24 hours later I’m sitting in my hotel room, nursing my swollen feet, with a belly full of tapas, reflecting on the ups and downs of my first full day of VMworld, and I can indeed confirm it was in fact brilliant!
- The lacklustre breakfast at my hotel
- Mistakenly thinking that “Fira Barcelona” was at the Plaça Espanya, just a brisk 20 minute walk from my hotel, then arriving there looking like the sweaty wreck of the Hesperus and wondering why I couldn’t see any VMworld signs…
It didn’t take long before I clicked that the actual event was actually at the “Fira Barcelona Gran Via” (North Entrance – Hall 8), which is actually over 3km away! For any other soul who makes the same error, simply jump on the FGC Subway service directly beneath the plaza, and go three stops to the Europa | Fira station. From there you can catch a 5 minute shuttle bus to the conference centre. (I would point out that I’m normally pretty well prepared, but I guess not today!)
- The vast distances between the breakout sessions and the hang space, which may as well be measured in leagues!
- Lunch time queues…
- Distances between evening event venues in BCN!
- Attending my first VMworld breakout session (TEX2254) on NSX Extensibility; very interesting indeed, though from experience, some of the partners need to consider reducing their virtual edition license costs methinks… (no names referenced to protect the innocent!)
- Catching up with a number of the #LonVMUG crew at the bloggers hang space and partner lunch
- Bumping into one or two old colleagues, almost inevitable in our seemingly incestuously small industry!
- The Expert-Led VSAN Hands on Lab session – there are sessions on all manner of different VMware products throughout the week. I definitely recommend this as you can ask as many questions of the experts as you like. It was more about the interaction than the lab content to be honest (and that was great). Note however, there is only room for about 20-30 people in the lab room so I suggest you get there early for a session if you do want to do one!
- Brief tweetups around the #vBrownbag area including Alastair Cooke, Josh Atwell, GS Khalsa, (Man)fred Hofer, etc. Always great to put a face to a twitter avatar after so many years. I will definitely be trying to take in some of the sessions there this week. They will primarily be on Tuesday and Wednesday only as I understand it?
- The unusual rotating balls entertainer at the partner evening event, both mesmerising and creepy at the same time!
- Eating copious amounts of tasty tapas for dinner whilst setting the tech world to rights, and wondering if I should have stopped before that last bowlful of potatoes!
- Using a HailO cab on the way home. The app makes it incredibly simple as you just hail a cab via the app. They arrive at your GPS coordinates within an estimated time (you can actually see where the cab is on the map), you pay with your credit card via the app, (optionally) automatically including a tip, and it conveniently emails you a receipt so you can claim back your expenses at a later date. Perfect! The icing on the cake was the price of taxis in BCN, which seems to be far more reasonable than those at home in the UK!
If today was anything to go by, the rest of this week is going to be awesome!
Finally, it may be obvious but I wont be posting any of my session notes from today as it was partner day, so unfortunately NDAs etc… hopefully tomorrow though!