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What to Expect from (the First-ever) Virtual VMworld

VMworld (September 29 – October 1) is nearly upon us and, as is the case with all 2020 conferences, it’s going to look a bit different compared to previous years.

The event comes at an interesting time (COVID-19 aside) as Dell dismantles rumors of a potential VMware spinoff. According to CEO Michael Dell, it’s not going to happen. It also comes on the heels of a frenetic week of cloud-based software IPOs from Snowflake, JFrog and Sumo Logic — making clear that the software on demand market is only just heating up as enterprises prepare for yet another season of work-from-home.

In terms of what to expect from VMworld’s first-ever digital event, attendees will get a taste of VMware executives’ perspectives on the COVID-era cloud landscape, as well as upcoming product developments and educational opportunities

As an added bonus (beyond getting to enjoy one of the industry’s hottest events from the comfort of your home) the event is entirely fee-free. For the first time in VMworld’s history, organizers are offering those interested in attending a complimentary general pass, through which they will be able to access 900+ online sessions.

Below are a few highlights to watch out for, and some tips to prepare ahead of time:

Catch the Keynotes 

On Tuesday, September 29, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger and COO Sanjay Poonen will kick off VMworld 2020 and present this year’s theme “Possible together” — something that cannot be overstated in this uncertain time — in which digital innovation thrives off of community and collaboration.

According to the conference session catalogue, Gelsinger and Poonen will discuss the company’s “Any App, Any Cloud, Any Device” technology strategy, and deliver an update around VMware’s Security vision, a priority and area of growth for the company.

Tip: When it comes to planning your time beyond the opening keynote, be mindful that content will be available live on Zoom and on-demand across seven tracks: Vision and Innovation, App Modernization, Digital Workspace, Intrinsic Security, Virtual Cloud Network, Multi-Cloud and Telco 5G — but only for 48 hours after the event kicks off.

Engage with Experts

Attendees will have several opportunities to interact with VMware experts directly, including:

  • Hands-on Labs: Attendees can explore over 120 new labs to evaluate VMware products and solutions in a live environment. This includes Guided Workshops (for premier pass holders only) as well as access to the Simulated Hands-on Labs and a Command Center Wall, which are open to all attendees.
  • Demo Zone: Whether you are looking to learn more about change management strategies when moving from private to hybrid cloud, or how to maximize your 5G ROI with AI, attendees can connect with experts and sponsors to get firsthand and actionable advice (open to all).

Tip: It goes without saying that experts come in many forms — including chocolatiers, musicians, mixologists and fitness instructors. Don’t miss out on VMworld’s Entertainment Zone.

Get Competitive

Despite the remote nature of this year’s event, VMworld organizers are committed to engaging virtual attendees with some fun, prizes and a little friendly competition. 

Organizers want to hear directly from attendees about what they are most excited for VMworld 2020, via a 15-second video. All videos will be available to view on VMworld’s YouTube channel to build buzz prior to the event. Winners will be announced via social media and prize packages will be “Barcelona inspired”. Full submission details are available here.

Premier pass holders can also participate in VMworld’s gamification feature — VMware Odyssey — in which attendees can compete against one another while evaluating VMware products.

Tip: Competition isn’t all fun and games. Given general admission is free this year, there is truly no reason not to attend. However, consider the value of a premier pass against your business needs. The $299 ticket (and discount to next year’s event) might be worth it if you’re looking to benefit from expert consultations and get ahead of the competition in 2021.

Chock full of informative, expert-led sessions, hands-on demos and activities, games, prizes and an online concert, VMworld 2020 is poised to be one of the most exciting virtual events this Fall.

Tip: Don’t wait to register