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#VMworld 2020 Q&A: An Exclusive Inside Look as VMware Provides Details Ahead of the Show

vmworld 2020 QA 

The world's largest combined virtualization and cloud computing event, VMworld, is coming up fast!  This year, for the first time ever, the event is 100% digital as it moves to an online only event, taking place September 29th - October 1st 2020.  The event is always jam packed with incredible information coming out of the keynote presentations and their host of breakout sessions, and we don't expect there to be much of a difference as it moves online. 

To find out more ahead of the show, VMblog spoke with VMware to dig in a little deeper as we prepare for VMware's premiere convention.

VMblog:  One outcome from the current global pandemic has been the cancellation of physical trade show events in 2020.  And VMworld is obviously one of those shows affected.  What's it been like switching from a planned physical event to a digital one?

VMware:  For the past 20 years, VMworld has been a physical event. We welcomed over 23,000 attendees from around the world last year in San Francisco, but are expected to host over 100,000 attendees this year at our digital event, so figuring out a way to transition an event of that size online has definitely brought on a new set of challenges. At the same time, it has created an opportunity for us to rethink the VMworld event experience and how we engage with our partners, customers and attendees-now and possibly in the future. We're excited to introduce the new VMworld to attendees, while ensuring that this year's digital event reflects the VMworld experience that so many in the industry have come to know and love.

VMblog:  Can you talk about the challenges you've faced with moving an event of this size and magnitude to a digital event?

VMware:  We've had to rethink many aspects of VMworld including how we combine two physical events into one global event. As in years' past, we had planned to have a VMworld event in San Francisco in August and one in Barcelona in November. Due to the pandemic however, we decided to make this year's VMworld a single, global, digital event and cancel the physical events. It's been a big transition with lots of coordination between different time zones, but we're so excited to bring together attendees from all over the world for VMworld 2020.

VMblog:  What are you most excited about in preparing for this event?

VMware:  Some attendees have been coming to VMworld for 20 years, while others have only been to one or two. Yet this year we'll all be experiencing our first digital VMworld together. And we're excited at how this new format will allow many more people to experience VMworld for the very first time. We'll be bringing the industry together in a new way and can't wait for attendees to experience the lineup of speakers, workshops, roundtable discussions, and networking events and opportunities we have planned.

VMblog:  Can you give us some more details around the new VMworld 2020 all digital event?  What can we expect?

VMware:  You can expect to hear perspectives from top VMware and industry experts on what's coming next in technology, learn IT best practices from the world's leading companies as they navigate the pandemic, and engage and interact online with colleagues in new ways. Attendees will also be able to explore fresh ideas and insights from experts, grow their VMware skills and expertise to solve tomorrow's challenges, experience hands-on labs, participate in online games, and win prizes.

VMblog:  Can you talk about any of the sessions or discussions that are expected to take place at the event?  i.e. What are the hot topics this year?

VMware:  The event will go deep into key areas such as app modernization, multi-cloud, virtual cloud network, intrinsic security, digital workspace and telco cloud - as well as on emerging trends and the future of technology.

VMblog:  A fan favorite at VMworld has been hands-on labs.  Can you talk about the plans for and what a digital hands-on labs looks like?

VMware:  Given the labs will be digital this year, there will be more video than in years past, so we've rethought how attendees will engage and interact with product experts. For general pass holders, we'll be hosting simulated hands-on labs for users to explore latest VMware products and solutions. We'll also be hosting a live interactive set of product dashboards showing our products in action. These will help highlight how customers can run and operate a multi-cloud strategy using VMware products like vRealize Operations, Wavefront and VMware Learning Platform.

For premier pass holders, we're excited to host Odyssey, where attendees can put the skills they've gained over the course of hands-on labs and workshops to the test using VMware's newly developed Odyssey gaming platform. Attendees will be able to compete against colleagues and win cool prizes and peer recognition. We'll also have additional activities such as guided workshops where attendees can engage with product experts, ask questions and take the Hands-on Labs during the course. These will be staffed by product experts who are ready to answer any questions in a private setting - but they fill up fast, so be sure to grab a spot!

VMblog:  Are there any new trends in the industry that people should be aware of or should keep their eyes and ears on the lookout for anytime during the show?

VMware:  Digital transformation has always been top of mind for IT leaders, but the COVID-19 pandemic has really highlighted our relationship with technology and its impact on businesses around the world. This year, attendees should look out for the tips, tools and partnerships to take their IT to the next level. From trends in multi-cloud and 5G to digital workspace technologies, there will be opportunities to discover and learn about the latest trends impacting the tech industry today and in the future.

VMblog:  Anything else attendees of this event should be aware of? 

VMware:  Whether this is your 20th VMworld or your first, there is always so much to discover and experience. We encourage attendees to explore and check out all the great speaking sessions, roundtables and workshops that will be available online. Even though we'll be meeting online vs in-person, there will still be a lot of materials and content for our attendees to peruse from the comfort of their home.

Premier pass holders can book roundtable sessions and guided workshops where you'll learn from VMware experts on how to solve difficult technical questions. We'll also offer a Birds-of-a-Feather sessions where participants can engage in informal, topical discussions with fellow attendees and VMware engineers and product managers.

VMblog:  Is the VMworld 2020 digital event completely free to register for and attend?

VMware:  Attendees can register for a complimentary general pass or a limited number of paid premier passes. The general pass will provide access to 500+ on-demand VMworld sessions. Attendees will also have access to over 100 keynotes and scheduled sessions, self-paced hands-on labs and the VMware and Sponsor Demo Zones, featuring VMware and sponsor demo zones. The premier pass will include everything in the general pass, plus:

  • Exclusive sessions hosted in two time zones (UTC -7 and UTC +2)
  • Roundtables led by VMware experts on technical VMware questions
  • VMware guided Hands-on Labs
  • One-on-one expert consultations
  • Informal discussions focused on shared professional interests
  • Discounts on experiences throughout the conference and more

VMblog:  Will sessions be recorded and made available to all attendees after the show?  Is that free as well?  Or is there a cost associated with it?

VMware:  Yes, breakout sessions and Solutions Keynotes will be available to all attendees after the event in our on-demand video library.  

VMblog:  Finally, VMware always showcases and brings the fun at VMworld.  You obviously can't replicate the food, drinks, personal interaction, etc.  But what are you doing for the digital event?  Do you have any special guests or speakers to help entertain?

VMware:  We're excited to share that 11 time Grammy, Emmy, Oscar and Tony Award-winning artist John Legend will be performing at VMworld. You won't want to miss his legendary performance. To keep the fun going, we've created the Entertainment Zone where attendees can find activities ranging from guided meditations, cocktail and smoothie making, a virtual puppy park and much more.  

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Published Monday, September 14, 2020 10:45 AM by David Marshall
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