Authored by Ryan Kelly, Staff Systems Engineer, Cloud Management
We are just weeks away from VMworld’s 2016 Europe Conference in beautiful Barcelona Spain. This year will be my 5th year attending the Europe conference in Barcelona and I have learned a few things I want to share with all of you. I have actually been lucky enough to attend 3 VMworld’s in Europe, one in Nice, France and 2 in Copenhagen. I enjoyed them all as they are all special places to visit but there is just something about Barcelona that keeps me signing up to go year after year. Here are my tips and tricks to get the most out of your conference and visit. If this is your first time or 5th time I am sure there is something in here for everyone.
Before you go:
- Register for the event, sounds obvious but some folks arrive and are not registered and the per-registration saves you money.
- Plan your week by visiting the Content catalog and populating your Schedule Builder. The General Sessions are open seating but the break out sessions you need to register for. (There are almost always standing room for additional overflow but registering is a guarantee you get a seat.)
- Make a photo copy of your Passport or documentation and store it in a bag or separate from your passport, in the rare case your passport is stolen you will have a back up.
- Logon to twitter to see what sessions are trending so you know before you go.
- Weather in Barcelona can vary this time of year, pack some summer clothes, cotton t-shirts, shorts and a Swimsuit but also pack a rain coat and a sweater or sweat shirts as it can get cold at night or in the mountains if you plan to do some site seeing.
- Pack extra room in your bag or bring an extra one, you will receive a VMworld bag and you get tons of goodies from VMware and partners in solutions exchange that you will want to bring home for your office mates and family.
- Go to sleep now until the morning you travel to VMworld Europe, no seriously you are gonna need all the sleep you can get!
- For Hotels you have a couple options depending on your preference or if traveling with family:
- Be sure your credit card or bank card has a chip and that you know the pin number. Most everywhere in Barcelona requires the chip and the pin. This is common now in most countries but just a reminder.
- Call your cell phone provider and verify you will have roaming service in Barcelona Spain. You can also buy SIM cards for your phone but you won’t be able to use your phone number for calls.
- There are taxis at the Airport, some take credit cards and some only cash, be sure to ask first. Also be sure to have a print out of your hotel name and address, there are many similar hotel names in Barcelona but they are not close together. (NOTE: Most taxis in Barcelona prefer cash and will let you know)
- Sign up for the Hailo App to request and pay for rides from your mobile device. I found this service hit and miss but it worked most of the time.
During the Convention:
- Use Wifi when ever possible, most hotels have free WiFi and VMworld will also have free Wifi, this will save you a bundle on roaming fees. Also you may want to disable data roaming on your phone for extra savings.
- Wear comfortable shoes (Europeans know this already), you walk a lot in and around the city, also many hotels are walking distance but the convention center alone is huge and you will walk a lot.
- Attend the keynotes, you get all the good information first and the opening visuals are always sexy and stunning. At least attend the Technical Keynote if there is only one you plan to attend!
- Drink a lot of water, it is very hot and humid in Barcelona and it is dangerous to get dehydrated.
- Visit the solutions exchange during the day, when it is less busy, to get one on one sessions with VMware experts or one of our partners experts.
- Network with other customers and VMware folks, share your success and learn what works for them. All the best in the world will be in one place for a week and that is huge.
Party Time: Full List Here
|Tues, 18 Oct||17.30 – 19.30||#VMworld Welcome Reception||Gran Fira, Solutions Exchange||Open to all attendees||Official kickoff to VMworld 2016 Europe. Enjoy appetizers & drinks in the Solutions Exchange. Network with exhibitors & attendees.|
|Wed, 19 Oct||17.00 – 19.00||#VMworld Hall Crawl||Gran Fira, Solutions Exchange||Open to all attendees||Enjoy networking with appetizers & drinks in the Solutions Exchange where you can see the latest products and services from exhibitors.|
|Wed, 19 Oct||19.00 – 22.00||#VMworld Party||Gran Fira||Open to full conference attendees||VMworld 2016 Europe Party! Relax w/ excellent food, music and entertainment. Guest passes available.|
Food and sight seeing recommends:
- Lunch or Dinner on the water at Restaurant Barceloneta
- Late night Pizza Wine and Beer and occasionally open for lunch Amazing! Pizza del Sortidor
- Dinner at Calpep – No reservations but if you get in line by 7:30PM or 14:30 you will be in the first seating group. Otherwise order a bottle of wine and enjoy in line while you wait for a seat.
- Dinner at Tapas 24 – No reservations so get here early for the first seating or a short wait but well worth it.
- Ride on the Montjuic Cable car. Ride up to Montjuic Castle in a sightseeing gondola.
- Day trip trip to Montserrat a mountain Monastery
Do’s and Dont’s:
- DO NOT LOSE YOUR VMWORLD BADGE OR IT WILL COST YOU TO REPLACE IT!
- Do not keep your wallet or valuables in your back pocket, pick pockets are active in the city and on public transit.
- Do try a hands on lab, there is no better way to learn than trying it yourself. These are first come first served, no need to sign up in advance just plan some time in your schedule.
- Do eat breakfast and lunch at the conference or your hotel if it is provided, save some hits on your expense report for dinners and drinks later.
- Do not leave your laptop or personal belongings unattended or out of your control, while the conference is secure you never know who will walk away with your stuff.
- Do not trust taxi drivers that don’t take credit cards and want to take you to an ATM machine to get money, it is almost always a scam to copy your card, when in doubt call the police.
- Do use common sense especially late at night, in my experience Barcelona is very safe but it is a big city like anywhere else in the world and stuff happens.
Have fun and be safe everybody! Hope to see you all there!