VMworld 2019: Everything You Need to Know
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!
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
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.
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.
The theme for VMworld 2019 is Make Your Mark.
The official language for both VMworld US and VMworld Europe is English. You can contact the VMworld registration team about bringing a translator.
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 over the years
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.
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.
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:
- Courtyard by Marriott
- Four Seasons
- Hampton Inn
- Hotel Zelos
- Hotel Zetta
- Marriott Marquis
- Park Central Hotel
- The Pickwick Hotel
- Virgin Hotels San Francisco
- W San Francisco
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 CTO Ray O’Farrell onstage at the 2018 keynote
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:
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.)
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
Dawn of the Workspace Engineer, 3:50 – 4:10 p.m.
This is Lakeside’s theater session on the changes facing EUC and how IT administrators can evolve to workspace engineers with the help of digital experience monitoring.
Brian is quite the character, so if you miss seeing his presentation in the Solutions Exchange Theater, it’s worth stopping by the Lakeside booth to see it at another time.
Speaker: Brian Taylor, Marketing Associate, Lakeside Software
How Machine Learning Is Making Support a Newly Magical Experience, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
The content for this session seems similar to the earlier one on AI, but this time from the perspective of VMware Global Support Services. The earlier session also appears to focus on the analytics component of using machine learning for support while this one focuses on the user experience.
Speakers: Alex Bewley, Sr. Manager – Digital Platform Architecture, VMware; Mike Olingy, User Experience Design – Digital Platform, VMware
Transferable Skills: How to Survive Through Digital Transformation, 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Constant change is part of what makes tech jobs exciting, but it also means you have to sharpen your skills more frequently to avoid being left behind. This session looks at how you can future-proof your career.
Speaker: Stephanie Gunter, Director, WW Strategic Planning & Execution, WWRACE, VMware
VMworld Hall Crawl, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. in the Solutions Exchange
The hall crawl is a great time to meet exhibitors while enjoying refreshments, freebies, and games. The Solutions Exchange does get crowded during this time, so if you’re more interested in getting demos and having in-depth one-on-ones, you may want to visit booths at another time.
Wednesday, August 28th
The Virtually Speaking Podcast LIVE: The Future of IT – How Will You Fit in?, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
A live podcast seems like a great change of pace after two full days of sessions, Hands-on Labs, and networking. The show will feature a discussion of what the future of IT will look like and how IT professionals can prepare.
If you like tech podcasts, you might want to check out Lifeguard IT from Lakeside. We have a recent episode on everything you should know about Windows Virtual Desktop, which you can find wherever you get your podcasts.
Speakers: Ken Werneburg, Technical Marketing Group Manager – Storage and Availability, VMware; John Nicholson, Senior Technical Marketing Architect, VMware; Pete Flecha, Sr Technical Marketing Architect, VMware
New Era of Desktop and App-as-a-Service with VMware and Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Speaking of Windows Virtual Desktop, this session will cover how to use VMware Horizon Cloud to extend WVD.
Speakers: Shikha Mittal, Director, Product Management, VMware; Scott Manchester, Group Program Manager, Microsoft
Work-Life Balance: Is It Really That Simple?, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
This session caught my attention as another subject worth reflecting on while away from the 9 – 5. How can you stay balanced in a career that demands long hours, travel, and continuous learning? To prompt your self-reflection, VMware community members will discuss common sources of IT burnout and their personal experiences with time for Q&A at the end.
Speakers: Michael Letschin, Principal Technologist, Cohesity; Rawlinson Rivera, Chief Technology Officer, Global Field, Cohesity, Inc; Theresa Miller, Principal Technologist, Cohesity; Jon Hildebrand, Principal Technologist, Cohesity; Chris Colotti, Principal Technologist, Cohesity, Inc.
Justify Project Funding, Raise Your Value, and Future-Proof Your Career, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Justifying the IT budget can be challenging, which is why it’s so important to find ways to quantify success to secure the resources your team needs to support innovation.
This session is focused on helping you prove the success of IT, specifically the value of cloud projects.
Speakers: Bill Roth, Director, Cloud Economics, VMware; Erin OQuinn, Sr. References Marketing Manager, VMware
Panel: How to Integrate and Move Your Citrix Environments with VMware, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
A panel from VMware on how to integrate with Citrix? This should be interesting.
Speakers: Dale Carter, Principal Architect, VMware; Dewey Gripshover, Sr. Staff Enterprise Applications Engineer, General Electric; Michael Olney, Director – End User Computing Office of Strategy, VMware; Mark Ewert, Senior Product Manager, VMware; Doug Butler, IT Technology Manager, DCH Health System
VMworld Fest, 7:00 – 10:00 p.m.
VMware has yet to announce the location or musical guests for their annual extravaganza. Update: The VMworld Fest 2019 US headliner is OneRepublic. There will also be performances from Billy Idol and DJ Umami. The party will take place at Civic Center Plaza and Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Attendees can take a free shuttle service from the Moscone Center.
The last time VMworld was held in San Francisco in 2015, the party took place at AT&T ballpark (now Oracle Park) with Neon Trees and Alabama Shakes playing.
Past VMworld bands have included Smash Mouth, Foreigner, The Killers, Bon Jovi, The Black Keys, and Macy Gray.
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger celebrating the company’s 20th birthday
Thursday, August 29th
No Password? No Problem. Eliminate Passwords in Your Organization., 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
They had me at “no password.”
This session looks at how organizations can use the VMware Workspace ONE platform to ditch passwords for corporate apps while improving security.
Speakers: Den Jones, Adobe; Adarsh Kesari, Staff Solutions Architect, VMware; Camilo Lotero, Senior Solution Engineer, VMware
Where to Find Lakeside at VMworld 2019
We hope you’ve found these tips helpful for having a fun and productive VMworld 2019!
Stayed tuned to the Lakeside Twitter for more information on what we’ll be up to at this year’s US and Europe conferences.
VMworld 2019 US attendees can find Lakeside in the Solutions Exchange at booth 451. VMworld 2019 Europe attendees can find Lakeside at booth E125. We look forward to meeting you there.