San Francisco event since 2015 as the Moscone Center venue has been undergoing renovations.

The first VMworld Europe was held in 2008 and it has remained in Barcelona since 2011.

VMworld attendance over the years

The growth of the conference has mirrored the explosive growth of virtualization as a technology, which is forecasted to reach a market size of 8 billion USD by 2023 with VMware, Citrix, Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, Google, and others as key players.

17 Can’t-Miss VMworld US EUC Sessions and General Activities

With 900+ sessions to choose from, narrowing down your options can be daunting. We’ve curated this of general-interest and EUC focused sessions as well as top VMworld activities you won’t want to miss.

 

Malala Yousafzai onstage at VMworld 2018

VMworld's 2018 keynote featured Malala Yousafzai

Sunday, August 25th

NewV-101, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

This VMworld 101 session will help you get your bearings if this is your first time attending. They’ll offer advice on how to plan, navigate, and get the most out of the conference. Plus, it’ll give you an opportunity to connect with other newbies.

Speakers: Sam Ngak, Senior Manager, Event Operations, VMware; Allison Crooker, Director, Event Content, VMware

VMworld Welcome Reception, 5:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Those arriving Sunday can get a jumpstart on the conference by mingling with peers and exhibitors in the Solutions Exchange.

Presentation slide from the VMworld 2018 EUC keynote

Monday, August 26th

Managing Tomorrow's IT: Can AI and Humans Be Team Players?, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

How AI will change (and is changing) the role IT is a topic many are taking note of.

This session covers what machine intelligence looks like today and how IT processes may change as tasks are split between humans and machines.

Speaker: Cameron Haight, VP & CTO, Americas, VMware

Achieving Happiness: Building Your Brand and Your Career, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Conferences are a time for professional development, including working on your personal brand. I like that this session seems to be focused on career building from the perspective of what brings you happiness and aligns with your personal priorities. After all, what’s the point of crafting a killer LinkedIn profile if it’ll only move you along a path you don’t enjoy?

Speaker: Amanda Blevins, Senior Director & Chief Technologist, Office of the CTO, VMware

Showcase Keynote: Becoming a Champion of Digital Employee Experience, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Normally there’s a smaller EUC keynote after the main event, but this year it looks like VMware’s moving EUC onto the big stage. I’m looking forward to watching this one as the topic resonates with Lakeside’s understanding that end-user experience is the most important metric in IT.

If you want to watch in-person, make sure to arrive early to secure a seat. (And don’t bring a bag if you can avoid it. If I’m remembering correctly, they made you check them last year.)

VMware presentation slide

The 2018 digital workspace keynote covered management and security using Workspace ONE

Tuesday, August 27th

AI-Driven Support: Harnessing ML for Next-Generation Proactive Support, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Machine learning is unlocking new opportunities for IT support with technologies like AIOps.

This session looks at how VMware Skyline and IBM Watson are helping IT catch problems proactively using AI.

Speakers: Denitsa Panova, Senior Business Analyst, Data Sciences and Advanced Analytics, VMware; Ranjani Mani, Senior Manager, Data Science and Advanced Analytics, VMware