VMworld 2010 Day 1

Being the third VMworld I have attended I had a pretty good idea what to expect when I arrived.  I know there were some changes to the setup of sessions and labs going from a sign up format to pick your sessions and first come first serve gets in.  Also with this new format change came many repeat sessions for those who couldn’t get in during their first try.  I have some mixed feelings regarding this new change as I feel the scheduling has fallen into the hands of the lazy attendees who didn’t bother to sign up for sessions before they filled up, but on the other side it allowed everyone a fair chance to get into sessions regardless when they signed up.  What came of the change were extremely long lines for almost every session, making those in line wonder if they were wasting their time in the back trying to get into a popular session.  Along with the long lines you had no idea if you were in the correct line for your session.  All the sessions I was in line I was able to get into.  Another by product of this new setup I think were improved attendance per session as before those sessions that might have shown “full” in past years causing people to not even consider showing up, now everyone is showing up and filling up the rooms.  All sessions I was in today were nearly completely full at the start.  While that is a good thing having full sessions it felt more crowded than a middle row, middle seat of a 747 jet in the back of the plane.

Long lines for sessions made it extremely hard to move around the VMworld conference since most lines were 100-500 people long wrapping around corners and zigzagging through the grounds.  Another crowded space was the eating area. I know it’s hard to compare this year’s conference from past VMworld’s such as VMworld Vegas 2008 which had a giant eating area where everyone could find a seat.   This year lines were extremely long to get into the eat area to just get food let alone trying to find a spare seat or two.

Once 4pm rolled around the solution exchange opened up for the first time and the area filled with attendees, vendors, guests along with everyone asking to scan your badge.  It was busier than usual to the point it was hard to just move around the area let alone talk to any of the vendors with them trying to give away free gear with hopes of winning money or another popular item, the iPad.  It got to the point after 15-30min of wondering around, uneventful booths and less than interesting “shwag” it was time to get out of there and come back later to get some decent information from the vendors later on.  If I get that chance to win the iPad later in the week so be it, but the less spam I get over the next year the better.   According to sources there might be a couple big announcements tomorrow at the key note which I’ll try to get a video for the site.  Until tomorrow and day two of VMworld…

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